Bathroom pods come pre-assembled, pre-tested and delivered straight to site for fuss-free, high-end specification, so it is no surprise that demand for pods is increasing in the hotel sector. However, with growing awareness of how internal environments affect our wellbeing, it is vital to consider acoustics too. Here Sophie Weston, channel marketing manager at Geberit, explores the issue.
Awareness of physical and mental wellbeing has never been greater and in the search for the sanctuary we need to recover from the stresses of everyday life, many of us turn to hotels.
A hotel stay is often the only opportunity they have to truly unwind – and a recent YouGov poll ran by Geberit earlier this year showed that more than a third (34%) of people say that the bathroom in their guest room makes the single biggest contribution to their hotel experience.
Reimagining hotel bathroom spaces
With this in mind, the role that architects and designers have to play in hotel bathroom design has come increasingly under the spotlight. A hotel bathroom or washroom should no longer be designed as a purely functional zone, but as a relaxing space to unwind and one that appeals to all our senses. Designers have a duty to create spaces that don't just look good, but make guests feel good too.
Of course, this has to be balanced against the budgetary and operational realities of hotel design. The rise of modular bathroom pods – a complete bathroom finished off-site with integrated services ready for connection – offers a wealth of benefits in any hotel project. Off-site production reduces the need for different tradespeople working in small bathroom spaces, whilst eliminating the tricky task of transporting materials up the lift too. It can drive cost savings and make it easier to ensure compliance too, with off-site testing. However, all of this does not have to come at the cost of the guest's wellbeing.
The impact of noise
We surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the UK to get a greater insight on the impact of unwanted internal noise and, in particular, bathroom noise. As part of this research, we found that almost a third (30%) of respondents who had stayed in a hotel in the last 12 months had been disturbed by bathroom noise at night, including dripping taps and flushing toilets from neighbouring rooms. What was clear, too, from our research was the impact of this; more than half (51%) of respondents cited unwanted internal noise as having a negative impact upon their wellbeing.
Noise is clearly an issue. So what solutions are available to meet these very obvious challenges?
Manufacturers such as Geberit are constantly innovating sound-proofing solutions that help to mitigate the age-old issue of sound from flushing toilets and other unwanted bathroom noise.
Simple product innovations include wall-hung toilets with concealed cisterns and pre-wall frames such as Geberit Duofix. These decouple from the construction, preventing noise from travelling down the wall and through the floor. Product developments like this are as valid for bathroom pods as they are for traditional bathroom setups – enhancing both the specification quality and the internal environment to deliver benefits throughout the specification chain.
Consumers increasingly want 'experiences' and for hotels, that means creating an escape for guests away from the stresses of everyday life. The focus is on creating unique, positive guest experiences to help build stronger memories and ensure customers keep coming back – and good design is at the heart of this.
With people looking for a place of sanctuary, it is arguably in the bathroom (including pods) where mental wellbeing matters most. The onus now is on designers to make the correct specification choices to support acoustic performance and deliver that sanctuary.
Discover more about the impact of noise in buildings. Download Geberit's White Paper at www.geberit.co.uk/acoustics