In the next of our series looking at regulations and requirements across each discipline we look at what a designer needs to know when specifying Bathrooms with the assistance of Sarah Evans, Head of Channel Marketing for Hansgrohe.
What should a designer know about the difference between domestic and contract specifications?
Contract specifications need to meet more stringent regulations than domestic schemes. Whilst not a legal requirement, WRAS approvals are often requested when it comes to contract projects and demonstrate that a product meets rigorous safety standards.
The need to meet specific water usage measures can also be a driving factor in commercial schemes, because sustainability and efficiency are becoming increasingly important in modern construction. A BREEAM certification is an internationally recognised standard that confirms a building meets predefined efficiency levels, whilst an LEED certification is a similar industry standard that guarantees a building’s performance.
By contrast a domestic scheme doesn’t have to meet the same strict efficiency standards and show evidence of building compliance. This gives a designer more freedom when it comes to product specification because they don’t have to source products that come with a WRAS certificate.
What should the designer consider in relation to durability, fit for purpose?
Contract specification often goes hand in hand with heavy traffic areas, meaning that products are subject to regular use. Therefore, durability and high-quality engineering are incredibly important. In a commercial scheme, the lifetime of a product can make all the difference to a hotel bathroom. Products designed to last will always be a more commercially viable option over lower cost products that don’t deliver the same longevity. The ability to maintain products rather than replace them is also a major consideration, so it makes sense to use companies that can offer spare parts on a long-term basis to maximise your investment.
Hansgrohe offer a 5-year product guarantee, which includes 100% of the product and encompasses the technical internal elements as well as the external chrome plating.
Hansgrohe also offers an industry leading Spare Parts Availability guarantee of 15 years after product discontinuation. This all adds up to complete peace of mind, with the assurance that the product you choose will remain operational.
Are there differences between UK, EU or USA requirements?
Different countries have individual regulations and water usage requirements. For example, California has very stringent water usage owing to their climate, meaning many European products are not suitable or authorised for use in this region. The differences are so vast that the UN commissioned a World Water Development Report that considered the huge variations in global water considerations owing to climate and environmental differences.
When communicating with a supplier what should designers be asking?
Designers should start by asking how many WRAS approvals are available, the length of product and spare part guarantees, and finally, how the manufacturer is performing from a sustainability point of view. Product data such as flow rates, minimum operating pressure and installation instructions should be made readily available - preferably online and available to download.
Which requirements are best practice, and which are a legal requirement?
Part G is a legal regulation relating to hot water safety and water efficiency. This ensures that only thermostatic valves are fitted in new build properties to minimise the risk of hot water scalding. Whilst WRAS is not a legal requirement, it has been widely adopted by the industry as a benchmark that ensures a product complies with specific safety standards.
For more information or to contact Hansgrohe, click here.