Case Study: iQ Student Accommodation

Working with one of the largest providers of student accommodation in the UK, Kelda has demonstrated that reducing water for showering by 50% did not increase shower duration.

About iQ Kingston
iQ Kingston offers high-quality student accommodation in Kingston-upon-Thames, a short walk from the campus of Kingston University. Situated in the centre of the town, iQ Kingston provides modern accommodation for 230 students. It has its own onsite gym, as well as a social space with TV and games area, giving students a place to meet fellow residents.

Project summary
Kelda was invited by iQ Student Accommodation to help assess the water-saving potential of Kelda’s innovative Air-Powered™ shower technology at its busy iQ Kingston site. In addition to water-savings Kelda was also challenged to demonstrate whether using 50% less water had any impact on shower behaviour, and in particular shower duration.

A total of 21 student rooms were identified for the purpose of the shower trial. It was agreed that Kelda’s data loggers would be used to assess the water consumption of the current showers for one month, prior to fitting Kelda’s Air-Powered™ showers, for another month. Two months was deemed to be a reasonable amount of time to collect shower data on shower water usage. The comparison of before and after would allow the team to draw conclusions on Kelda’s water-saving potential and the impact on shower behaviour, from using less water.

About Kelda 
Kelda are the pioneers of high-efficiency Air-Powered™ showers that reduce carbon emissions by using significantly less water and energy. Designed in the UK a Kelda shower is proven in the health and leisure sector to deliver a better shower experience using less water.

Conventional ‘aerating’ showers use the Venturi principle to restrict flow and draw atmospheric air into the water through a small hole in the showerhead. This is a very cheap way to reduce the mass flow of water, and aerate it to change the ‘feel’ of the shower, but has no measurable boost in force or performance, regardless of flow rate.

In contrast, Kelda’s patented Air-Powered™ showers use the principles of fuel injection technology. Each shower features an intelligent microprocessor and powerful digital fan which controls the delivery of water and air to the showerhead. Within the showerhead, water is injected into a high-velocity air stream where it is broken up into 100s of droplets that are 250% bigger than a standard shower. Larger droplets yield larger momenta providing the sensation of more spray pressure, making less water feel like so much more. With 150% more impact than a standard shower, a Kelda shower is more effective at rinsing shampoo out of even the thickest of hair.

Shower Trial Process

  1. Audit current conventional showers (x21) to establish the Baseline Flow Rate
  2. Install data loggers on current conventional showers (x21) for a period of one month
  3. Replace current conventional showers with Kelda Air-Powered™ showers (x21)
  4. Monitor water consumption of Kelda’s Air-Powered™ showers (x21) for a period of one month
  5. Analyse data before/after to compare showering behaviour
  6. Present results detailing feedback and potential annual savings

The current shower specification featured a conventional wall mounted showerhead. The shower head was fed by concealed mounted TMV mixer. The shower was located on an external wall with void behind that was accessible from the communal corridor. A flow rate test was performed on all the current showers and the average flow rate was found to be 9.72 l/min. Data loggers fed by flow sensors were used to monitor shower usage for a period of month.

Following the initial observation of the current showers, Kelda’s Air-Powered™ showers were installed, again with data loggers. Kelda’s Flex™ showerhead was specified for the trial as its design allows simple installation on the wall. The Flex™ features an array of 12 patented MACRO-Jet™ nozzles, each designed to create a perfect stream of water with large MACRO droplets. With head rotation up to 30°, the showerhead can be adjusted to provide increased control over direction of water spray  –  from head to toe.The Kelda showers were all specified with 5 l/min flow regulators. A flow test on site found the average flow rate to be 4.85 l/min.

Reducing flow rate from 9.72 l/min to 4.85 l/min confirmed the reduction in water for showering as 50.1%.

Data Logging
Kelda’s high-efficiency showers feature Kelda’s Shower Monitoring And Recording Technology (KSMART) a low-cost data logging solution for remotely monitoring showers. KSMART allows users to monitor and manage shower water usage helping to reduce operational costs by understanding when and where water is being used. Data is transferred seamlessly over the local wireless network and presented on an online portal.

“The iQ Kingston shower trial has been extremely important in demonstrating that our Air-Powered™ shower technology can deliver an acceptable shower experience whilst using significantly less water (net 48%).”

Paul Ravnbo-West, Marketing Director, Kelda Showers.

Headline Results

Headline Results

  • Average shower duration: 5m 20s (Conventional Shower), 5m 35s (Kelda Shower)
  • Average water consumption per shower event: 52 litres (Conventional shower), 27 litres (Kelda Shower)
  • 48% water-saving (net)

The shower trial has clearly demonstrated that despite reducing the flow rate of the student’s shower by 50.1%, shower duration has not changed significantly (4.7% longer during trial). In fact, taking into account that the total water usage per shower reduced by 25 litres, Kelda’s Air-Powered showers provided a net water-saving of 48%.

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