Since its founding in 1999, Dolphin has been dedicated to creating the finest commercial washroom solutions. Jonathan Beattie talks us through Dolphin’s approach to the design and delivery of a project.
Revealing the sustainable and technological advances happening in the industry, the family-run company addresses upcoming trends and divulges how Dolphin adapts to meet ever-evolving project needs.
How have global health trends translated across the projects Dolphin collaborates on?
As a solution provider, we are constantly confronted with different challenges. Working closely with designers, our main approach is to think of every stakeholder involved when working towards project solutions.
Touch-free washrooms have seen growing popularity since the pandemic, gaining notable traction in high-traffic areas. From infrared soap dispensers to taps and flush plates, our sensor solutions have been key in maintaining hygiene.
With an accelerated movement towards incorporating wellbeing in design, Dolphin demonstrates its focus on the users’ experience in the washroom with WELL accreditations. Prioritising health and safety, Dolphin minimises the downstream impacts of every interaction with our products.
From design to delivery, what makes Dolphin so well suited to meeting project needs?
In the past, some of the biggest projects we have done with SANIPEX GROUP have been ones where we have come up with a tailor-made solution, such as for the Midfield Terminal in Abu Dhabi. Requesting a special-made dryer to fit between two columns, we presented a custom mirror to the exact dimensions specified by the architects, which incorporated a high-tech dryer within.
We present a variety of brassware and ceramic finishes to meet project needs. Giving the body its smooth and shiny appearance, ceramic coated sanitaryware is extremely durable, possessing the ability to resist heat and harsh household cleaning products. Metal finishes remain a popular choice for achieving high-end, elegant aesthetics in the washroom with the option of many different colours.
Tell us about Dolphin’s pledge to sustainability through its processes and systems.
Fun fact: hand dryers are about 30% cheaper than paper towels and produce up to 60% less carbon emissions. There is excellent saving to be made from our Dolphin hand dryers.
Placing environmental certifications and compliance high on our list of priorities, sustainability has become an integral part of our policies and procedures in order to guarantee water and energy efficiency. Significant water saving is possible thanks to our superior product technology which promotes green behaviour through monitoring and managing usage and wastage.
Currently, the industry is known for a ‘cradle-to-grave’ product cycle, referring to the lifespan of a product from resource extraction through to its disposal. However, at Dolphin, we are looking into achieving what is called a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ design – working hard to repurpose products that have reached the end of their lifecycle rather than discarding it. Sending it back out entirely modified as a new and relevant product.
How has the brand addressed and adapted to accessible washroom products?
We have strong feelings about creating a unique and individual user experience in all our bathrooms. Many accessible washrooms tend to look very clinical or cold, but it is our belief that someone with a disability should not have inferior solutions. As a trusted advisor of the industry, we are of course bound by strict sector regulations, therefore, we have worked hard to ensure a lot of our products are now capable of also being included in an accessible washroom. Providing the community of determination with equally high-quality solutions means we keep within the regulations while optimising to attain the best standard possible.
Why is the Alavo Mirror System a flagship product in Dolphin’s range?
The Alavo Mirror System was designed primarily to maximise floor space in the bathroom by strategically masking all the sanitary features behind the mirror. Containing thermostatic sensor taps, soap dispensers, lighting options and hand dryers, everything can be serviced in the cabinet itself.
Due to the convenience of the wash station, you can see the Alavo supporting high footfall developments, such as shopping malls, airports and office blocks. Highly customisable and adaptable within our parameters, the structure can be configured to meet different dimensions and designs. Essentially, this minimalistic product elegantly illustrates Dolphin’s premium stance on usability, quality, durability, and sustainability.
How does its SMART technology support Facilities Managers?
If you can measure it, you can manage it!
SMART technology is on the horizon, driven by developers who are being put under increasing pressure to produce real-time data on the efficiency and sustainability of their buildings.
SMART Taps allow for massive savings on operational expenditure through their innate capability to predict cleaning and fault maintenance. For example, displaying data to show which items have and have not been used will reflect whether it requires cleaning that day. It helps them save a lot of their facilities management. Such technology supports the Facilities Manager to connect with the rich data and gain an insight into where they need to or can cut back on costs and usage, etc. Soon Dolphin will have the complete suite of SMART products dedicated to connecting and enhancing the washroom.
What commercial washroom trends can we expect to see in 2022?
When it comes to projects, we see a rise in the importance of sustainability, SMART technology, customisation, and variety.
Continuing to work very closely with SANIPEX GROUP, we have full trust in the team to take us to new markets and new heights this year. Our sustainability story will continue to grow, with a focus on attaining environmental product declarations on all our products. Aspiring to get involved in net-zero carbon buildings projects – which are becoming increasingly prevalent in London, Dubai, and other major cities around the world.
Going forward this year, the brand will certainly be delving deeper into SMART technology, integrating innovative features into all our washroom solutions with Developers’ needs in mind. Currently offering SMART taps, mirrors and WCs, Dolphin will soon be adding SMART soap dispensers to the list – with cartridges that display and notify when the soap is running low.
With new special finishes rising in demand – having taken note of Carbon black and Aged Bronze as the most popular on offer in 2022 – our adaptation is particularly notable to meet current trends. It is known in the industry that London leads in design, it is easy to facilitate the rest of the world with the solutions we come up with from challenges we face in the UK.
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