In the quest to make their properties more eco-friendly, hoteliers are always looking for ways to operate more sustainably—without impacting the guest experience. Many hoteliers have looked to cutting back on water consumption as a means to achieve this goal, namely by installing low-flow showerheads in guestroom bathrooms. Brian Marton, national sales manager, hospitality, at Speakman Company, which produces bathroom and plumbing products, describes what hoteliers should consider when switching to more sustainable shower heads.
It’s increasingly important for hotels to operate with sustainability in mind. How have showers evolved to meet guest expectations on this front?
They key is evolving in a way that goes unnoticed by the guests. There’s a lot of technology out there, but perhaps the most effective way to reduce water consumption is through flow rate. The lower the flow rate, the more water is conserved. But, if you lose spray force, the guests are going to notice and they won’t enjoy the shower experience. Finding a showerhead that not only reduces flow but also maintains spray force is very important.
Are there any factors that a hotelier might not be aware of when installing a more sustainable shower?
When going from a higher flow rate to a lower flow rate, something that you need to consider is thermal retention. A lot of hoteliers overlook how important it is to retain warmth because you’re ultimately going to require more hot water to deliver a comfortable temperature. It’s also important to remember that some showers have valves in the walls that can’t handle a lower flow rate, which could potentially cause scalding or, less seriously, a huge racket in the walls called water hammer.
How is this sustainability push impacting hoteliers?
It’s certainly good press when you’re being environmentally conscious. Guests are looking to stay in hotels that operate sustainably. As a result, many of the big hotel brands are establishing aggressive long-term goals to reduce their overall water consumption. Also, when you reduce your water consumption, you save money on your utilities, so hoteliers who do this right really have a win-win situation on their hands.