From a young age, we have been encouraged to wash our hands after using the loo, before food prep and in many other activities to eliminate germs. We live in a generation where hand washing is paramount and touch-free products are most desirable. In any semi-public or public space, such as places of work, leisure facilities, schools, transport hubs, holiday parks, football stadiums or restaurants, one of the main factors to consider is hygiene and water consumption. Choosing the correct products for your facility can take your building from an environmental and hygienic nightmare to a sustainable, safe, sparkling establishment. Although the washroom is not at the forefront of any building, it can often leave a lasting impression.
Hands spread 80% of common infections, so good hand hygiene is vital when you're out and about. However, with many surfaces in a washroom, is washing your hands enough to decrease the spread of germs? As we move into a hygienic era, it is essential to consider touch-free solutions throughout the washroom to help prevent the spread of infection.
Of course, we know any tap and soap is effective when washing hands, but before hand washing, you may already be carrying germs on your hand from touching door handles, toilet seats or flush plates. Traditional taps are often designed with levers or handles. Before you even start washing your hands, you could contaminate the faucet when you activate it. Not only can touch taps harbour germs, but they can often be left running whilst soaping hands which can unnecessarily waste a lot of water.
Water conservation is essential when designing "green buildings" with only 1% of water readily available to us. The average flow rate of a traditional tap is between 4-6 litres per minute; however, modern touchless tap can have a flow rate of as little as 1.5 litres per minute over a year in high-usage washrooms. This could save thousands not only in costs but also litres of water. So, whilst many traditional taps still serve their purpose by allowing us to clean our hands, they are not the most hygienic or sustainable solution for a modern-day washroom.
Touch-free and sensor taps
Since the pandemic, we have become hyperaware of how important washing hands is. Touch-free sensor taps promote excellent hygiene and great water and cost-saving benefits.
The hygiene aspect of sensors and touchless taps is also essential when specifying new builds or simply renovating a washroom. We know by now that most germs are spread through hand contact, so washing your hands correctly after using the toilet and providing a touch-free solution in the washroom can help decrease the spread of germs.
A general concern with touchless taps is that they may increase a building's energy usage as they require either battery or mains operation. Sensor taps with a pre-set temperature use less energy as the temperature is constant. And less water is used, and therefore less water is heated, making them more energy efficient. Many sensor taps stop flowing once hands are removed from under the tap and can save copious amounts of water whilst a user is lathering their hands with soap.
Traditional taps do not use energy to operate, but they can be highly inefficient regarding water consumption and heating. Traditional taps don't tend to have pre-set temperatures, so users can alternate between hot and cold, potentially wasting energy and water.
So, whilst touch-free electronic and sensor taps require an energy source, their water consumption rate and pre-set temperature factors can make them a much greater option for lifetime usage and efficiency within a building.
At KWC DVS we have designed a range of touch-free products to provide a complete hygienic solution. The range includes soap dispensers, electronic paper towel dispensers and hand dryers for washrooms, and hand sanitiser stations which can help eliminate cross-contamination inside and outside the washroom. The stations can be placed almost anywhere in a building to help stop the spread of germs, whether at the entrance of a workplace, school, leisure facility or retail store.
The requirement for green and hygienic buildings has never been higher, so if you're specifying a project and are still determining which products to choose, it's important to consider water and energy savings and hygiene aspects. As the demand for hygienic products rises, so will the user's expectations. Ensure that your facility provides the highest quality products with touchless taps, soap dispensers, hand dryers and more.
To find out more about our touch-free solutions, visit our product explorer or get in contact with a member of our team who will be able to advise you.