Whether in water taxed California or north of the border in greater Toronto, using water responsibly is foremost in the minds of the design community. Two designers weigh in on their thoughts and concerns about specifying plumbing products for the rooms that are the largest users of this precious resource – kitchens and baths.
Regina Sturrock of Regina Sturrock Design in Burlington, Canada notes that “Water challenges in the States affect the Canadian market as well. In particular, California’s near four year drought has had an impact on our economy since we import over 3 billion dollars in fresh produce from the state annually. Beyond this and the exponential consequences in California, the world is using up its most valuable resource faster than it can be replenished. I believe designers and specifiers play a significant role not only in influencing the choices of their clients for a well-designed and healthy home, but in moving the market in a greener direction. We have a most certain responsibility to select beyond what may best suit our clients’ environments aesthetically. It means education and research to insure we are making the right choices and that we’re doing our part in preserving the world’s environment. I always urge the designers in my firm to source quality products and live up to their sustainability claims. We look for showerheads and faucets that offer low flow rates - meeting the GPM standards - and those that carry the EPA WaterSense label that provide strong flows while conserving water. With multiple showerhead systems, we look for products that offer conservation or adjustable settings. We also look at water filtration systems that offer quality drinking water thus eliminating the need for bottled water.”
Stacy Garcia, kitchen and bath designer and co-owner of Garcia Cabinetmakers in Long Beach, California says, “With mandatory cuts in water use and new water appliance guidelines that took place in January 2015 here, in California, we need plumbing fixtures to aggressively perform more than ever before. The new California rules limiting faucet water flow rates are the most stringent in the country.
Water saving shower heads are in high demand but our clients also want a luxurious showering experience. This is a challenge! Coupled with our normal project design considerations, designers need to be confident that the decorative plumbing industry is on top of the details. I count on companies like ROHL to meet these high standards with quality products. This is a time when trusting partnerships are invaluable.”