Dubai, UAE - 12, April 2021: Following the success of the first edition of the GROHE Design Series eEvent, GROHE hosted its second Design Series module of this year with a focus on Residential trends, mainly the redefinition of living spaces in the wake of the pandemic as well as the shift being witnessed towards more sustainable and green spaces. The live discussion took place between LIXIL EMENA Leaders, Renu Misra, Leader MENA, Karl Lennon, Leader Projects Channel - A&D, Emanuela Tavolini Leader Projects Channel – Residential and guest speaker Laura Bielecki, Group Design Director, Ellington Properties. The event was moderated by Yeliz Olcay, Leader Architecture and Design MENA, LIXIL EMENA and attended by leading architects, interior designers, and members of the media who got the chance to exchange and interact with the speakers.
Reinventing Living Spaces in The Wake of The Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to spend more time at home than ever before. Many have had to start working from home, running their small businesses from home, homeschooling their kids, working out from home and much more. This has called for a reinvention of living spaces to cater to these new needs and requirements, pushing people to repurpose certain areas of their homes into offices, classrooms, spas and training areas. This has led to the fact that, from now on, homes will be more than just a living place, and this shows how the health and wellbeing mega trend has been consistently evolving, together with individualization and sustainability.
“Residential buildings are crucial for the health of the population, as they determine social well-being. Unintentionally, our homes were tested for flexibility and adaptability. By having to spend more time at home, consumers started to invest more in upgrading their living space and bathrooms, their individual spa. We know that people started doing many minor and major changes on their residential areas. We witnessed increased interest in all our categories and across all channels, from e-commerce where we see accelerated growth to DIY and retail, as well as residential projects where design and colors together with sustainability play a key role. Touchless products such as faucets and sensor flushes saw increased demand, even in residences for powder rooms. Mid to high range products also picked up and our ESMA approved products continue to support our customers to meet UAE sustainability requirements for new projects” said Renu Misra, Leader MENA, LIXIL EMENA.
Based on these new consumer demands GROHE is also integrating technology, connectivity and smart appliances in its current residential projects to help enhance hygiene standards and create a comfortable and safe zone for consumers within their homes. “In the past five years we have seen much technology integrated into our homes, whether it’s Nest, Ring or Alexa, and the way we live in our spaces has certainly moved towards Smart Living. Of course, this too is something that we at GROHE consider in our approach for Product Development: technology is one of our four key brand values. For instance, when it comes to the bathroom, we have our Sensia Arena Shower Toilet. It is a connected device and user preferences can be set through a mobile app. Further to this there are many comfort features that use technology to enhance the consumer experience. The unit uses Plasma Cluster Technology to omit positive and negative ions that kill airborne bacteria on contact, making the bathroom a safe zone when it comes to Hygiene” added Karl Lennon, Leader Projects Channel - A&D, LIXIL EMENA.
Reinventing Living Spaces Sustainably
Water is an essential resource for healthy households during pandemics and keeping its use sustainable is vital for humanity. Lockdowns have resulted in increased water consumption in residential buildings. This is linked to the increased amount of time people spend at home during the quarantine. Campaigns promoting washing hands frequently have also added up to increased water use, as it is strongly recommended to wash hands for 40–60 seconds to sanitize from the virus. It is estimated that these recommendations increased water consumption by up to 20%. Furthermore, for improved disinfection, many people clean their homes and do laundry more frequently. Thus, it is vital to lessen the chances of water scarcity and to sustain resilient water systems. In the second session of the webinar, the speakers tackled the subject of how not only consumers are reinventing their homes, but they are doing so sustainably by seeking to acquire and install more sustainable and green products for their homes. In parallel, the speakers also addressed the role that a brand like GROHE plays in making these sustainable solutions available to consumers while following sustainable production standards and limiting carbon emissions.
“Current environmental topics increase our responsibility as a manufacturer and trendsetter for Residential applications. To this respect GROHE, as the winner of the prestigious German CSR sustainability award, is committed to a production process that meets the highest sustainable standards. We also just received the Cradle to Cradle Gold certificate for our Eurosmart and BauEdge lines, which represents a unique benchmark certification for safer and more sustainable products made for the circular economy. The two certified lines are especially conceived for residential projects to meet current budget needs as well as the search for sustainable solutions” said Emanuela Tavolini, Leader Projects Channel – Residential, LIXIL EMENA.
Guest speaker, Laura Bielecki, Group Design Director, Ellington Properties added that “sustainability and eco-efficiency are becoming very important in residential design and they thrive when they assist the daily habits and needs of the consumer. There are various adaptations and product groups that come into picture here:
• Water purification at the source takes away the need for bottles or free-standing dispensers, saving space and allowing for an aesthetic solution.
• Rim-free and shower toilets reduce the need for heavy cleaning chemicals, they also avoid the need for paper and don’t take up valuable floorspace that a bidet otherwise would and are less messy than the standard trigger spray (shattaf).
• Water saving toilets, taps and showers automatically provide savings without notice to the end user.
• Food waste disposers have been popular for years in North America, keeping food waste from landfills and assisting with daily cleanup and we are seeing a rise in demand in the MENA region as well for such long life and timeless design sanitaryware products that avoid the need for replacement”.
Striving for the highest levels of sustainability is an integral and essential part of GROHE’s DNA and, in addition to quality, technology and design, the brand’s core value. GROHE consistently pursues a 360-degree sustainability approach that incorporates defined areas of activity of employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and social responsibility in equal measure. When it comes to products and processes, GROHE offers a wide range of sustainable solutions that fit in perfectly in home bathrooms and kitchens.
The event ended with Q&A session that allowed attendees to address the speakers directly leading to further conversation around the topic of reinventing living spaces and how the experts see a brand like GROHE making this reinvention a reality for the consumer, while placing sustainability and eco-efficiency at the forefront.