Hygiene and high tech

The last generation of sanitary installation products is transforming WC areas in semi-public buildings into attractive locations

Be it hotels, catering establishments, doctors’ surgeries, clinics, offices, museums or retail establishments, increasing numbers of companies and facilities see their toilet areas as calling cards, and attach appropriate importance to sophisticated design and high hygienic standards with the aim of boosting their guests’ and customers’ well¬being. With a series of products and technologies, the Japanese complete bathroom outfitter TOTO shows how this can be achieved.


Many people use semi-public toilets only when they absolutely have to, experiencing such WCs as unhygienic or fearing they may catch a disease. And yet the WC area can most certainly serve as the hygienic calling card of a company or a facility, but without appearing to be purely functional and thus clinical. In restaurants or even doctors’ surgeries, an inviting toilet area outfitted with high-grade materials and technologies can serve as an indication of service quality. “A very large number of companies has realised how much the feeling of cleanliness and hygiene is held in high esteem. That, coupled with a sophisticated interior design, is a showcase for every firm, says Hubertus Brüggemann, sales director at TOTO Europe. “Visitors, guests or employees appreciate high hygiene standards such as an absence of physical contact, thus avoiding coming into contact with germs and bacteria.”

This is why, when it comes to outfitting high-grade semi-public WC areas, builder-owners and planners concentrate on several points such as hygienic solutions that help to minimise skin contact, and longevity, robust vandalism-safe materials and surfaces that are easy to keep clean, high-grade design and high comfort and also technologies that are gently on resources. “As a rule, our sanitary installation products for public areas today cover these requirements”, states Brüggemann.


Design and hygiene
The washbasins from TOTO are an example of this combination of properties. They captivate with a clear design devoid of corners and edges that are difficult to clean and they are glazed with CeFiONtect, which results in less adhering dirt. The positive effects: fewer aggressive detergents and lower cleaning costs.


No physical contact and resistance to vandalism
The use of sensor-controlled technologies is a further example. Besides simple handling and convenience, they have a crucial advantage: they make most hand movements superfluous, thus contributing decisively to hygiene. Moreover, the micro-sensors that control the flow of water without physical contact are accommodated in the body of the faucet, and are thus resistant to vandalism. To help save electricity besides water, the Japanese manufacturer integrated further technology in the faucet. That is to say, a small hydroelectric power station converts the energy arising out of the flow of water into electricity. This feeds a rechargeable battery, which also supplies current to the micro-sensor, a closed circuit that does not need any external source of energy. Moreover, a control unit no longer needs to be installed under the washbasin.

 

No-contact hand drying
Also for hand drying, sensors are used for pleasant no-contact operation. When visitors hold their hands from above in TOTO’s Handdry, an efficient stream of air starts automatically, with drying times of just 3–5 seconds. The Handdry features a drip tray for water so that water does not drip from the hands onto the floor. Its energy consumption in comparison with similar products is low.


WASHLETs for enhanced well-being
In the sophisticated ambience of semi-public toilet areas, modern washlets offer an added function to enhance the well-being of guests and visitors by virtue of the fact they are simultaneously designed for cleaning the intimate parts. In Japan, the WASHLETs from TOTO can look back on a tradition spanning over 30 years. And also in Europe, increasing numbers of people appreciate the advantages of this innovation. Its core function is a rod-type nozzle system that supplies warm water for cleaning the intimate parts. This makes possible a completely new quality of hygiene, i.e. the water jet’s temperature, position and intensity can be adjusted quite individually, attuned to the individual user’s quite personal needs. The nozzle then cleans itself automatically after every use.


Further automatic and sensor-controlled functions are integrated in the WCs. Thus, the lids of TOTO’s WCs in the Neorest series open as if by an invisible hand as soon as you approach them. When you sit down, the air cleaner switches on automatically and eliminates unpleasant odours as soon as they arise. This contributes crucially to good room hygiene. And after you leave the WC the flushing feature is activated automatically and the lid closes gently without physical contact.


Hygiene through Tornado flush
Highly efficient flushing features such as TOTO’s Tornado Flush ensure even more hygiene and cleanliness in the WC. Like a tornado, the water whirls at equal pressure into each nook and cranny of the WC basin. This makes cleaning particularly effective. TOTO further boosts hygiene by eliminating edges from the design of its WCs, and so dirt and germs hardly have a chance to hide somewhere. All areas of the WC basin are easily accessible and can be cleaned without problems. Moreover, cleaning is simplified further by a special glazing, so-called CeFiONtect. This glazing, which is produced with the aid of nanotechnology, not only ensures a long-lasting glossy finish, but also an extremely smooth surface. The WCs have also been awarded the German Hygiene Certificate. One further environmental aspect: use of aggressive WC cleaners can be reduced clearly by the glazing, thus reducing cleaning effort and also costs. 


Bottrop, July 2011