The new Geberit tap system changes the thinking behind touchless technology in the washroom, with slimline elegant deck and wall-mounted taps that combine aesthetic appeal with optimum hygiene and clever thinking.
Electronic washbasin taps are the hygienic, water-saving option for washrooms, and now they are as big on aesthetic values as they are on practical advantages, thanks to the new Geberit tap system. Making installation straightforward and creating a clean, minimal finish, all the fixings are neatly behind the wall with a Geberit Duofix installation frame. This means that all the key components, including the robust mounting plate for the wall-mounted tap, function box, washbasin fastening and the drain, are height-adjustable, with the installation frames easy to adapt to suit virtually any installation.
The Geberit tap system works in perfect conjunction with the Geberit Duofix installation frames. All you see in front of the wall are the essential functional elements – the tap and the IR sensor. All of the controls are completely separate and housed in a clever function box in the installation frame, where they are easy to access yet well protected against moisture and manipulation.
Separating the outlet from the control provides more flexibility to create elegant designs for touchless taps, which now take on a slim, timeless and elegant form. Designed by renowned industrial designer, Christoph Behling, both Piave and Brenta are available as wall-mounted or deck-mounted options and can be combined with practically any washbasin design. The wall-mounted taps are supplied in lengths of 170mm or 220mm and leave the washbasin free for ease of cleaning, while the deck-mounted option has a high outlet, giving the user more space for hand washing.
With three power supply options which can be changed at any time – mains, battery or self-sustaining via a generator unit driven by the presser of the tap water – operation costs are minimised, while all the components for regulating and maintaining the tap, water supply and mains connections are housed in the function box under the washbasin, where they stay safe and dry.
Remedying the general shortcomings of touchless taps in one smart solution, the Geberit tap system results in sophisticated ergonomics for hand washing, optimised hygiene and ease of cleaning and outstanding aesthetics for washroom design.
With so many rules and regulations surrounding the practicalities of washroom design in educational settings, Daniel Ward, Senior Ceramics Product Manager for Twyford, talks us through the dos and don’ts of sanitary specification for the school environment.
Specifying products for washrooms within the education sector may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure not only that regulations are met, but that the space is well designed, comfortable and practical.
Lack of privacy, vandalism and inadequate cleaning and maintenance can make a visit to the toilet an unpleasant and unhealthy experience for students. In fact, recent research undertaken by charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) highlighted that the quality of school toilets has a huge impact on pupils’ health, education and happiness. Therefore the design of washrooms in education premises needs to be about a lot more than simply providing enough toilets and washbasins.
Laying out the order
The overall layout of school washrooms is a good place to start. As well as adhering to regulations regarding wheelchair accessible cubicles, all standard cubicles must have a minimum 450mm-diameter manoeuvring space that is clear of the door swing. And of course, when you are designing spaces for growing children, the sizes and fixing heights of sanitaryware must be suitable for the relevant user age groups too. Short projection WCs offer a good solution here, creating the necessary space while still ensuring user comfort. Wall-mounting the pan with a suitable framing system will enable the height of the WC to be easily adjusted during installation, to better meet the needs of the user.
Aside from layout, hygiene in this environment is extremely important too, with ease of cleaning being key to students’ health and wellbeing. So much so that the Department for Education offers guidance on the issue, stating that to avoid build-up of dirt and germs, the toilets in schools should be wall-hung or back to wall.. This also offers a solution with regards to ensuring plumbing work is tamper-proof, a particular point of note when specifying for colleges and universities which serve older children and young adults. The cistern and pipework concealed within the framing system, preventing interference, while being easy to access for maintenance purposes. A dual-flush cistern sitting neatly behind the wall will also help to significantly reduce the amount of water used, while not affecting overall flushing performance. This is particularly important in educational establishments, which are high-traffic areas with the potential for toilets to be flushed literally hundreds of times in any one day.
It is also worth noting that in schools, particularly where younger users are present, the recommendation is also to avoid urinals, but where they are specified to opt for individual bowls rather than a trough, with modestly panels for privacy.
Water-saving pays off
The washbasins in school washrooms should also be subject to a number of practical considerations. Of course, ease of cleaning for hygiene reasons remains imperative, making ceramics that are coated with an easy to clean glaze a particular benefit, while the choice of brassware is also important. Not only should mixer taps for washbasins be robust and tamper-proof, ideally they should be fitted with an automatic shut-off too, either through a built-in timed delivery feature or infra-red sensors.
Energy and water are a major proportion of non-staff costs in schools, colleges and universities and a major part of their environmental impact. While some schools will have greater scope for savings than others, overall more than 20% of energy is wasted, and a school that is equipped with water conservation devices, such as taps with automatic shut-offs or flow restrictors, plus dual-flush WCS, typically use less than half the amount of water used in schools where such features are not present.
Keeping maintenance levels as low as possible is an important requirement in school buildings, where downtime in washrooms can be at best inconvenient for staff and students. This makes the specification of quality sanitary fittings that will be hard-wearing and durable, of particular significance. To limit the frequency of replacing such fixtures and fittings, their life expectancy should be around 15-20 years, with a manufacturer’s guarantee providing the best scope for this.
There are undoubtedly a lot of things to consider when designing washrooms for educational establishments, with all elements really carrying an equal weight of importance. The trick to ticking all of them off and achieving a successful design is to establish a strong relationship with a manufacturer who is able to respond to all aspects of a washroom’s design, from layouts and dimensions to styles and materials as standard, so that there is never any need to compromise.
Wallgate Limited, a market leading specialist in the design and manufacture of robust washrooms and sanitaryware solutions, has appointed Australia’s leading commercial tapware designer and supplier, Galvin Engineering, as its sole Australasian distributor.
The addition of the Wallgate brand provides Galvin with increased access into a number of Australasian markets including commercial, secure, and healthcare as well as mental health and custodial environments. It also reinforces Galvin’s purpose of working closely with leading designers and contractors to help them build world facilities for better health and safer communities.
Already established across these various markets as a tapware supplier, Galvin will now be able to offer a comprehensive package of highly innovative and suitable washroom equipment by having access to Wallgates range of sanitaryware and electronic water management systems.
Galvin Engineering has a team of over 80 people based in offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane that design and supply specialised taps and fixtures to commercial health and correctional building projects. Sector expert Marco Bevilacqua will lead a new specialist team that will concentrate solely on the secure market out of the Melbourne office.
As part of the new arrangement, Wallgate will be distributing Galvin’s healthcare range in the UK and wider global markets. Specifically, the company will be responsible for supporting the GalvinCare, anti-ligature tapware and fixtures range (www.galvincare.com).
Marco Bevilacqua comments:
“This is a very exciting time for us – these appointments broaden reach and underline our ambition and focus to meet customers’ needs on a global scale. We are proud to distribute Wallgate’s robust, innovative washroom and sanitaryware range in our markets.”
This appointment serves to reinforce Wallgate’s commitment to the region and provide its Australasian customers with an enhanced service, both technically and commercially.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Galvin as a new distributor for our product range in the Australasian market. They bring a track record of delivering high quality products and have a proven reputation for markets that are key to us.
Expansion and innovation are key messages that we share with Galvin. This is already proven through Galvin working closely with us and our North American distributor, Intersan to develop and drive new initiatives in the North American behavioural health market which includes Mexico, Canada and the USA.”
For further details on each company, contact information and latest product releases for both Wallgate and Galvin please visit the respective websites: