Having drought announcements made by the Environmental Agency this week, at a time when springtime is only just peeking through, reinforces the need to think very carefully about how we use water. In any household, major savings can be made by using a shower rather than a bath. Advice to replace baths with showers has been coming from manufacturer AKW for some time now, and saving water is only one of the benefits that the company says showers can offer.
AKW specialises in bathroom and showering products for inclusive living and its advice stands good for any household. Essentially, the company recommends that, when designing a bathroom for anyone with mobility problems, a shower is the best option due to safety and ease of access. Making do with an existing bath is not a long term solution. The alternative of a walk-in shower with level or low-rise access is suitable for anyone, from those who simply have a few problems with balance to wheelchair users. It is also an ideal solution for the whole family, particularly if modern design options such as stylish wet-rooms are considered.
On the water saving front, the differences can be quite dramatic. Company research shows that taking a five-minute shower* as opposed to a bath
full of water saves an average of 110 litres of water each time.). That adds up to an impressive 36,400 litres of saved water based on someone taking a bath or a shower every day. More importantly to consumers is the energy cost savings that can be achieved. Typically, for a flat occupied by two people, the average saving would be £77 a year, rising to £194 a year for a family occupying a four-bedroom home.
So, from the water-saving and cost perspective alone, showers make perfect sense. However, according to AKW there are lifestyle benefits too, so we don’t have to feel as though switching from bath to shower involves any personal sacrifice.
Joanna Marston of AKW says: “Although our primary focus is on creating safe bathroom environments to help people with mobility issues maintain their independence, we are also keen to promote the message of inclusive living to everyone. A thoughtfully adapted bathroom can be a positive home improvement, rather than a compromise – something the whole family can enjoy. “We talk about the concept of a ‘bathroom for life’ and this is based around introducing a shower and shower enclosure. While you are younger and fitter, the speed and convenience of a shower is often better suited to your lifestyle. As you get older and less supple, walking into a shower is more comfortable than climbing into a bath and, with increasing age when you might be more likely to stumble or slip using a bath, the shower is certainly the safer option. Even if you are not yet thinking that far ahead in your lifetime, installing a shower can be both an immediate home improvement and a good investment for the future. And, of course, it will ensure that your household contributes to water savings.”
Water temperature safety also hit the headlines recently with the tragic scalding death of a toddler in theMidlands. People are often unaware of safe water temperatures and AKW’s Luda® once again addresses this situation. With 3 maximum operating temperatures an in-built regulator ensures that the temperature sustains at a safe level. To give an example of the way that AKW carries the principle of inclusive design through to product development is its LUDA® electric shower. Designed to meet BEAB CARE standards, it combines safety and usability features not found in conventional electric showers and as a result has achieved RNIB accreditation for Inclusive Design. However, although it fully meets care needs, there is nothing institutional about the visual appearance of the LUDA®, quite the opposite with its tactile shower control buttons and illuminated displays it is a stylish shower unit that would complement any bathroom design.
Showers are generally agreed to be a more hygienic option and there is nothing more refreshing than a good, hot shower. In design terms, they can be stylish and an enhancement to any bathroom. And with the water savings they offer, as AKW says, they tick all the boxes in the current drought environment and they offer a long-term enhancement to the home.
For more information visit the new website at www.akw-ltd.co.uk
*With an average shower output of 12 litres per minute