Billi Media

23rd Sep 2021

Bathroom safety in the COVID-19 era

Specifying Touchless Technology for Health, Sustainability and Aesthetics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how we approach the design of the built environment forever. Whereas aesthetics and performance were once the top design priorities, now minimising the risk of virus transmission has taken centre stage. De-densification, increased ventilation, social distancing measures and surface hygiene are all being considered in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19 via airborne transmission and contaminated surfaces.

Health experts, designers and architects are highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in bathroom design. Bathrooms and washrooms are among the most frequented conveniences in a building with many shared touchpoints, such as doors, tap handles and soap dispensing buttons, that may serve as sites for infectious disease. Calls are growing for design innovations that ensure all future builds to comply with infection control measures.

One of the suggested innovations is the adoption of sensor taps that enable users to dispense water and complete handwashing procedures without human contact. Touchless technology is not limited to tapware – sensor-operated soap dispensers and hand dryers can also be specified to create contactless bathrooms that virtually eliminate the risk of surface-to-hand transmission of viruses like SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease).

Health concerns regarding bathrooms are well-founded given the number of people using the space every day. Each user of a bathroom or washroom will touch several surfaces on every visit thus increasing the risk of viral transmission. In studies following chains of infection in bathroom settings, virus was found on 50% of bathroom door handles and 19% of taps.  In the same study, bacteria was detected on 14% of door handles and 9% of taps.

Research data further supports the potential of viral transmission via touching surfaces in public toilets. Factors that contribute to the risk in such settings include the presence of virus in fecal matter that can be spread by flushing the toilet, inconsistent cleaning practices and ineffective handwashing.
The preponderance of high-touch surfaces in public bathrooms presents a significant challenge with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending
the use of a paper towel to turn off a tap to prevent further contamination.

Sensor taps provides an effective and functional solution for eliminating contact with one of the most highly-used elements in a bathroom. Before the pandemic, sensor taps were primarily used for settings where hygiene is paramount, such as hospitals and aged-care facilities. Now, specifying sensor taps is recommended for all types of builds. With a range of options on the market, there are sensor taps suitable for any facility, workplace or private household to keep the transmission of disease to a minimum.

While preventing infection is the primary reason for specifying sensor taps in the COVID-19 era, they are several other related benefits. The use of hygiene measures such as sensor taps can instill greater confidence in users of the safety of public buildings. The perception of safety is important in getting employees back into the office and encouraging people to use public facilities, the net effect of which will help boost the economy once public spaces fully reopen.

Sensor taps also offer the convenience of automation and accessibility. Sensor taps are easy to operate as they function by sensing the presence of hands. This means they can be used by anyone, including children, the elderly and users with limited mobility. Automation also eliminates moving parts such as levers and knobs that are prone to wear and tear through heavy use.

Touchless Technology for Modern Bathrooms: Billi Hands-free Sensor Taps and Soap Dispensers

Hands-free Sensor Taps

Billi sensor taps feature a unique electronic sensor built into its spout which automatically detects hand movement in the hand washing zone and shuts off as soon as you move your hands away reducing water wastage. The sensor tap is ideal for use in many situations, from medical and aged care settings to schools, retail shops and commercial washrooms, and more.

• Contactless dispensing to maintain high hygiene standards.
• Available in bench mount, wall mount or straight wall mount designs.
• Easy to install, with options of mains or battery power supply.
• Available in a range of architectural finishes including Chrome, Matte Black, Brushed and Urban Brass.
• User friendly, ergonomically designed and conforms to current Australian Standards for ease of use by persons with a disability.
• WELS-rated 6 Stars for maximum water efficiency and sustainability.
• Back of wall install kits available to maintain project timelines an progress payment budgets.

Hands-free Soap Dispensers

Offering a contactless handwashing experience, Billi’s hands-free soap dispensers feature a 1000ml reservoir with the flexibility of mains or
battery power supply. Ideal for a wide range of applications, the Billi soap dispenser features a unique electronic sensor built into the spout
to automatically detect hand movement in the dispensing zone.

• Contactless dispensing to maintain high hygiene standards.
• Easy to install, with options of mains or battery power supply.
• Dispenses for a set time, min 0.5 seconds -> max 10 seconds.
Custom settings available.
• User friendly and ergonomically designed.
• Suitable for use with liquid soap – non foaming.


Full Article: Architecture & Design