Get the plumbing right
Plumbing across real estate is expected to see a revival of sorts what with manufacturers coming up with advanced products
Some of the real estate projects in India match or outmatch those in developed countries. The housing sector in India is expected to contribute more than 10% to India’s GDP by 2020. They have indeed come far.
Within the country, there is a different perspective. A large number of developers are unknown to work in an inefficient and ad hoc manner. It is not uncommon to hear of projects that have built-in inefficiencies at every stage, right from procurement of materials to construction and quality control.
More often than not, plumbing and electrical are some of the common hassles that affect residents. Gurmit Singh, national president, Indian Plumbing Association, says, “The real estate sector does not prioritise plumbing design. This leads to bad plumbing installations, leakages, contamination of plumbing lines and even water borne diseases.”
Plumbing is one of the two lifelines in a building and supplies water not only for ingestion but also for hygiene and cooking. Plumbing takes away the waste in a sanitary manner. It is necessary for any project whether HIG, MIG or LIG, unlike other services in a project. Over the years, plumbing has evolved as a science. “Our codes including the ‘Uniform Illustrated Plumbing Code of India’ (UIPCI) run into over 1,000 pages plus. These have been adopted from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), USA, evolving from a 95 year code, rewritten & amended as per Indian standards in 2008, 2011, 2014 & 2017,” he adds.
Making things work
In terms of plumbing products, there are no dearth of companies manufacturing sophisticated products. KE Ranganathan, MD, Roca Bathroom Products, says, “With bathrooms becoming the new destination for relaxation and rejuvenation, consumers are constantly looking for solutions that keep their homes ‘in trend’ with the latest technology and luxury. The revolutionary R&D technology of Roca has always been its biggest strength over the century that has helped the brand to grow and establish itself as an industry leader.”
Over the years, Roca has worked with designers to build innovative products like the Roca W+W (Wash Basin+Water Closet), a revolutionary sustainable solution that integrates the basin and WC into one unit. This game-changing WC has also been installed at the Sulabh International Museum of toilets in New Delhi, to showcase its innovative design. Another innovative product is the wall hung In-Tank Meridian WC, which ditches the traditional concealed cistern installed in the wall and instead has the cistern in the WC bowl itself.
Innovation and continuous up-gradation of quality has been our consistent endeavour. Technological advancements are evolving with a greater pace in terms of materials, products and process. The Supreme Industries is no exception to the advancements in the industry, on the contrary, it is far ahead in implementing latest technologies to improve its product design and quality on regular basis. GS Dikondawar, sr GM, innovation and technology, The Supreme Industries, says, “Some of our advanced plumbing products are Skyrise Hi-tech, low noise building drainage system, Nu-drain underground drainage and sewerage system with readymade inspection chambers and manholes, Supreme Flamegard fire sprinkler system, WeatherShield premium overhead water storage tanks, Amrutam underground water storage tanks, Safeguard readymade septic tanks, etc.”
Plumbing is approximately a Rs 33,000 crore market in India and growing at 15% per annum, according to market reports. Manoj Maithani, VP, sales & Marketing, Viega India, says, “After studying the Indian market, Viega has launched a new product range named “Viega Pexfit Pro piping system” that gives flexibility to the planner for installing a pliable piping system. In drainage systems, the company has introduced “Viega Advantix triple inlet drain” especially for India. All these products are well accepted and there is a huge potential in the Indian market for all product categories of Viega. These solutions have enhanced Viega’s existing portfolio.”
Viega believes that innovation should be at the centre of all the things done at the company. “We believe design and technology should make life easier and comfortable for the user. For instance, all Viega fittings come with SC-Contur, a safety feature which makes unintentionally un-pressed joints easily visible even at low bar pressure. The medium visibly leaks out of the system when filled. Moreover, a central leak test can be conducted using a manometer and it provides comfort as visual checks which are normally required are no longer necessary.
Looking at green
All major global manufacturer of bathing products are well aware of their responsibilities. Conservation of precious water as a natural resource has long been the primary goal of sustainability efforts to help preserve the living planet for future generations. Sandeep Shukla, head, marketing, Jaquar Group, says, “Go Green is a philosophy embraced by Jaquar Group as a tenet of its design and production system to save water. We have a variety of products that are efficient in terms of both water and energy such as air showers, pressmatic faucets, sensor faucets, dual flush, sensor urinals, etc.”
Jaquar Group Air Showers have a built-in air mixer that mixes air and water in a manner that makes shower drops lighter but voluminous. This revolutionary technology helps Jaquar Group air showers save up to 30% of water. Its pressmatic faucets allows only a fixed quantity (750 ml) of water to flow with every press of its knob, while its sensor faucets allows water to flow only when one needs it. The latest product in the energy saving product portfolio is the range of Integra heat pumps, which is an electric device that transfers heat from air to water.
Developers are responding. Shivamurthy KB, associate VP, projects, Adarsh Developers, says, “Over the last few years, we have made significant changes to our plumbing infrastructure. Some of them are: Adoption of low flow toilets, taps, re-circulated hot water; installing automated salt chlorination system at swimming pool; sprinkler & drip irrigation system for landscaping; advanced water treatment plant with an automation system; and usage of pre-cast manhole chambers.”
The company works closely with developers during the detailed study and analysis in terms of volume of the project and to suit the locality.
Talking about sustainability on the vendor’s part, Dikondawar says, “Looking at eco-friendly products is crucial and an important aspect during planning and designing of our products. Be it material, process or design, thought is given during development. Plastic is a sustainable material because of its simple processing, reprocessing, low power consumption in manufacturing, durability and minimal or no maintenance requirements. Procurement of right materials, deployment of cutting edge technology in manufacturing and quality assurance helps us to ensure sustainability criteria. Thus, all our products meet sustainability requirements.”
Sustainability is not only a trend in India, but it is a global phenomenon. Maithani says that his company always strives to do things better. For instance, in flushing technology, its concealed cisterns have a dual flush with best in class performance for water conservation.
Some of the most important milestones that Roca bathroom products have introduced were mixer and electronic faucets that have resulted in savings to users between 20% and 50% of water consumption, or continuous reduction systems in flushing toilets. Another innovation in the segment is Roca’s Hall Flush Free Urinals systems which work without flushing water, making it one of the innovative product in the category and giving a new name to efficiency. The product is built in such a way that it does not require any electrical power or liquid barrier for the closure of drainage that makes it versatile. Additionally, cold start faucets, an innovation designed for sustainability, with water and energy saving capability and zero CO2 emissions.
All such moves by plumbing and bathroom products manufacturers can only pave the way for a better future.