Following our participation in RIBA’s Home of 2030 Competition, last year and our continued research into sustainable technologies that can be applied to our projects, below are a few examples from our expanding library that you may not have come across and that we hope will give you something to contemplate.
Halcyan Water Conditioner
If you live in a hard water area and find yourself battling against limescale in your kettle, bathroom or around the kitchen sink, pause before you head for the salt blocks to soften your water. Hard water can be considered healthier than soft due to the natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium it collects on its journey through the earth. But how do we keep the limescale away without passing it through sodium? We explored some alternatives and found The Halcyan Water Conditioner. This simple device uses no salt, chemicals, electricity or magnets, but is formed of alloys that create turbulence which changes the calcium carbonates ability to cling to surfaces. Being entirely passive, not altering water in any way, retaining its mineral goodness, being maintenance-free and providing a 30-year warranty, it’s worth giving some consideration.
In the UK, the average person consumes around 50 litres of water when taking a shower. That equates to about 18,000 litres per annum. Saving water reduces energy consumption, energy production emissions and the use of chemicals for water treatments. As designers and specifiers, we are in a great position to take responsibility for promoting sustainable living. Dubbed “the Tesla of showers” by Forbes, the Orbital Shower uses a closed-loop system to save up to 90% of water and 80% of energy when using its shower system. Rather than leaving shower water to drain away, each drop is filtered and purified through a UV light before being comfort corrected to the ideal temperature and recirculated. The installation process is simple and requires a filter change bi-annually. The initial outlay isn’t light, but Orbital systems suggest an average family of five would see a return on investment in 3.5 years. There is a limited design choice, but its Scandinavian aesthetic is easy on the eye.
Airlite Paint Technology
As the global pandemic continues to linger whilst we seek solutions to move beyond it, a simple technology looking to eliminate viruses, bacteria and bad air is Airlite. With many homes and offices across the globe undergoing a refresh for home working or getting back to the office, Airlite in the current climate gives paint more of a purpose. It’s an entirely mineral paint product that purifies the air and eliminates odours by neutralising pollutants and harmful chemicals whilst naturally sanitising surfaces. Its carbon footprint can be up to three quarters less than traditional paints and comprises 40% natural materials produced with 100% renewable energy sources.
With the UK looking to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, there are various means through which we can all contribute to the mission to reduce our carbon footprint. In our submission for the RIBA’s Home of 2030 competition, we proposed a space within each home for storing energy. Powervault, designed and manufactured in the UK, does precisely this. Their sustainable energy storage system keeps solar energy and affordable off-peak electricity from the grid using their lithium-ion battery technology to save you energy and reduce your bills. It typically takes an approved installer about 3 hours to install in a home and must be mounted in a well-ventilated space such as a utility room or garage.