Reading time: 6 minutes / Updated: February 8, 2023
A smart washroom system is unique technology that measures the usage of water and energy components in sensor taps, flush plates, hand dryers, etc., monitors various washroom characteristics, and delivers predictive maintenance and fault reporting alerts of these washroom products.
This technology allows business owners and facility managers to analyse granular data collected by the smart washroom system to make informed decisions to improve processes, implement measures to encourage better hygiene practices or use the washroom system to monitor washroom product settings.
As Dolphin Solutions has worked on smart washroom projects (including our own office washrooms), we will explain the benefits of smart washroom technology and the types of washroom products that can integrate with a smart washroom system.
7 benefits of SMART washroom technology
1. Accurate data analysis
With a smart washroom system, gathering, tracking, and analysing data over time can help you measure water and energy usage. The long term monetary value of incorporating a smart washroom system far outweighs the installation cost, and in the long run, you will be saving more money on your utility bills than without it.
So, how do you save money on utility bills? Let’s look at this perfect example: It takes approximately 20 seconds to wash your hands effectively. Now, if the maximum flow time on the smart washroom system for a touch free tap is set to 60 seconds, meaning the user will have 60 seconds’ worth of water coming out of the tap, the smart washroom system stops the water flow at 60 seconds.
Using the BMS or smartphone app, you can adjust and reduce the maximum flow time to 25 seconds, for example, thus saving water, energy, and money off your utility bill, all thanks to the security measure.
By carefully analysing the data, business owners can make informed decisions to cut ongoing water and energy bills using the smart washroom system to adjust these settings.
2. Demonstrate a sustainable washroom
You can demonstrate the sustainability of your commercial washroom in real time by using a smart washroom system that provides water and energy consumption data from each smart enabled washroom fitting. Total water consumption, manual flush duration, total uses, operating hours since implementation, and other statistics are all fed into the digital interface and are displayed in easy graphs and tables to analyse.
This granular data provides concrete verification that you can use and produce a legitimate report to measure and analyse the performance of your commercial washroom. You will be able to find areas that need improvement and, for peace of mind, ensure the water and energy consumption is in line with your sustainability standards.
3. Green Building Certifications
Green building certification bodies like BREEAM, NABERS UK, LEED etc., assess and rate various construction and performance aspects in a commercial building, such as carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, wellbeing and indoor environmental quality.
A smart washroom system helps you to meet many of these green building certification requirements because of the extra measures you have implemented to reduce and conserve our natural resources. You will be able to prove the sustainability of the washroom by submitting the data and showing your efforts in monitoring and improving water and energy consumption.
You can also receive an internationally recognised SmartScore certification through a smart building rating system. Companies like WiredScore implement, assess, improve, and benchmark digital connectivity for smart buildings, and by implementing a smart washroom system, you better the opportunity to receive a SMARTScore certificate.
4. Fault reporting alarms
A smart washroom system can detect faults in real time and alert you with information about the issue, such as which fitting is affected (for example, a sensor tap), the severity, the status, and a message about the fault detail. There are also alarms when soap dispensers and paper towels run out, prompting you to refill the consumables.
5. Predictive Maintenance
Analysing the data fed into the smart washroom system means you can see how many uses a sensor tap has gone through. Why would you want to do this? Because it will allow you to predict when to change the solenoid before it is due to fail, keeping customers happy that their washroom is in constant working order.
6. Predictive cleaning
Learn to use your resources correctly by analysing the data from the smart washroom system to see how often people use a washroom. With a hybrid working model introduced into most businesses, buildings are not necessarily fully occupied during the week or weekend. It does not make sense to send cleaners into all washrooms every day when some areas have not been used therefore you can strategically allocate their time to other cleaning services elsewhere in the building.
7. Employee wellbeing and wellness
A smart washroom is an environment that meets people’s needs and protects their health and wellbeing. For example, touch free washroom products, such as sensor taps and touch free soap dispensers, encourage people to use the handwashing facilities due to the attractive no-touch features. Removing touchpoints also results in a more hygienic and convenient washroom experience.
Attracting and retaining top talent is another benefit of including a smart washroom system because today’s candidates, especially millennials, will look at the features and facilities of their potential work environment rather than just focusing on the job offer. Knowing your building implements measures to conserve water and be energy efficient is an attractive highlight for future employees.
Which washroom products and features can SMART technology measure?
The following water and energy components with integrated washroom technology can be measured by a smart washroom system which will enable you to make informed decisions about the areas that require adjusting:
|Component||What to do after analysing the data|
|Touch free taps||Measure the maximum flow time and adjust the shut-off delay to reduce water wastage and reduce the energy it takes to heat the water.|
|Toilets||Inspecting the flush time on the BMS dashboard may compel you to change the manual flush duration.|
|Automatic WC flush plates||Reduce the flush volume for a single and dual flush.|
|High speed, low energy automatic hand dryers||Adjust the heating element so that less energy is used to heat the air.|
|Touch free soap dispensers||Reduce the soap delivery time, thus reducing soap consumption and energy.|
|Hygiene flushes||Set a timed hygiene flush and cleaning mode duration when the building is unoccupied for long periods and avoid the risk of legionella contamination.|
Are SMART washroom solutions value for money?
What you measure you can manage, and what you manage you can improve.
Yes! Integrating a smart washroom system for sensor taps, touch free soap dispensers, smart toilets, automatic hand dryers, automatic flush plates, etc. will help you make informed decisions to save money on your water and energy bills and conserve our natural resources.
A smart washroom system also helps you on your journey to achieve the high standards of green building assessment bodies such as BREEAM, NABERS UK, LEED etc., and it is a selling point to attract and retain top talent. By going ‘SMART’, you are joining the movement towards a more sustainable future and demonstrating that sustainability with solid data evidence using a smart washroom system.
Getting value for money is an understatement with a smart washroom system. The benefits create a long lasting positive ripple effect that affects much more than merely incorporating the latest technological advancements in your project to stay up to speed with the modern world. We can safely say that implementing a smart washroom system is an investment you will never regret.