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As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, we must do all we can to reduce our carbon emissions and make smarter choices about the products we purchase.

The idea of creating an eco-friendly washroom is something we talk about with all our clients. Washrooms use a lot of water and energy, so it is important for architects to make thoughtful decisions when choosing washroom products and solutions for their washroom designs.

In this article, we will explore some of the most popular ways to design an eco-friendly washroom that is good for the environment and sustainable, ensuring a harmonious blend of functionality and eco-consciousness.

11 Sustainable design ideas

SMART sensor taps flow rates being assessed by running water

1. BREEAM, NABERS UK, and LEED Assessment

Following BREEAM, NABERS UK, and LEED assessment standards when planning a commercial design puts architects on the right path to creating an eco-friendly washroom.

In each assessment method, green building rating systems look at things like a building’s impact on the environment, how much water it uses, how efficiently it uses energy, and the wellbeing it provides.

Therefore, familiarising yourself with green building standards, such as BREEAM flow rates and flush volumes in taps and toilets, and choosing products that comply with these standards, is an effective initial step toward achieving an eco-friendly washroom.

Commercial washroom incorporated with SMART technology

2. Sustainable Design Technologies

By incorporating SMART washroom technology, you can create an eco-friendly washroom while also gaining valuable insights into its performance.

By tracking water and energy usage in each smart enabled washroom fixture, along with features like fault reporting, predictive maintenance, cleaning, and refill alerts, a SMART washroom system offers real time insight into the washroom’s operations.

This enables you to make informed decisions to adjust settings, flow rates, and flush volumes to meet sustainability goals.

Three eco-friendly low energy hand dryers in a public washroom

3. Sustainable washroom products

Choosing eco-friendly washroom products is one of the easy ways to be more sustainable.

These products include:

  • Sensor taps because they conserve as much as 70% of water compared to manual taps, which in turn translates to a 70% reduction in energy consumption, given the decreased volume of water requiring heating.
  • Low volume dual flush plates are effective in conserving water within toilet facilities and prove to be the most eco friendly toilet solution.
  • High speed, low energy hand dryers contribute to energy conservation by swiftly reducing drying time, subsequently diminishing the need for prolonged heating.

Talk to us about your sustainable washroom product needs.

Foam soap refill cartridge installed in a multifeed dispenser

4. Foaming Soap

Choosing foam soap offers sustainable advantages such as reduced water consumption by up to 15% due to its water based content and lathering properties.

Foam soap has a lightweight texture that spreads effectively on users’ hands, leading to efficient cleansing. Compared to liquid soap, foam soap requires less time for handwashing and less water for rinsing, making the process more efficient overall.

Wall plate kit

5. Wall plate kit

A wall plate kit offers a sustainable edge to washroom functionality, impacting a tap and soap dispenser’s life cycle analysis.

This circular economy approach allows easy removal, refurbishment, and reinstallation of taps and soap dispensers, reducing waste and costs.

By choosing a wall plate system, you are supporting the future for an eco-friendly washroom.

LED lighting around a behind mirror system

6. LED lighting in behind mirror systems

LED lighting in behind mirror systems contributes to a an eco-friendly washroom because it is energy efficient, consuming less electricity compared to traditional lighting.

This helps reduce energy consumption, lower electricity bills, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, thereby supporting environmental preservation and long term sustainability.

SMART sensor tap that controls water supply duration

7. Sensor taps timeout feature

A sensor tap timeout feature significantly contributes to an eco-friendly washroom. This feature grants you control over water supply duration, effectively reducing water waste and promoting water conservation.

By regulating the water flow duration from the tap, you limit the time available for handwashing.

This control over water flow duration also translates to energy savings, irrespective of whether the sensor tap is battery powered or connected to the mains.

Washroom sensor tap and waste trap equipped with time water flushing

8. Timed hygiene flush

The timed hygiene flush is a valuable asset in creating an eco-friendly washroom When buildings remain unoccupied for extended periods, instead of requiring facility teams to manually flush water components in all the washrooms, the timed hygiene flush operates automatically at specific intervals.

This eliminates the need for manual intervention, ensuring a controlled and timed approach to water flushing, and preventing waste traps from drying up and Legionella from contaminating the water.

WC pan with a delayed action inlet valve in the cistern

9. Delayed action inlet valve

A cistern equipped with a delayed action inlet valve plays a significant role in promoting an eco-friendly washroom.

A delayed action inlet valve conserves water through its operational design. Unlike traditional float valves that open the water supply immediately during flushing, a delayed inlet valve keeps the water supply closed while the cistern empties after a flush. It only opens when the tank is empty and the outlet valve has closed, effectively postponing the water filling process.

This delay prevents the unnecessary introduction of fresh water into the cistern while it is still draining, reducing the overall water consumption per flush.

As a result, the delayed inlet valve significantly reduces water wastage and contributes to water conservation in the washroom.

Speak to a washroom consultant for a demonstration of how a delayed action inlet valve functions.

Light green sustainable coatings on washroom tap, soap dispenser, paper towel dispenser, mirror, and waste bin

10. Sustainable coatings

When selecting the most sustainable coating among PPC, Ceramic, and PVD for washroom products, there are at least three factors to consider in determining the optimal choice.

  • Environmental Impact / Material Selection
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Durability and Longevity

Picking the most eco-friendly coating among these options boils down to considering what you need, how durable it is, and thinking about the whole process, like where the materials come from, how waste is handled, how much energy is used to apply the coating, and if washroom products with these coatings can be recycled.

Showroom of a washroom company that provides environmentally friendly washroom products

11. Washroom companies

An eco-friendly washroom is not just about what’s inside – the washroom company providing the products matters too.

When you check how environmentally friendly the washroom company is, you see what efforts they are making to reduce carbon emissions and whether they are monitoring, implementing, and improving on their approach to cradle-to-grave, cradle-to-cradle and lifecycle emissions in order to produce eco-friendly products.

This evaluation helps you in determining their alignment with your sustainability goals.

It’s important for washroom companies to offer architects products that are made sustainably and demonstrate a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality as part of the journey to Net Zero.

In light of this, it is essential to consider the following factors before choosing a washroom supplier:

  • Sustainability credentials
  • ISO accreditation
  • Environmental and Social Governance
  • Environmental Product Declarations
  • Washroom products manufactured in the UK which reduce embodied carbon
A commercial washroom designed with SMART technology and sustainable solutions such as sensor taps and foaming soap

Create sustainable value in your washroom

Architects play a crucial role in designing an eco-friendly washroom, guided by public toilet design standards such as BREEAM, NABERS UK, and LEED.

Integrating SMART technology and sustainable washroom solutions such as sensor taps and foaming soap not only reduces water and energy usage but also, through collaboration with environmentally conscious washroom companies, further solidifies the path toward achieving carbon neutral and Net Zero goals.

By incorporating these proactive washroom solutions, architects lead the way towards an eco-friendly future, benefitting the present while safeguarding the planet for generations to come.