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  • Sustainability in the bathroom – it’s all in the materials

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Sustainability in the bathroom – it’s all in the materials

    The Swiss bathroom specialist, Laufen, has set new sustainability trends in bathroom design. Editor Hamish Kilburn investigates…

    With unprecedented performance properties, the revolutionary SaphirKeramik, found in all Laufen products, bestows possibilities and versatility never seen before, enabling exceptional shaping where finely-defined curves and tight edge radii of 1-2mm are created.

    This unique ceramic is considerably thinner and has an improved bending strength, compared to traditional bathroom ceramics. Laufen is now able to produce wafer-thin, yet exceptionally robust ceramic bodies, which in turn makes it more sustainable by reducing weight with a lower consumption of raw materials and energy, required for the manufacturing process. SaphirKeramik is not a replacement for any existing materials; instead, it broadens the range of forms of expression of the natural base material.

    Since its launch in 2013 SaphirKeramik has developed into a favourite material of many architects and bathroom planners, because it permits a whole new design language within bathroom ceramics, which could not have been realised in the same way with conventional ceramics. Designed under the creative leadership of superstar Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, the contemporary ‘The New Classic’ collection interprets classical styles using Laufen’s innovative SaphirKeramik to help create soft, gentle feminine curves, alongside angular, masculine elements.

    Since you’re here, why not read Hotel Designs’ tour of Roca and Laufen UK headquarters?

    Image caption: The New Classic, designed by Marcel Wanders for Laufen

    Image caption: The New Classic, designed by Marcel Wanders for Laufen

    Laufen is also taking responsibility for the its impact on the environment by developing ways to recycle wastewater. In collaboration with Austrian design studio EOOS and long-term research by Eawag, Laufen have developed a ground-breaking urine separation toilet that opens a new chapter in sustainable wastewater management: Save! Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Save! will revolutionise sanitation, reduce the environmental issue of wastewater pollution and provide a solution fit for the 21st century.

    The key innovation in Save! is the “urine trap”, created by EOOS Design, which diverts urine to a concealed outlet using only surface tension. By trapping the urine – which contains a high number of nutrients – the device allows the liquid to be repurposed into a  fertiliser called Aurin.

    "urine trap", created by EOOS Design for Laufen

    Image caption: “urine trap”, created by EOOS Design for Laufen

    The installation of urine separation toilets into hotels, public areas and residential developments will lead to sustainable and energy-saving wastewater management, seamlessly integrating the circular economy by efficiently treating the collected wastewater, recovering and recycling the preserved nutrients.

    Laufen is committed to contributing towards the development of innovative technologies to solve this urgent problem, developing new, sustainable solutions that will help save lives and improve sanitation conditions in developing countries.

    Laufen is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: Laufen

    Hamish Kilburn / 11.12.2020

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