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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th March 2011


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News


by Chervana Hobbs

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'Ecobuild is the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK's largest construction event of any kind', says the blurb, but I really had no idea how big it would be, how many people would attend and how many products were going to be on show. I didn't quite know where to start.

'From megawatts to negawatts: taking the energy out of buildings'

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'The focus in recent years on energy efficient new build is increasingly understood and accepted: the path to zero carbon is drawn.  But the carbon impact of the built environment is made by the existing stock, and it is here that the challenge to reduce energy consumption lies. How can homes and non domestic buildings use less energy? What are the technical, financial, regulatory and social issues? And, how can a more energy efficient building stock be brought about?'

Welcome to the


I felt that this industry would be a good one when I joined it just over two years ago and this initial confidence has been backed up time and time again by some of the initiatives taken by its players, to improve people's lives and wellbeing and help preserve our environment.

This feeling was underlined today when I learned that kbb London is to be the launch platform for a fundraising initiative hoping to raise £20,000 to help WaterAid in its work to improve access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation in some of the world's poorest communities.

The campaign will be officially launched at kbb London in May and run through to kbb Birmingham in March 2012.

"Given that kbb London will be full of companies providing goods and services for kitchen and bathroom contracts where the supply of water is a core requirement, it seemed natural that we should launch our campaign to help WaterAid in its important work at the show," says kbb London Brand Director Andrew Vaughan.

"We have pledged to raise £20,000 for WaterAid by kbb Birmingham in March 2012, but we cannot do it on our own! We are calling on the KBB Industry as a whole to support the kbb WaterAid initiative and will shortly be announcing a number of fund raising events we hope the sector will get behind with us.

"It is amazing what a huge difference that even a small amount of money can make. As little as £15 can enable a person to have access to safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation, so just imagine how much good WaterAid can do with the money they will receive when we hit our target!"

If you're not familiar with WaterAid (www.wateraid.org), it is an international charity working in 26 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific region to transform the lives of some of the world's poorest people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Over the past 30 years, it has reached 14.38 million people with safe water and - since 2004 - 9.4 million people with sanitation.

Despite the inroads made, at least 4,000 children die every day as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation and 884 million people still do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world's population. Some 2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation. This is almost two fifths of the world's population.

As we covet the latest dishwasher, washing machine or hi-tech bathroom as they're launched, we should perhaps take time out to consider those who cannot enjoy the one commodity that these goods need, to be able to run - water.

I do hope (but don't doubt) that this industry will work together to support kbb's fantastic initiative and help it exceed its goal.




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Mereway Kitchens inspirational new spring 2011 Launch - an introduction

* Mereway-Lastra-Coco-Bolo-White.jpgMereway Kitchens has done it again! Soft shapes and textural finishes are what it's all about this year, and this Spring sees the introduction of some irresistibly stylish products into its Italian inspired Cucina Colore collection.

Polypipe fined after worker injured by fork lift truck

Polypipe has been fined after a fork lift truck that had been lowering a cage containing two workers to the ground, hit one of the men.

The man, who has asked not to be named, had been standing on top of a lorry, loading coiled plastic pipes at Polypipe's site on Boston Road Industrial Estate, Horncastle, Lincolnshire.

KitchenAid adds revolutionary finish to gas hob range

* KHPS-9050-KitchenAid.jpgKitchenAid has built on a legacy of legendary icons from the launch of its stand mixer in 1919 and its first dishwasher in 1949 to create a range of iconic household appliances today.

OHSAS 18001 certification for British Tile Manufacturer

British Ceramic Tile is proud to announce its recent certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 - the internationally recognised assessment specification for occupational health & safety management systems.

Abode wins JPD Innovation Award

* Abode-website.jpgAt a reception held recently to celebrate JP Distribution's 30 years of business, Darren Holliday, Managing Director of Abode, was presented with a JPD 'Innovation Award' by Tony Oates, JPD's Managing Director. The award is for yet another innovative idea from Abode - its clever in-sync website www.abode.eu

Speaking about the award, Darren Holiday says: "JPD understands the reasoning behind the launch of the website and how useful it is as a helpful tool for training its staff on the full breadth of ranges and technical data. The site also allows salespeople an interactive view of our full portfolio where individual taps can be moved across the screen marrying up to different sinks."

Showerwall expands UK distribution with the appointment of Q4 Bathrooms

Showerwall has appointed York-based Q4 Bathrooms from 1st March to be a distributor for its waterproof wallpanelling product, expanding further the product's availability nationwide. Q4 has two locations in York and Manchester servicing the North and North West of England, making Showerwall now available from 19 distribution points nationwide including IDS, Ideal Bathrooms, Showerlux and Formula 1, on a delivery lead time of 24 - 48 hours.

Whirlpool's new tumble dryers take drying to a new level

* Whirlpool-AZB9780.jpgWhirlpool has taken the trusty and time-honoured tumble dryer to new levels of performance with its new and spacious tumble dryers.

AKW raises the standard with electric care shower

AKW Medicare is celebrating the six month anniversary of the launch of its LUDA electric care shower with soaring sales figures. A market leader in the provision of elderly and disabled bathroom products, the company reports that sales for January exceeded half of the total sales for 2010. Uptake by the trade and extremely positive feedback from end users is confirming that the company has raised the standard for electric care showers with this product.

Blazing a trail for reducing textile waste

* REDFR.jpgThe development of a new textile flame retardancy system will enable UK companies to increase the usage of recycled materials.

A consortium of industry experts led by the Furniture Industry Research Association -the furniture industry body - and supported by The Technology Strategy Board, has developed a means of producing flame-retardant products made from recycled fibre and flame retardant components.

TTA Awards 2011 finalists announced

The 2011 Tile Association Awards celebrate all that is best in the wall and floor tile industry.They recognise and reward the products, people, businesses and projects in the tile industry.

These are the finalists. The winners will be announced at the annual TTA Gala Dinner on Saturday, 2nd April 2011 at the Birmingham Hilton Hotel, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

New housing report shows big changes in the mix

* HobsonFord-housing-mix-chart.jpgChanges in the housing mix since 1999 have started to unwind, according to the latest report on housing trends from HobsonFord Associates in association with The National House-Building Council. The Market Insights report, Trends in the Mix of UK New Build Housing, is a summary of trends from more than 4 million housing starts over the last 24 years.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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News in Brief

Last week I was blown away by some of the products launched by AEG as part of its Neue Kollektion! See next week's KBZine for my report or call: 08445 610561

Congratulations to Ideal Standard International, which is celebrating the win of its third RoSPA Occupational Health & Safety Gold Medal Award! www.ideal-standard.co.uk

Atag has updated its QuliMax Combi-steam oven with a new twin steam generator and improved interior. Tel: 0208 247 3993

Bertazzoni's new X36 6 DUAL range cooker has a hybrid oven cavity that enables users to choose between cooking with either gas or electricity. E: [email protected]


How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Environmental support for food waste disposers

The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) has issued a Policy Position Statement supporting the use of food waste disposers in the management of food waste from kitchens.

Vac from the Sea competition winner joins expedition

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Electrolux Vac from the Sea project: blogger Brit Liggett wins the 5 Gyres competition

Brit Liggett, a 26 year old blogger from Brooklyn, New York, wins the Electrolux and 5 Gyres competition, where first prize is becoming a crew member on the forthcoming 5 Gyres research expedition through the Beagle Channel in March.

Get your business on track with help from new tools

Around 40% of SMEs in the UK - two million businesses - do not keep adequate records, even though they are legally bound to keep them, to make sure they make a correct income tax or corporation tax self assessment return. Failure to take reasonable care in record-keeping leads to a loss of around £6.5billion in tax every year.

Forging ahead: London's future

London's status as a leading global capital - financially, socially and culturally - has been the subject of much debate in the wake of the worst recession on record. A modern, commercially effective and sustainable built environment is paramount to the successful development of 21st century London as the city rises to the challenges of economic recovery and growth, climate change or realizing the 'Big Society' vision.

Totally successful shows!

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As the Totally Shows (Totally DIY, Totally Tools and Totally Secure) came to a close last week, organiser Brintex confirmed that the events' second year at the NEC had been another successful one.

Ellis Furniture achieves OHSAS 18001

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Ellis Furniture has achieved the Occupational Health & Safety Assurance System (OHSAS) 18001:2007, adding to its ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 accreditations and thereby fully integrating its quality, environmental and occupational health & safety management systems.

Retail not the source of inflationary pressure, argues BRC

Tuesday's official inflation figures are evidence that little inflationary pressure is coming from the retail sector. The latest numbers from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show Shop Price Inflation running behind both CPI and RPI. The main factors driving inflation are high fuel and transport costs - the result of soaring global commodity prices, not shop prices.

Smart Systems is latest KBSA corporate member

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association has announced that Smart Systems is the latest industry supplier to become a corporate member.


Ellis Furniture welcomes new marketing manager

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Ellis Furniture has welcomed Richard Fitzmaurice to the team as marketing manager. Taking responsibility for the marketing of the brand across domestic and commercial markets, Richard started his new position January 2011.

Season's greetings from Croydex turn into hard cash for hospice

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The Christmas spirit may have been alive and well at Croydex, yet not a single Christmas card was sent during the recent festive season. Instead, the bathroom accessories company, based in Hampshire, chose to donate the money it would have normally spent on cards, to charity.

A new place of Abode for Michelle

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Michelle Gorst has joined the ever-expanding and successful, Barnsley based, Abode Home Products.


Methven launches Vision and Values

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Methven UK ended 2010 on a high with a special event on 10th December for more than 100 members of staff to celebrate the launch of the company's Vision and Values and the transfer of the Deva business to Methven UK.

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