Caroma has launched Smart Command – what it calls a “comprehensive and intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) solution for commercial bathrooms designed to allow building owners to monitor and control water use in real time and make smarter decisions to conserve water and reduce maintenance costs, while improving hygiene, wellbeing and increasing facility uptime.”

Dr. Stephen Cummings, Innovation director for Caroma and inventor of Smart Command, says that by 2050, our water demands will have increased by 55 percent.

“Yet as inhabitants of one of the driest continents on earth, we need to keep innovating to help conserve our most critical resource.”

“While advancements in smart technology have transformed our ability to monitor and manage other critical resources and functions in digital buildings, such as power, lighting and ventilation, similar opportunities in commercial water management have yet to be unlocked. That is, until now,” he says.

Sustainable and hygienic

Tim Salt, CEO of GWA Group, says “From retail outlets to airport lounges, Smart Command provides an exciting opportunity to create premium commercial bathroom experiences, with an intuitive touchless design that promotes a hygienic environment and optimised cleaning, replenishment of consumables and improved uptime.”

“Smart Command also opens up highly coveted sustainability accreditation opportunities, from NABERS water efficiencies and WELL Standards, to Greenstar benefits, with micro metering that allows for accurate benchmarking,” he says.

Managing the data dump

The launch of the Bluetooth-enabled Smart Command comes as The Institute of Sustainable Futures at University Technology Sydney released a new report exploring “The Bathroom of the future”.

Data collected from fixtures in bathrooms at what was called an ‘A-Grade Commercial Development in Australia’ undergoing a trial of Caroma’s Smart Command system were analysed as part of this research report and have provided preliminary insights to the opportunity presented by this technology.

Professor Stuart White, head of The Institute of Sustainable Futures says that “Analyses of pilot data collected from Caroma’s Smart Command has revealed that real-time performance management ensures faults can be identified accurately and rectified effectively, minimising water leakage, and improving water conservation efforts.”

“Beyond this, bathrooms can be optimised based on actual usage data. For example, based on data from Smart Command, if a building designer knows that the female bathrooms are used twice as much as the male bathrooms, they can allow for extra fixtures in their female bathroom designs for a better user outcome.”

“Projecting into the future, the ability to monitor and influence behaviour could provide benefits in a range of specialist applications, such as the health sector, peak demand for bathroom facilities, and general health behaviour change.”

“Intelligent Bathroom Systems will play a role in creating smart cities of the future, with the collection of real-time end-use data for the non-residential sector and mixed-use buildings allowing for better planning outcomes at precinct and wider city scales,” he says.

Water literally being flushed away

According to figures supplied by Caroma, Australia uses approximately 25,000 gigalitres of water per annum - which is equivalent to 50 Sydney Harbours, while flushing a toilet can use between 3 litres to 26.5 litres of water.

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme has calculated that using water efficient products could save Australians more than $2 billion by 2030, an average saving of $175 per household each year.