When it comes to the sustainable design and manufacture of construction products, a lot has to be taken into account. High on the list is the product’s durability - and whether it will perform as intended over a long time period, reducing the need for replacement and minimising the potential of waste going to landfill. Just as important is whether the product itself actually serves in the delivery of a sustainable outcome such as energy efficiency or water saving. And last – but definitely not least – is whether the product has been created from sustainable materials, using the most sustainable process possible, in order to minimise impact on the natural environment.
The 120SCS Shower Screen Support drain ticks all these boxes and more. Designed and manufactured by drainage innovators and leading sustainability thinkers, Stormtech, this new product builds on Stormtech’s signature linear drainage systems.
Central to the drain’s design, is the concept of water shedding. “Water shedding is allowing water to flow off the surface and away from the building, or flow along the floor to the drain, instead of ponding,” says Troy Creighton, CEO of Stormtech. “For interior waterproofed areas, water needs to be allowed to flow to the outlet both at the surface, and also the membrane requires a slope to ensure any damp trapped above it can make its way to the waterproofing leak control flange.”
Where a bathroom or other space is designed with a typical pipe drain in the centre of the floor or shower, this makes the process of grading (sloping) the floor incredibly tricky. The four-way grade that’s required in this system is riddled with the possibility of error – the most common being ponding, which happens when the drain is not at the lowest part of the grade (or the grade is uneven), allowing water to collect in a particular area. Even if the grade of the subfloor and membrane are laid correctly, this can still be impacted by the uneven laying of tiles, or even simply along grout lines where tile shapes cause imperfections. This problem, along with the issue of shower screens blocking drainage, is solved by the 120SCS.
“The shower screen, without integral drainage, acts like a dam stopping water from entering the shower area,” says Troy. “Allowing the shower screen to be supported on the drainage channel allows the channel to be manufactured with drainage on the ‘dry’ side. This massively simplifies the layout of a simple bathroom, simplifies the fall to a simple one direction to the shower grate, simplifies the waterproofing installation, improves the overall drainage of the room and also eliminates the risk of a bath mat covering a floor drain and causing flooding from the bathroom to other parts of the dwelling.” The simplification of the drain is - in and of itself - a sustainable outcome. It means less effort, less time, less manpower spent on getting these important design aspects right. It minimises the possibility of mistakes, which in turn minimises waste on site. And, best of all, it quickly makes water available for reuse or heat capture.
The drain is also manufactured with sustainability front of mind at every turn. “It’s part of the Stormtech MTL range of products and has the same sourcing, manufacturing and product stewardship aspects of our other products,” says Troy. “The stainless steel is responsibly sourced ensuring the energy used is renewable, the key ingredient of nickel is also sourced responsibly, and thus is not ‘pig nickel’. And despite the high energy input in initial manufacturing, the durability of the 316 grade stainless steel, coupled with the high quality manufacturing and diligent quality control, make it a long lasting, fit for purpose product that will last the life of the building.”
The 120SCS drain is a product that makes sense on multiple levels. It provides an elegantly simple way to solve a multi-faceted problem that is known to architects and builders alike. Visually, it’s available in stylish stainless steel finish with a range of grate patterns, a number of electroplated and PVD, or even powder coat finishes, or with a tile insert - meaning it’s simple to fit within the overall design intent of any project. And, of course, it’s highly sustainable - providing designers and specifiers the peace of mind that they’re making the best choice not just for their project, but the environment as well - something Troy says is already coming to the fore. “The feedback from architects, waterproofers and tilers has been great so far,” he says. “And we’re seeing rapid adoption with multiple projects currently being supplied, and many more to be specified.”