Design on tap

Sustainability is a word heard a lot these days. It seems just about everyone has developed an environmental conscience.

COMMENT, Design

Sustainability is a word heard a lot these days. It seems just about everyone has developed an environmental conscience and this is manifesting itself as people recycle, refrain from building furniture out of rainforests and try to use less energy.

Rather too far down the list, especially given the climate of the region, is the conservative use of water. Millions of gallons go down the drain unnecessarily thanks to leaks, inefficiency and some wasteful habits.

However, tap technology may be at hand to save us from ourselves. Taps that turn themselves on and off may sound like a luxury, but offer some tangible benefits when it comes to water consumption. If the water only runs when your hands are under the tap, a lot less of it will get used. Makes sense really.

Where education may work in the home environment, the public one requires tighter controls. Automated taps may be the answer to saving those wasted gallons. Other measures have proved effective too.

Earlier this year Tecom finished the first phase of its water conservation programme, which was aimed at halving water consumption in three of its developments in Dubai.

By fitting water restrictors to more than 1000 wash basins in the Internet and Media cities, as well as Knowledge Village, the company is aiming to cut annual potable water consumption by about 21 million gallons. Not bad for adding a widget.

Taps that last longer, offer greater levels of control, or simply use less water could all make a difference. It is up to designers to work closely with the manufacturing community to make sure suitable products are readily available and specified wherever possible.

Stuart Matthews is the Senior Group Editor of ITP Publishing's business magazines.

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