Bathroom renovation – Sustainability as a key factor in bathroom planning
Lifestyle bathrooms should not only look good, but they should also be sustainable – that’s what more and more homeowners are calling for when it comes to modernising bathrooms. In addition to a long service life, many bathroom products are already oriented towards resource conservation, e.g., water-saving tapware, optimised flushing, easy-to-clean, rimless toilets, hygienic surfaces and a great shower experience thanks to water-saving rain showers. Today, German and international bathroom-fittings manufacturers not only develop resource-friendly products but also focus on sustainable production and quality standards during the manufacturing process. Rounding off this trend is the high standard of design that characterises the new-product development and guarantees many years of use.
The trend themes of the sustainable bathroom and sustainability in general have often been the subject of special attention at ISH and given visual prominence within the framework of the Pop up my Bathroom trend forum – and ISH 2023 will be no exception to this. Over the coming years, sustainability is set to play an increasingly important role in bathroom planning and modernisation, and is likely, therefore, to influence the buying decisions of both commercial and private customers.
Sustainability is also a topic of relevance when it comes to the long-term usage of the bathroom, i.e., as users grow older or suffer from physical impairments. Accordingly, the focus is also shifting to include barrier-free and therapeutic bathrooms.
Zero Waste Bathroom
What’s the best sustainability concept? To prevent the production of waste in the first place! To show how the concept of zero waste can also work in the bathroom, the products of renowned manufacturers (some still at the prototype stage) and products from other sectors will be presented at ISH and in the ‘Pop-up My Bathroom’ exhibition. In this way, visitors will have the opportunity to gain a holistic overview of the zero-waste concept. The components can include:
- Easy-to-clean bathroom products, e.g., rimless toilets, etc.
- Bathroom furnishings and components that are suitable for recycling, e.g., enamelled steel
- Water-saving fittings, e.g., contactless taps, dual flush
- Furnishings and materials that are broken down into their component parts
- Recycled and recyclable bathroom textiles, e.g., mats
Solutions for care bathrooms and bathrooms for the elderly
Society is aging. However, more and more people want to remain in their homes even after reaching old age. This is only possible if the dwelling has a bathroom meeting the criteria of being ‘barrier-free’ or ‘suitable for the elderly’. Thus, the focus when building or modernising bathrooms must be to take account of the long-term usage of the new or modernised bathroom at the planning stage. For this to be successful, the plans should be oriented towards the multifarious needs of the various groups of users, which cover the spectrum from young families with children to the elderly and people with infirmities. At the same time, the bathroom should have sufficient space for a carer to people using the facilities. Naturally, this need not necessarily be an elderly or handicapped person: a mother washing her child also needs room to move.
Funding options for bathrooms for the elderly
There is a general social and political consensus that the design and fittings of a bathroom are decisive factors for elderly people wanting to live independently for as long as possible. According to a study by Home and Environment Institute (IWU), there will be a shortfall of around two million dwellings suitable for the elderly by 2035. To counteract this, the German government has for many years funded, for example, the KfW ‘Age-oriented modernisation programme’ and the long-term care insurance scheme for the modernisation work needed to make care possible at home. At ISH 2023, detailed information will be provided by the following institutes: ABB (barrier-free bathroom initiative), VDS (German Sanitary Industry Association) and ZVSHK (The German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association).
Care bathrooms – practical examples for exhibitions and installations
The subject of care bathrooms will also be presented on a joint basis at the coming ISH. In 2018, the ZVSHK joined forces with other associations and companies from the industry to conduct a study on the bathroom as a factor for success in out-patient care (Erfolgsfaktor Badezimmer für die ambulante Pflege). In addition to an analysis and evaluation of the current situation, the study includes a list of requirements and guidelines for bathrooms adapted for care purposes. The following year, the results of the study were presented to trade visitors within the framework of a special show entitled ‘The care bathroom in 2030’ at ISH 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for the sector.
Subsequently, the ZVSHK commissioned a study on optimising the construction and funding of care bathrooms within the framework of dwelling modernisation (Optimierung der Ausführung und Finanzierung von pflegegerechten Bädern im Rahmen der Wohnungsanpassung). This study was supported by the German association of medical and care insurance funds and provides precise answers to questions concerning minimum building requirements for care bathrooms. In addition to the list of requirements, the study also defines specific solutions for modernising very small bathrooms. There will be a presentation of these results with realistic illustrations and practical examples for both exhibitions and installations at ISH 2023.