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  • Hygiene vs sustainability: the ‘new normal’ in hotel guest experiences

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Hygiene vs sustainability: the ‘new normal’ in hotel guest experiences

    Following Hotel Designs LIVE, where both topics were put under the spotlight, we asked session sponsor GROHE how hygiene and sustainability can work together to create a ‘new normal’ in hotel guest experiences…

    Not so long ago, the average hotel guest might have put king size beds, room service and fine dining, or a room with a view at the top of their overnight experience wish-list. Today however things are very different. In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, hospitality businesses have had to swiftly adapt to this ‘new normal’ in a bid to stay afloat during what has been a treacherous time for the industry as a whole.

    Whilst the ongoing pandemic continues to present uncertainty and new challenges, global leading bathroom manufacturer GROHE believes that the swift change in direction when it comes to hygiene and how this can in turn positively impact sustainability, can be viewed as an opportunity to improve guest experiences and establish better standards within the industry. Now is the time to optimise high-tech hygienic solutions and combine them with a sustainable stance to create the ultimate safe, relaxing and enjoyable hotel stay.

    Image caption: GROHE Bau Cosmo E taps in commercial washroom.

    Hygiene is key to making guests feel safe

    After a difficult and unprecedented year, the world is beginning to embrace a ‘new normal’, tentatively looking ahead to the future at prospects of business trips, holidays and staycations. Creating a hygienic environment within our hotels and hospitality spaces is key to ensuring that guests feel safe and can comfortably enjoy their stay, whilst continuing to boost a nationwide confidence across the sector over the coming months.

    GROHE has the perfect bathroom product selection, from advanced shower toilet systems and innovative infra-red solutions for taps and WC flushes, to help optimise hygiene across both guestroom bathrooms, and communal washrooms and spa facilities.

    The GROHE Sensia Arena shower toilet for instance can provide a totally touchless experience as users can control and personalise washing and drying features from their smartphone as well as utilising the automatic functions. As the guest approaches the toilet, a sensor is activated to lift the lid. It then closes after use, followed by an automatic flush. Additional hygiene features such as its powerful Triple Vortex flush, rimless design and anti-bacterial surface coating which is applied to the toilet bowl, shower arms and nozzle guards, further help eradicate unwanted dirt particles by making it difficult for them to stick to surfaces. The Sensia Arena also benefits from GROHE’s ion technology known as PlasmaCluster which releases positive and negative ions into even the farthest hard-to-reach corners of the toilet bowl and in the air around the toilet, to inactivate bacteria. Meanwhile, an automatic odour extraction system is integrated into the toilet system to ensure the ambient air remains free from unpleasant odours. These state-of-the-art hygiene functions are particularly beneficial when shower toilets are used in communal spaces of hotels with increased footfall. They help to maintain superior hygiene standards between each use to supplement routine cleaning protocols carried out by staff.

    Meanwhile, for hoteliers looking for a more cost-effective retrofit solution, the GROHE Bau Manual Bidet Seat can be installed quickly and easily. Compatible with most existing toilet cisterns, the seat and accompanying spray allows guests to opt for a more natural, gentler way of maintaining their intimate hygiene. The seat provides a simple yet effective solution as it does not require any electrical work as the spray is powered solely by water pressure.

    Image caption: GROHE Manual Bidet Seat (close up).

    Infra-red is also a leading go-to hygienic solution, primarily with touchless taps and automatic flushing in mind. “GROHE’S infra-red sensor taps allow for a truly innovative and hygienic way of washing your hands,” explains Karl Lennon, Director A&D Accounts EMENA at GROHE. “The sensor registers when your hands are approaching and automatically activates the flow of water. If the sensor no longer detects movement, the water will automatically turn off.” And so, with products such as the GROHE Bau Cosmopolitan E infra-red tap, no touching means minimising the risk of germs, bacteria and cross-contamination. It also ensures reduced water consumption, increasing sustainability credentials for hotel establishments without compromising on design or style.

    It may seem that the future has been on fast forward in recent months and it’s true that these latest technologies are now being addressed as a matter of urgency. “Hygienic solutions have been on the market for a while now,” confirms Glen Wilson, Head of Projects at GROHE UK, “including the likes of infra-red technology and shower toilets. With such advanced technology already at our fingertips, the pandemic will likely spur on a new surge of innovations as the nation continues to establish this ‘new normal’ and the changing interactions with various aspects of our everyday lives, which will become relevant for both our homes and hotel spaces. As well as touchless technology, voice-activation and app-control will also be popular contenders for new ways of operating taps, appliances and other everyday items.”

    How the ‘new normal’ can improve sustainability

    This new demand for increased hygiene and a safe environment is not going to go away. And to some extent, this begs the question: why should it?

    It is, after all, an ethos which the world should probably have been embracing even before the events of this year unfolded.
    GROHE sees this increased need for hygiene as the perfect opportunity to improve sustainability credentials at the same time. For the hotel industry it can mean substantial savings on water and energy with infra-red taps and sensor flushing, as well as the potential for a reduction in the use of amenities such as toilet paper thanks to the new technologies available that are giving bathrooms a holistic, hygienic makeover.

    Image caption: GROHE Sensia Arena shower toilet.

    The possibilities go far beyond these tangible, instantaneous measures though, with GROHE exploring long-term changes too such as the world of 3D metal-printing in order to reduce excess waste in the manufacturing process.

    “Sustainability has always been integral to GROHE’s brand identity,” explains Karl Lennon, Director A&D accounts EMENA, “and is one of the company’s key values. GROHE uses a 360-degree sustainability approach that incorporates employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products, as well as the company’s social contribution. All of GROHE’s products and manufacturing processes have been designed over time to conserve water and energy wherever possible and are constantly evolving.”

    This gives the hotel industry an ideal opportunity to offer guests not only an ultimately safe and hygienic stay, but also an experience within a sustainable, eco-conscious hotel that does its bit to help protect our planet.

    Keep informed with RIBA-approved training modules

    The hotelier, architect and design community can keep abreast of the latest knowledge around the topics of sustainability and hygiene by using resources such as GROHE’s RIBA-approved CPD seminars on water-saving and 3D printing. In November, its roster of training modules will also be enhanced with a brand-new seminar dedicated to hygiene.

    3D Printing for Advanced Bathroom Fittings dissects 3D printing technology, its place in the manufacturing sector and its ongoing growth across many industries due to its ability to create small batch custom manufacturing in a much more sustainable and accessible way. The session also sheds light on the positive sustainability impact 3D printing can have on reducing CO2 emissions and saving water thanks to less wastage and more efficient use of raw materials. Meanwhile, Water Saving Without Compromising Performance seeks to encourage greater awareness and action from the architect community when it comes to specifying water fittings for projects. Both seminars can be booked for online learning at www.ribacpd.com.

    GROHE sponsored the session entitled: The revival of smart technology at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on October 13, 2020.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    Hamish Kilburn / 02.11.2020

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