We live in interesting times indeed. Barring the global conflicts – WW1 and WW2 – some would deem 2020 the most critical 12 months in the recent history of recorded human existence, since the Spanish Flu of 1918/19. That pandemic was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919 and it’s estimated that about 500 million people, or one-third of the then world population, became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide, about 675 000 in the USA.

A recent test kitchen study from the US shows an average of just two percent of tested persons washed their hands properly. A worrying result, since 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted via the hands. The Robert Koch Institute (Germany) recommends in the Federal Health Gazette on the subject of ‘hand hygiene’ the use of fittings that can be operated without touching hands. Hygienic hand washing with touch-free, sensor-controlled fittings is both consistent and convenient. And they have a clear advantage in terms of sustainability. Fittings equipped with infrared proximity electronics ensure that water flows only when needed.

The electronic fittings from AXOR and Hansgrohe show that they are in no way inferior to their analogue siblings in terms of innovation, design and quality: ‘Our product range of non-contact fittings combines the advantages of two technologies (infrared and EcoSmart) for efficient water and energy use. These units are also a real eye-catcher in any bathroom – public or private,’ says Jan Heisterhagen, VP Product Management, Hansgrohe SE.

These are attractive solutions for the hospitality industry and public institutions. In addition to various advantages in terms of comfort and well-being, there are also high-quality designs in various styles and functional detailing. This makes it possible to select the appropriate fitting while opening up attractive solutions for washing areas in restaurants, hotels or public facilities.

In all contactless fittings from the Hansgrohe Group, the on/off function is carried out in a 200-millimetre sensor area, so that the fittings do not need to be touched. They are therefore particularly hygienic and at the same time require less cleaning. In addition to these high hygienic and technical standards, there is a sustainable use of the valuable resources – water and energy. The sensor technology pays off especially with frequent use. In this way, the water consumption is regulated according to the current demand with a short follow-up time. The innovative Hansgrohe EcoSmart technology enables particularly economical consumption by limiting the flow of water to around five litres per minute.

At the same time, the high-quality design of the fittings establishes accents in the bathroom. The multi-award-winning electronic tap lines hansgrohe Metris S and Focus by Phoenix Design are an unusual eye-catcher at the washbasin. The signature of the famous designer Philippe Starck is found in the electronic taps of the AXOR Starck and AXOR Starck Organic collections. A clear, reduced look is brought to the washing area with the touch-free wall fittings from the AXOR Citterio and AXOR Uno collections. The highlight of these two wall models: the infrared sensor window is integrated into the underside of the water outlet. They are not visible to the user and do not disturb the visual impression of the tap. At the same time, the sensor is functional at this point and can be operated intuitively: hands held under the waterspout automatically activate the sensor.

High-quality workmanship and an automatic water stop after 60 seconds, should the infrared switch be triggered intentionally or accidentally, contribute to a long service life of all sensor-controlled fittings. In addition, there is a choice between battery or mains operated versions. All models are available as cold-water versions without temperature adjustment and a fitting where the water temperature can be pre-set is an option. How economical electronic fittings can be is proven by battery operation: Before a new battery is needed, the fitting can be operated about 200 000 times and battery replacement is very convenient for AXOR Starck, AXOR Starck Organic and hansgrohe Metris S thanks to an external, easily accessible battery compartment. These fittings are also equipped with an infrared window made of sapphire glass, which is less sensitive to scratching and daylight than a plastic counterpart.

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