Kohler Co and Virginia tech are celebrating a major win at the 2018 Solar Decathlon, held for the first time in Dubai, UAE.
“FutureHAUS” is a unique solar home designed and built by Virginia Tech research university, with the support and technical input of Kohler Co in the US. Beating 27 other universities from 11 countries, the FutureHas Virginia Tech team had just two weeks to build its prototype FutureHAUS house, that runs exclusively on solar power, in a public expo area next to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park.
The goal of the competition was to create a high performing solar home – seen as the smart, sustainable housing of the future – able to function in the extreme climatic conditions of the Middle East. A key requirement was that it had to be able to be mass produced in similar communities around the world.
True Aging in Place
FutureHAUS makes it possible for a family to theoretically stay in the same house for life and have the home grow and change with them.
“We’re demonstrating how a house can automatically adapt to the needs of every individual who lives in it,” said Joseph Wheeler, lead of the FutureHAUS project, as well as a professor of architecture in the School of Architecture + Design and co-director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech.
Kohler worked with Virginia Tech for two years advising on design and technical attributes that could achieve high functioning, smart solutions for both kitchen and bathroom.
The winning FutureHAUS, that enabled Virginia Tech to take home the $250,000 first prize, utilised factory-built cartridges to create living spaces that adapt to their inhabitants. Kohler provided technical advice and guidance on the water delivery system in the kitchen where metered amounts of water are delivered via voice control.
In the main bathroom the vanity top is 3D printed and utilises Kohler’s technological expertise to incorporate three sensors within the basin that employ the company’s Response touchless technology. Kohler has then coupled these sensors to three of its DTV digital showering systems.
What is the Solar Decathlon?
In it’s 16th year, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
Virginia Tech was the only team from the US to compete in this year’s Solar Decathlon. The prototype houses were judged on 10 criteria: architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, comfort conditions, house functioning, sustainable transportation, sustainability, communications and innovation.
The Solar Decathlon supports Dubai’s stated goal to have the smallest carbon footprint of any global city by 2050.
Dark and moody colour palettes on-trend
A deeper, bolder colour palette in bathroom design is the result of a significant cultural shift, according to one of the world’s leading trends forecasters.
Li Edelkoort, renowned for her long-term global trends forecasts, delivered some shape-shifting insights into colour and texture in a highly anticipated workshop with Caesarstone quartz surfaces earlier this year (2018).
Caesarstone’s Rugged Concrete sets the scene in this kitchen project.
Illustrating the increasingly dramatic colours being used in bathrooms, Edelkoort explained that interior design is no longer a culture that tries to imitate nature but rather take inspiration from it.
Caesarstone 5100 Vanilla Noir
Bathrooms, for example, will take their cue from carbon fibre, those materials that come naturally from fire and dust. “It’s a new way of looking at beauty,” said Ms Edelkoort. And dark, dramatic colours will be used in bathrooms to create a more sophisticated, hedonistic ambience. “Many bathrooms will include black, sometimes in combination with brass, to create a sense of luxury,” she said.
Kohler’s PVD tapware, including the modernist Purist and the vintage Artifacts collections, are the perfect fit for this look. Each is available in a range of ‘precious metals’ including brushed bronze, polished gold and rose gold. Purist, while inspired by vintage hand pumps, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity – a timeless design in either a single lever mixer or three piece basin set.
Artifacts is the antithesis of this – a collection of tapware that references the form and ornamentation of the Edwardian period, available in the deep, rich textures of oil-rubbed and vibrant brushed bronze. Each collection has matching accessories.
Artifacts Basin Set in oil rubbed bronze
Dramatic stone or quartz surfaces in deepest black, bold charcoal or midnight grey will feature on benchtops, splashbacks, walls and floors, some in solid colour and others with sweeping, bold pattern and veining or smaller, homogeneous chips. Each will create a sense of visual daring and bold statement.
Back to black with basins
In keeping with this bold design are Kohler’s Petaline and Mica jet black basins – each a statement piece to provide perfect balance with the dramatic dark tones of the Caesarstone finishes. Petaline, inspired by a single petal, is a feat of engineering mastery in cast iron with black enamel finish. The 615mm long basin is counter-balanced to create a vision of elegance and seemingly impossible poise.
Petaline’s profile cuts a sharp and striking silhouette.
Mica, available in either square or round format, is a beautifully sophisticated and refined honed black countertop vessel with super slim walls – just 6mm – to give the appearance of extreme delicacy and understated style.
Edelkoort used some of Caesarstone’s quartz surfaces to demonstrate the look – such as Vanilla Noir, Piatra Grey and Night Sky – along with metal elements, such as brass, to further enhance the sense of luxury and indulgence that can be achieved.
Kohler & Caesarstone
Converge brings a new level of control – it’s the very latest in showering technology! This piece of ingenuity sees sleek design converge with space-saving smarts to create a truly multifunctional showerhead that features a cleverly integrated hand shower.
The 152mm diameter flat-faced showerhead is wall mounted and at first glance appears to be a simple, large format showerhead – but its exterior rim almost magically detaches from the magnetic docking station and becomes a very convenient, separate hand shower!
Converge, with its advanced spray engine, provides three powerful spray patterns while using only 9 litres of water a minute (WELS 3 star rated). The showerhead literally sculpts water!
Choose from the dense, luxurious Silk spray; or Infinity – three spray experiences in one (complete cleanse, refreshing massage and delicate rinse); or Full Coverage for a drenching, all encompassing spray.
In sleek polished chrome, Converge features a MasterClean™ spray face that simply wipes clean with a damp cloth, without any build-up of minerals. It also has Kohler’s premium finish to retain a long, enduring and unblemished polished chrome surface.
Converge, with its innovative 2-in-1 space-saving design is an exciting development for all those who love a luxurious, ultra-responsive shower but may have less space than they wish! The release of this product coincides with Kohler’s 145th anniversary – 145 years of ongoing revolutionary design and innovation for the bathroom.
Freestanding baths are still very much on trend, with homeowners coveting the sense of style and luxury they bring to the bathing space. Choice is now extensive, in size, style and material, but the decisive factor is space – and having enough of it!
For those with a little less space than they would like, some of the leading bathroom brands have added more compact freestanding models to their range – along with true home spa technologies such as BubbleMassage.
Kohler’s extensive range of freestanding baths delivers on choice in terms of shape, finish and size – along with customisable BubbleMassage models that create thousands of bubbles filled with warm air to massage and support the entire body. Sizes in baths range from 1672mm to 1838mm in length (and with a lot more in between).
The brand’s most compact freestanding bath is the beautiful Lithocast Aliento – a bold rectangular shape with arching corners that measures 1672mm x 914mm wide.
The stunning Aliento Lithocast will be the statement piece of any bathroom.
Lithocast is a high grade matte finish acrylic that has the look and feel of a finely honed stone. It also keeps the water warmer for longer. The Abrazo Lithocast bath, which is a total contrast in shape sporting soft organic curves reminiscent of a nautilus shell, is another more compact option measuring just 1676mm x 800mm.
Unwind in style in the Abrazo Lithocast bath.
If space is no problem then the strikingly angular design of the Askew is a true statement piece! Resembling three plinths, stacked, but slightly askew, the Askew – at 1838mm x 878mm – offers indulgent luxury in stand out style.
Or opt for a modern bath style with a truly unique, show-stopping shape… Askew.
Cast iron is a popular choice for baths, not least because of its sense of heritage and craftsmanship. Kohler’s Reve is no different but is a very modern take on the concept featuring sculptural lines, deep profile and linear shape. Its 700mm length is a mid point in the size stakes.
A bath full of classical styling and character – the Reve Cast Iron.
And for those preferring a lighter weight and moulded interiors, Kohler has a number of premium freestanding baths in a variety of shapes and sizes – from the Japanese-inspired Escale (in oval and rectangular shape) at 1775mm to the clean, very contemporary lines of the Evok (oval and rectangular shape available) bath at 1700mm length.
The Evok and Escale models offer yet another level to the spa experience with the option of BubbleMassage technology. This is the modern take on home spa baths whereby thousands of bubbles, filled with warm air, are released from virtually invisible holes around the lower inner perimeter of the bath. These bubbles gently support and massage the entire body, although the intensity of the bubbles, and the zones they target can be completely customised.
Evok Oval BubbleMassage bath – complete aaaahhhh!
Visit a Kohler showroom near you for more details.
Launched to great acclaim and garnering international accolades, Kohler’s ModernLife toilet suite has been recognised for its revolutionary approach to hygiene and ease of cleaning with the prestigious international Red Dot Design Award.
The key feature of the ModernLife back to wall toilet is its truly rimless bowl – a first in the Australasian market. In taking rimless technology to the next level, Kohler has introduced a beautifully engineered pan featuring a bevelled and chamfered edge. This bevelled edge is finished with Kohler’s patented CleanCoat™ technology.
The ground-breaking combination of the rim’s inward-sloping design and the finish of the edge means any liquid hitting this area will form small beads of liquid that will roll easily into the toilet bowl. In addition, the Vertical Quick Release seat means the seat can be removed with just a gentle pull (when vertical) making thorough cleaning both fast and easy.
It is these innovative features that create the new level of hygiene and easy cleaning that Kohler is introducing with the ModernLife collection.The smooth, sleek interior also means there are no ridges or channels in which germs or dirt can hide. And its 360˚ dynamic flush flow ensures the bowl is rinsed thoroughly.
In another first, Kohler has included an optional Elite Seat. This introduces new levels of comfort and convenience in the form of a subtle LED pinstripe light – to subtly light the seating area when dark, without creating too much light – and a fragrance sachet to gently perfume the air. Both are operated by two AAA, easily replaceable batteries. The ultra-streamlined Elite Seat has an easy fit invisible hinge (easy to install and quick to release for thorough cleaning) plus quiet close seat and lid.
The timeless form of ModernLife’s design is the essence of simplicity with the slight overhang of the lid creating a seamless look.
The ModernLife Back to Wall Toilet suite also features optimal water-saving technology with a mere 4.5/3L water consumption (4 star WELS rating).
The ModernLife toilet suite – with the option of the Elite Seat – is complemented by the ModernLife vessel basins (with and without tap hole) that emulate the simplicity of form and sleek profile of the toilet.
Discover the ModernLife design story here…
Referencing vintage hand pumps and precious metals PURIST, from global tapware specialist Kohler, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity. PVD Brushed Bronze, Rose Gold, Polished Gold and Brushed Nickel are the beautiful finishes set to steal the limelight in a bathroom or powder room near you!
Hero of the range is the single lever basin mixer in both standard and tall – a single column topped with a slender cylindrical lever it is the epitome of intuitive functionality. Simply lift and turn the lever to adjust flow and temperature.
The design taps into our ever-growing love for unadorned simplicity and effortless use, without the obsessive need to over-design and innovate.
Other models within the tapware range, offering choice in terms of handle design (while maintaining the same mantra of purism and integrity), are the three-piece basin mixer sets with lever handles plus a wall-mounted option.
All basin taps are five star WELS rated using less than 6 litres of water a minute. There are also bath spouts and bath/shower mixers with and without diverter.
All of the Kohler tapware ‘precious’ metal finishes – Brushed Bronze, Polished Gold, Rose Gold and Brushed Nickel – are achieved by virtue of PVD technology (Physical Vapour Deposition). This is a customised finish system that vaporises the finish and molecularly bonds it to the chrome surface. This produces a finish that is both tarnish and corrosion resistant – in fact all Kohler finishes twice exceed the industry standard and carry a 15-year warranty.
About the PVD process
The Kohler patented Physical Vapour Deposition process was introduced to allow Kohler to add variety to their line of finishes, as well as improve the durability of those finishes. PVD results in a mechanically strong finish that is ceramic in nature, and resists the tarnishing, scratching and corrosion that can occur over time from repetitive use in the bathroom.
PVD is an environmentally friendly process as it minimises the volume of water required and creates zero waste as harmful chemicals are not used.
And while the Purist collection offers a complete set of tapware for the bathroom – basin, shower and bath – there will also be matching accessories available shortly which will include towel bars and ring, soap dish, tumbler and holder, robe hook and toilet tissue holder. Basin accessories including wastes and bottle traps in PVD will also be available to complement this stunning range of tapware.