Home appliances account for up to 30 per cent of home energy usage. As reliance on appliances increases, choosing sustainable and energy efficient appliances become more important. In today’s world, house occupants are choosing their housing plans designed with open space and smart homes which are conserved with energy, nature and environment. In terms of sustainable and energy efficiency design, Paul Flowers and the GROHE design team had been selected to receive the highest award in the field of product design – the Red Dot Design Team of the year 2012, the first in the sanitary sector.
Paul Flowers, Chief Design Officer of Lixil Water Technology Group (acquired GROHE in January 2014), shares his thoughts exclusively with AsiaGreenBuildings on the increasing trends and demands of green building and housing practices, the upcoming trends in sanitary fittings and home appliances, and the key success behind winning the Red Dot Awards for Design for multiple years.
How does GROHE respond to the increasing trends and demands of green building and housing practices?
Basically what we are trying to do is reduce the amount of material it takes to make and ship our products. We are trying to reduce the consumption of water by looking to reduce that in the cycle of use. For example, if we take a 9 litre per minute hand shower, I can put a restrictor in that and it reduces to 5 litres per minute which in theory would be a way to reduce consumption.
What we are trying to do with ecological enjoyment is look at how consumers use water, and introduce products with buttons which pours water. When we create showers, we will look fully at how we experience that product, such as making sure the water from the shower hits the body as opposed to having it fly all over shower trays.
We are really looking at intelligent ways to reduce consumption. We have also reduced the angle of the shower head (from 40 to 7 degrees), making it half the size when it comes to packaging and reducing the carbon footprint significantly.
What are the upcoming trends in the sanitary fittings and home appliances do you see coming?
I guess everything! From in the kitchen, we are looking at products which will be more intelligent. If you take them into touch, if you are preparing food, touching things like chicken, you don’t cross contaminate surfaces because you can touch our taps with your elbow and it will turn the flow of water on so you can wash your hands. There is also a big trend towards products which carbonate, chill, and filter water.
For trends in showering, there will be more flexibility and of course synthesising digital technologies where you have control over the ambience space, lighting, Chroma therapy, sound, audio therapy, water, aqua therapy, introducing steam and transforming the bathroom into…a spa!
GROHE has been winning the Red Dot Awards in terms of design for years – what is the key success behind this? What makes your products unique?
What makes our products unique and the key successes would be our structured design process. We employ the best designers in the world, we visit all the main trends and exhibitions in the world. The way we synthesise our trends and the way we approach design is through our simple creative tools, style segmentation, designing values and visual brand signature elements. Those things ensure that we are consistent, relevant and very innovative.
About Lixil Water Technology Group
LIXIL Group Corporation is involved in a broad spectrum of housing-related businesses, ranging from the manufacture and sales of building materials and housing equipment to the operation of home centers and a network of homebuilding franchises. LIXIL is also a leading brand in product lines such as tiles, unit bathrooms and kitchen systems.
LIXIL Water Technology Group is one of the most important pillars of LIXIL’s new structure, recognising the importance of innovation and technology leadership to deliver consistent, profitable growth.
About GROHE group
The (green) buildings sector has gained significant importance in mitigating climate change through a new campaign called "Better Build Green" by...