KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
8th April 2011
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Welcome to the
Generally when I receive a press release for KBZine I'm reminded of how much I've learnt about innovation in this industry since becoming involved just over two years ago. It took the BBC though to underline quite how far we've all come over the last few hundred years and my goodness, am I grateful!
For those who missed 'Filthy Cities' on Tuesday, historian Dan Snow looked at personal hygiene and the like in medieval London, 18th Century revolutionary Paris and 19th Century industrial New York and reported on a rare medieval document, which shows that people living in medieval times had many of the same concerns about bathrooms as we do now.
For example, in an era when many of her fellow citizens relieved themselves in chamber pots and surreptitiously tipped the contents out the window (often shouting: "gardez l'eau'" - watch out for the water - which is where the term 'loo' came from), Alice Wade, who lived in 14th Century London, had a loo in its own small room. Not a loo as we know it of course, but a hole cut in a wooden platform over a cesspool!
Her neighbours hated the smell so Alice rigged up a wooden pipe that connected her loo to a rainwater gutter that flushed a nearby public latrine. Unfortunately, the solids blocked the gutter, and her neighbours - "greatly inconvenienced by the stench", complained to the authorities. Alice was ordered to remove the pipe within 40 days. John le Yonge's neighbours were also given 40 days' notice to remove their pipe, which carried waste from their solar [toilet room] above his John's cellar, but which overflowed into it.
The programme revealed that back in medieval times, many neighbourly disputes concerned misdirected, leaking or otherwise noisome privies, as medieval cities had no infrastructure to cope with the disposal of human waste. Generally, it was dumped into rivers and tributaries or trodden into the ground, and although some people came up with ingenious ways to get rid of it, these could be a bit 'hit and miss', as the programme illustrated.
You can watch the programme at: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z8r9l and no doubt then, like me, you'll be delighted at how things have moved on!
And talking of moving on, I'd had no idea how much microwaves had improved since I last bought one several years ago. I'm getting along famously with my new Whirlpool Max 38 which takes up about a third of the space on my worktop, yet still accommodates my 28cm plates. I'm also loving the touch-pad controls which are so much easier to clean thoroughly than my old push buttons, which would always depress as I cleaned and which would harbour germs down the sides. I didn't know I could bake cakes in a microwave either so I'm going to treat the family at the weekend and will let you know what everyone thinks.
This Week's News
The EU-27 and 19 other European countries are preparing to launch intergovernmental talks that are expected to result in a legally-binding agreement on sustainable use of forests in 2013. In parallel, the European Commission is kicking off talks to revamp its forest policy. An agreement to open negotiations is expected to be reached by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from 14th - 16th June.
Draft ministerial decision and other documents for the June conference were adopted last week at an expert level meeting of representatives of the 'Forest Europe' countries and the European Union, reports EurActiv.
To help streamline its activities and improve functionality, Mereway has started to implement some changes to the hinges on its cabinetry. The introduction of a new all-metal, nickel plated hinge featuring integrated Blumotion with a deactivation facility is a pioneering change for the company's product offering.
This groundbreaking new hinge facilitates greater soft close adjustment, regardless of front weight or closing speed, and is designed to open and close 200,000 times - so comes with a lifetime guarantee!
As part of its ongoing website development, The Furniture Industry Research Association has created a new online forum facility for its members. The forum allows members to post questions, comments and articles for discussion, keep in touch with current industry matters and access any standards updates. The service is only available to FIRA members on www.fira.co.uk
The various forums include an Office Furniture Manufacturers forum, a Furniture Retail Quality Group and a forum for the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme.
The trade and customers have warmly welcomed this latest addition to the Stuart Turner range, clearly creating a demand for a competitively priced shower pump with the reassurance of it being fully WRAS approved and supplied by the UK's leading shower pump manufacturer.
The Low Pay Commission has welcomed the Government's confirmation yesterday that from October 2011 the National Minimum Wage will increase in line with its recommendations.
From 1st October, the adult minimum wage rate will increase from £5.93 to £6.08 an hour, the Youth Development Rate will rise from £4.92 to £4.98 an hour and the 16 - 17 Year Old Rate will increase from £3.64 to £3.68 an hour. The Apprentice Rate will also increase from £2.50 to £2.60 an hour.
Whirlpool's Pro.Fit system makes fitting appliances logical, easy and quick, saving time and money and ensuring appliances are safely installed for years to come. The innovative system has been applied to a wide selection of Whirlpool built-in appliances, including ovens, microwaves, coffee machines, dishwashers, built-in fridge freezers and side-by-side products.
Gorenje, the Slovenian manufacturer famed for its creative and innovative appliances, is re-running the popular promotion on its best-selling eco-friendly washing machines and dryers.
From now until 31st May 2011, Gorenje is offering a free five-year parts and labour guarantee on any one of four washing machines and dryers. These include the WA72145 and WA72145BK washing machines and the D72325 and D72325BK condenser dryers; available in either a classic white or stylish black finish.
Ellis Furniture is expanding its favoured Lexington kitchen range with the launch of the Lexington Gloss Cream. Already available in gloss white, gloss burgundy and gloss black, the gloss cream option has been added to the range by popular demand.
The units are teamed with flush inset doors from the new Intrigue Gloss Olivewood range and finished with Lexington chrome sculptured handles, honeysuckle glass splashbacks and African black granite for a dramatic new look.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association was inundated with enquiries at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2011, making it the busiest ever for its resident expert Alan Stanford.
"The show was exceptionally busy, the queue at the experts advice centre built up to well over 50 people within 10 minutes of the show opening and there was an excellent variety of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom projects from the people that I spoke with," reveals Alan.
Greek nanotechnology company NanoPhos and Spanish ceramic tile manufacturer Keraben, have co-developed Lifeker, an innovative line of self-cleaning and self-sterilising ceramic tiles. The tiles get these useful properties through the use of SurfaShield coating technology developed by NanoPhos, which is activated simply by the energy of surrounding light (either sunlight or artificial lighting) rather than through the use of chemicals.
The photocatalytic action of SurfaShield continuously decomposes organic stains and environmental pollutants without being consumed. The use of this technology protects humans from infectious microbes, eliminates fungus growth and minimises the need for cleaning and sterilising products. Indeed, it has been estimated that a run of 1000 square meters of Lifeker
Nearly half of employers (45%) have not employed apprentices in the last three years, with two thirds (68%) of these saying that they consider apprenticeships inappropriate for their organisation. This is one of the main findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development's 2011 Learning and Talent Development Survey, highlighting the need for Government to work with employers to promote the business case for investing in apprenticeships.
Only a third (35%) of the 500 employers surveyed say they plan to recruit apprentices this year. A larger proportion (43%) say that they do not intend to recruit apprentices this year and over one-fifth (22%) say that they have no set plans in an uncertain economic climate, with widespread staffing requirements.
Schools and junior rugby clubs throughout the UK are being given the chance to win their team an Ultimate Kit and Laundry Package, as part of a campaign backed by England rugby legends Will Greenwood and Austin Healey.
The campaign, what began on Monday, has been launched by AEG, the premium home appliance brand that combines advanced technology with award-winning design. It will see 50 grassroots rugby teams selected to receive the kit and laundry packages, each of which includes 22 bespoke Samurai Sportswear rugby kits, as well as a top-of-the-range AEG washing machine and tumble dryer.
A complete wet-room base and linear drain pack is now available through builders merchants and bathroom and wet-room retailers . UniSlope is an innovative pre-formed wet room base supplied complete with a choice of stunning linear drains in one easy package.
The UniSlope Range comprises two designs each incorporating the perfect gradient for efficient water run away and each supplied with the UniDrain Award-winning linear drain which does away with the need for the multiple tile cuts associated with a central drain making it ideal for today's stunning wet room designs.
The KBzine Archive Search
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News in Brief
Burbidge's 'Malmö' contemporary handle-less kitchen, now includes curved doors with the option of double concave or wide curves and curved back panels. E: email@example.com
The SP455 has been added to Aqata's popular Spectra frameless collection, designed for minimal and wetroom style shower spaces. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Douglas-Delabie says its new Temposoft 2 washbasin taps and mixers can save approximately 84% of water compared with a traditional basin tap. T: 01491 824 449
Laufen's compact sanitaryware and furniture collection 'Mimo', has been given a fresh look and is packed with new innovations and clever features - despite having an even smaller price tag! T: 01530 510007
Tile Depot has marked the opening of its new store in Vale Road, Tonbridge, with some fantastic opening offers for tradespeople. T: 01732 351600
The budget has been welcomed by the KBSA as a pro-business budget that should begin to offer the kind of support that businesses need. www.kbsa.org.uk
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20 pioneering kitchen, bathroom and bedroom product concepts have been shortlisted for the kbb London Innovation Awards. The Awards recognise kbb design excellence and original thought and shortlisted products range from technologically advanced appliances and interactive storage solutions to space-saving concepts and architectural spaces, representing the whole scope of the industry's recent developments.
The companies shortlisted for the awards and whose products will be showcased in the Innovations Centre at the kbb London exhibition are:
The Thermostatic Mixing Valve Manufacturers' Association has successfully secured the inclusion of 'Severe Scalding of Patients' in the expanded list of 'Never Events' (increasing from 8 to 25) recently published by the Department of Health. The list is prefaced by: "The expanded never events list is, in the view of the Department of Health, a reasonable list of events that are unacceptable and eminently preventable in the National Health Service. It is the list that all organisations providing NHS care should work from."
kbb London's seminar programme is set to attract plenty of show visitors, with topical discussions and debates on the hot issues at the heart of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design industry. The free seminar sessions will run alongside the exhibition, which launches this year from 15th - 17th May 2011 at the ExCeL, London.
Polypipe Ventilation's new catalogue details its full range of energy-saving domestic and light commercial ventilation systems. This is the first catalogue from the company to incorporate not only Polypipe and Domus product offerings but also the Silavent range of fans acquired by the group last year.
More van and light goods vehicle operators may be unwittingly increasing their fuel and running costs and reducing their safety by overloading their vehicles, according to Swinton Commercial Insurance.