Robert Lee has been appointed an official brassware specialist for Ideal Standard and Armitage Shanks, offering customers next working day delivery. All Ideal Standard brassware is available.
Ideal Standard has launched Hotel Clinic, a free service offering bathroom design and product advice for architects. Held at The Bath Room showroom in London, sessions will cover aesthetics to functionality, focusing on the hotel’s needs.
Whirlpool has introduced an integrated washing machine which, according to the company, offers 40% savings in energy, water and time. The AWO/CO7T4 features 6th Sense technology and boasts an A++++AB energy rating. It has a 7kg load capacity and a choice of 18 programmes, includinga 50 minute quick wash and a pause function to soak heavily soiled fabrics.
Ideal Standard has launched Concept Blue brassware, designed by Robin Levien, to save water and energy use. According to the company, the tap holds 80% less water when the valve is closed, so reduces the time taken to heat the water by seven seconds. The calculated saving from a Concept Blue basin mixer is £174 per year with payback within nine months.
According to a report by Reuters, bathroom manufacturers are mulling bids of around €1 billion for the owner of Twyford Bathrooms, Sanitec, put up by private equity group EQT. Although it remains to be confirmed, family-owned Spanish group Roca, Japan`s IS Group Corporation and Turkish Eczacibasi Holding, owner of VitrA which has joined with private equity firm KKR – are all reported to be considering bids.
It is also believed Bain Capital, owner of Ideal Standard and Nordic Capital, may have gone through into the second round of the process, which is being conducted by UBS. This report follows Reuters announcement that EQT had appointed UBS to help sell the Sanitec Group, in December 2011. Sanitec has 19 production plants across Europe, employs around 7200 people, and had net sales of €771 million, according to its website.
EQT private Equity Funds acquired all shares in Sanitec Corporation in 2005 and although lenders assumed 22.5% shares of Sanitec equity in 2009, it remains as main shareholder with 72.5% ownership. EQT bought Sanitec in 2005 from private equity company BC Partners, which also owns German shower and tap manufacturer Grohe. Roca, Ideal Standard and Sanitec declined to comment.
While the UK’s biggest event for sustainable design and construction wielded its might, showcasing products for built environments, there seemed to be little emphasis on water efficiency. Among the1,500 exhibitors spanning sustainable buildings, services and external works, the hottest topic seemed to be renewable energy. Aside from the bigger pictures of flood management and drainage, water efficiency inside a building barely registered.
It could be because Ecobuild is a commercial show, so more attention is paid to the construction ofa building rather than its fittings. lt could also be the hard-hit bathroom industry, which was rather under-represented at kbbBirmingham show, currently finds exhibition costs tough to swallow and recoup. But with much of the UK experiencing drought conditions, and the Environment Agency stating the UK needs six months of non- stop rain to restore reservoir levels, there seemed to be a disconnect with few water- saving products on show. And this was reflected in the seminar programme, with just 1.25 hours dedicated to how to use water efficiently.
However there were bathroom manufacturers flying the flag for water-efficient products, encouraging visitors to question use. Ideal Standard had created a Rodin-style ‘thinking man’ from plastic bottles (to be recycled after the show), which equated to 335 litres or the amount the average UK family consumes each day. Alongside the sculpture was a selection of products including a watersaving bath, low volume flushing WC and ldealrain Pro shower heads that use 8 litres of water per minute. Roca also showed its low volume flushing, rimless WC and tap with aerator reducing water flow to 3.75 litres per minute, while Twyford used its exhibition stand to focus on its low-volume flushing Rimfree WC.
Taking a more commercial angle, Franke showed its Aqua 3000 computer system which governs water for up to 32 infra-red controlled products. And Geberit had on display an infra-red tap with its own water- powered generator Among its products, Thomas Dudley showcased its 1.75 litre flow tap, while Inta unveiled its Verso Eco Tap which offered payback in a year It not only limited water flow with a click-style cartridge but reduced hot water use too, with a progressive valve.
But it wasn’t only bathroom manufacturers showcasing how to use water efficiently. Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool was also showcasing how to use water more efficiently with its Green Generation appliances, including a dishwasher which washes a load using ll litres of water. And it was joined by manufacturers across the kitchen industry showing how they are environmentally friendly. Moores displayed its ReAction kitchen concept, which provides 17 credits for the Code for Sustainable Homes.
The ReAction kitchen furniture features 100% recyclable zinc handles and ABS edging, and the company introduced its Waste Carrier service to take away old kitchen furniture. CR Laurence, supplier of Caeserstone, explained its eco credentials as the Israeli producer is environmentally- minded and its latest quartz worktops – Shitake, Creme Brulee and Cocoa Fudge – are made from 40% recycled material. While Zip showcased its range of instant hot water taps for commercial properties. While Ecobuild is a must-visit for those interested in sustainable building solutions, it surely must try harder for those looking for water-eflicient products.
As we near Spring, the industry show calendar begins to focus on sustainable building, with Ecobuild taking place March 20-22, at the ExCel Centre in London. Ecobuild is an event for sustainable design, construction and the built-environment, which will see over 1,500 exhibitors display their products.
ln addition, there are more than 130 seminars, bathroom taps, live demonstrations and a free conference programme which spans the themes of Design, Architecture and Sustainability; Making Sustainable Construction Happen and Beyond Construction: Achieving a Sustainable Future.
The Conference programme engages in big picture debates, from the role of science and technology through to the psychology of climate change. lt will also focus on more tangible issues of how the UK construction sector needs to change, the role of architects, refurbishing the existing stock and building more houses. And for the first time, RIBA CPD sessions will also be taking place at the show over the three days.
Plus there is a RIBA BITESized auditorium of 15 – minute talks and Q&A sessions and a RIBA village, including bookshop. For designers and architects specifying sustainable bathrooms or kitchens, there are a variety of exhibitors taking part. Armitage Shanks, Ideal Standard, Roca, Geberit, Thomas Dudley, Moores Furniture Group, Wedi Systems and Twyford Bathrooms will be among the bathrooms exhibitors taking part. And they will be joined by the likes of Zip Heaters, Westag & Getalit, Trianco and CaesarStone representing kitchen manufacturers.
Expanding its offer for cloakrooms, Utopia Bathroom Group has introduced 450mm and 500mm units to its Timber and Modular collections. The wall-hung Timber units add to the freestanding range, which previously started with 600mm widths, and come complete with Quantum Square Elegant basins. The Encurva modular range now boasts a 450mm unit with the Quantum Square Elegant cloakroom basin, while the 500mm option is teamed with the Quantum Square basin.
Ideal Standard has added to its Concept collection, with the launch ofa ‘mix and match’ vanity unit. The vanity range includes five basin options, each with a two-drawer furniture unit in a choice of three finishes. In addition, to complement the existing accessory collection, seven new items have been added to the range, including a glass soap dish, tumbler with holden wire soap basket and corner basket.
French furniture manufacturer Ambiance Bain provides TIKI, a reduced-depth basin unit for small bathrooms and ensuites. It is available in 600, 700 and 900mm widths and comes in a choice of 20 front and carcase colours. In addition, there is a range of 17 resin worktop options, with a rounded basin.
Adding to its enclosure offer; Aqata has launched a frameless hinged door with inline panel (SP457) for recesses. The 1950mm high enclosure comes in a choice of 1000, 1100 and 1200mm widths, with the door meeting the inline panel in a continuous span of 8mm glass. Available as left or right-hand models, the enclosure has a 25mm adjustment and can be ordered with optional ClearShield protection, for ease of cleaning.
Chartley has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of John Timson as business development manager. He joins the company from the Masco Group, having previously held sales positions at both Bristan and Moores Furniture Group. Timson’s remit at Chartley is to create further awareness of the range of showers, taps and accessories with retailers, interior designers and architects.
Neff has promoted Richard Gilbert to regional manager of its newly-created Central and West of England sales region. Gilbert has worked as an area business manager for the company for over 10 years and successfully achieved 120% of his target in 2010. Prior to joining Neff he worked for another major group as part of its training and sales teams, as well as in the major electrical retailer sector in his early career.
Re-inforcing its leadership team, Ideal Standard International has appointed Alex de Courcy as its sales director for the UK. He joins the company from 3M Consumer & Retail Markets, where he held the position of sales and marketing director for the UK and Ireland. De Courcy brings with him a wealth of experience within the FMCG industry, previously heading the UK grocery business unit at Twinings, as well as roles at Mars.
SieMatic agent, Sable Interiors has announced the appointment of Martin Brown as senior kitchen designer within its kitchen department. His role at Sable will cover the co- ordination and management of its prestigious kitchen projects. Brown will be responsible for ensuring the highest quality of design, product and customer service is achieved for each and every client. Sable believes the arrival of Rrnum will contribute to its on-going success.
Jason Granville has been appointed as regional sales manager for the South at Reginox UK. In his new role, Granville will be responsible for building on the company’s retail customer base, as well as increasing brand awareness in the South East and Home Counties. He will also be maintaining and developing relationships with existing customers across the region. Granville brings with him extensive industry experience, having previously worked for William Ball and RIBA.
Built-in appliance manufacturer Neff has announced the winners of its third Master Partner Awards, this year held at The Natural History Museum in London. The event, which was hosted by TV celebrity Vernon Kay, saw nine awards presented to Neff dealers, including new categories for the Best Window Display and MasterPartner with the most creative and innovative Marketing Plan, which was awarded a £10,000 bursary.
The winner of the Supreme MasterPartner Award was presented to Kitchen Design Centre of Blackburn, Colne and Manchester, while winner of the Showroom Award was Denmore Kitchen and Bedroom Studio in Aberdeen. The winner of the inaugural Advertising & Marketing Grant Award was Two Guys Kitchens of Basingstoke in Hampshire and the winner of the Best Advertising and Marketing Award is The Kitchen Showroom of Sudbury in Suffolk.
Winners ofthe best kitchen design using Neff for up to £20,000 and over £20,000 were Ebstone Kitchens of Ealing in London and Colliers of Worthing in West Sussex, respectively. The Best Window Display was presented to Kitchen & Bathroom Technique of Wolverhampton, while the winner of Best Newcomer Award was Kitchen Matters of Milton Keynes.
Completing the award-winning line-up was The Kitchen Company of Uxbridge, who scooped the Anniversary Award. In addition, Neff dealers across the UK recently took part in the ‘World’s biggest coffee morning, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. In total, 68 events were organised, raising £14,000.
Ideal Standard conclude sale of Middlewich site:
Ideal Standard International has concluded the sale of its Middlewich production site. The site has been acquired by Ours Sanitary Ware (Imperial Bathrooms) and as part ofthe deal, they will take over the land, building and equipment at the site.
It is not yet known whether the 249 jobs lost, will be restored by Imperial Bathrooms. A spokesperson for Ideal Standard commented: “We didn’t sell the site with employees to guarantee their jobs because at the time conversations were opened with Imperial Bathrooms, it was not clear that this was a credible or feasible option.”
Managing director of Imperial Bathrooms, H.J. Klomp commented: “With the acquisition of manufacturing facility in Middlewich, the Imperial Bathrooms Group have launched their presence in the UK market. Through its subsidiary Ours Sanitary Ware, it will re-start the facility over the next few months, leading to a total of about 150 jobs by May 2012. This deal will restore a manufacturing facility and many employment opportunities in a community that has served this business site for many geneiations.”
Ideal Standard has blamed worsening market conditions and a parallel trend of the demand for fewer ceramic pieces in bathrooms. Since 2008, ldeal Standard has implemented a series of measures including reduced working hours, but it forecasts that ceramic sales in 2012 will not show a return to ‘pre- crisis levels’ in 2012.
Between 2007 and 2010, the construction and renovation market in Europe is said to have dropped by 19% in value and by 16.8% in the UK. The market for sanitary ware in Europe is thought to have decreased by 23% in terms of volume and by 30.7% in the UK between 2007 and 2010. The Development lndustrialisation centre located in Middlewich has relocated to Rugeley, with a small number ofjobs created.
Following 40 years of working with the company, vice president of Western Europe at Ideal Standard, Roger Cooper has retired. At a gathering of UK press, in the Blueprint Café at London’s Design Museum, marketing director Paul Frankish and design director Robin Levien both gave speeches. The speeches illustrated Cooper’s passion and dedication for the bathroom industry, empathy for employees, as well as his drive and steely determination.
Cooper thanked people for coming to the event, saying: “I’m very flattered, very honoured and very humble that so many of you came today” He continued, speaking about standout times at Ideal Standard: “Events that have come to mind, without a doubt, is the Studio launch success and the Space launch when we took everybody out on Concorde. Nobody else can do that now. It was a 100% turnout. All the seats were full” Cooper added: “In the whole of 4l years, there was only perhaps one week when I didn’t feel happy getting up and going to work and that was the week after we’d had a fatal accident in Hull. The other things I’ve had to do that are unpleasant have been the right things to do. You’ve got to draw a dividing line in life that says if I’ve got to close a factory, and it’s the right thing to do, I’ve got to do it in the most humane way possible.
The question is how do you get people into new jobs and build a new future for them?” At the event, Roger Cooper was presented with a gift of Robin Levien-designed tableware.