Smart Washroom Technology – a truly scalable solution
The beauty of the technology really does lie in the scalability it affords
Smart buildings dominate the skyline of the UAE. As very early adopters of Smart technology, thanks to the innovative vision of our country’s leaders, we live in cities populated with buildings that are truly at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, and the way we do things is getting better all the time.
With the addition of technology that can relay data on just about anything in real-time, from water usage to building occupancy, companies are able to improve efficiencies, reduce their environmental impact AND save money.
But within Smart buildings, one place that is often overlooked is the washroom. While companies are already benefitting from the obvious electrical cost savings that smart A/C and lighting systems can offer, the bathrooms tend to be left behind. This may be down to the misconception that the addition of Smart systems within a washroom would involve enormous cost.
However, the beauty of Smart Washroom technology lies is in its scalability. What does that mean? Well, it means that the amount of new technology that a customer installs can be as much, or as little, as they like. It can begin with something as simple as monitoring footfall in a restroom to ascertain the busy times of the day, ensuring cleaning staff are available in the right place at the right time. Then at a later date the washroom can be upgraded step by step, to a completely sensor-driven space, all of which is fully integrated with a workforce management app which sends alerts and alarms to cleaning staff in real time. And because installation doesn’t require an entire re-fit, each addition can be done as a stand-alone upgrade, at minimal cost.
David King, Managing Director of VERTECO, the company behind Smart Washroom technology explains, “The addition of Smart technology can revolutionize the way washrooms operate and can offer significant environmental, hygiene and financial savings. But there is often an assumption that this is only applicable for new buildings or will require the installation of an entire Smart system. This isn’t the case at all. Each of our smart washroom solutions can be added alone, or as part of a bigger system, allowing the customer to decide exactly which areas of the washroom they wish to upgrade, and when. Our solutions can easily be added onto, or integrated into, existing washroom infrastructure, at a minimal cost. A customer can make as much, or as little, of their washroom Smart as they like – and they can easily scale-up in the future.”
Converting to a Smart restroom
Companies looking to covert standard facilities into Smart ones can do so by simply adding products onto existing systems, on a very small scale, which provide real-time data to management and facilities teams. Thanks to the adaptability of the retro-fit technology, when assessing commercial, environmental and operational savings, the product cost is minimal.
Scalable Examples of Smart Washroom technology
The addition of sensors to a standard washroom is an example of a truly scalable offering. For example, customers may begin with sensor technology on their consumables; retro-fit sensors on soap dispensers, hand towels dispensers, and waste bins all allow teams to ensure consumable levels never run low and that bins are emptied when needed. The real-time data produced translates to better inventory control and scheduling and as a result, customer satisfaction with a washroom is improved.
A customer can then, when time and budget allow, add more technology to further expand efficiencies. They may choose to add sensors that monitor occupancy; this can begin with fitting sensors to a restroom entrance to gather information about the number of users at any given time, to help inform cleaning and maintenance teams. Additional models can then be added to take it to the next level; a retro-fit ceiling lighting system, above each cubicle, can monitor occupancy within each stall, and through the use of a simple traffic light system, and in response to the information received from the sensors, guide people only to free cubicles. This can help manage people flow within a facility and ensure social distancing is maintained. Information can then also feedback to a Smart Washroom dashboard, and alert maintenance and cleaning teams to exactly which toilets are being used the most.
Air sensors are another example of a cost-effective, retro-fit product aimed at improving customer experience. Providing quality air is essential to maintain levels of airborne bacteria and removing unpleasant odors. Temperature, ammonia levels, humidity and CO2 all play important roles in improving user experience, and all too often, a building’s existing HVAC infrastructure can’t cope with demand. Through the installation of a simple air quality sensor, users can remotely monitor patterns and provide support when needed.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, businesses are looking for safe and cost-effective solutions to improve the washroom experience. Whether it is through minor additions such as sensors or soap dispensers, or the adoption of an occupancy lighting system for an entire mall, our technology allows companies to update and revolutionize their hygiene standards and increase their long-term operational efficiencies, on whichever scale suits them.”