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KOVA
The new brand covers flooring, light fixtures, kitchen and bath plumbing, and more.

Katerra has launched a new brand of building products, KOVA, focused around plumbing fixtures, hardware, and other finish materials. It is one of many new brands and products Katerra set to launch in 2019, including the KES energy system, KTAC HVAC system, Apollo construction software platform, and Katerra-brand windows and bathroom kits.

According to the manufacturer, the KOVA line is built on a balance of design, quality, and value. Through Katerra’s direct sourcing model, KOVA customers can source multiple products from one partner and gain access the company’s aggregated purchasing power.

“As designers and builders specify and order their products, they may go through a lot of different partners for their plumbing, lighting, cabinets, countertops, etc.,” says Trevor Schick, head of the KOVA materials business. “KOVA is a one-stop shop where we provide all of these materials at a premium quality and great design, but at a better value and with a quicker turnaround. So, as a developer is looking at what they can do to drive cost down on a project, KOVA is now one of the levers they can pull.”

KOVA’s initial offering of home fixtures and finishing products includes flooring, light fixtures, door and cabinetry hardware, kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures, digital thermostats, and window coverings and accessories. The products are available in two series, KOVA and KOVA Select. All plumbing fixtures, hardware and accessories are available in a polished chrome or satin nickel finish; KOVA Select fixtures are also available in matte black.

All KOVA products are designed to meet high environmental and quality standards, including Cal Green certification across all kitchen and bath faucets and showerheads. kovaproducts.com
Trevor Mein
Landini Associates’ design of McDonald’s In The Sky at Sydney International Airport combines familiarity with inventiveness to deliver a memorable customer experience.

When the McDonald brothers opened their new drive-in in San Bernardino in 1948, it was a revolution in food service that ushered in a new era of fast- food automation. The McDonalds rationalized the commercial kitchen, streamlined processes and invented implements and equipment, replacing traditional food preparation techniques with assembly line procedures. And all of it was visible through the counter-to-ceiling glass window that wrapped the octagonal building. Dubbed the “fishbowl,” the kitchen captivated customers and the food preparation system became an attraction in itself.

The kitchen is also the star attraction at the new McDonald’s in Terminal 1 of Sydney International Airport. It is a spectacle of colour and movement elevated above the kitchen and enclosed in yellow glass. “Airports are places where you can and should do unusual and cutting-edge things,” says Mark Landini, creative director of Landini Associates. “We exposed the machinations of making the product and expressed what McDonald’s is: innovative leaders in the industry.” Add to that the electronic ordering system and conveyer belt for food delivery, which have automated McDonald’s fast-food service even further.

The concept emerged from Landini Associates’ design for a flagship McDonald’s in Hong Kong, and is also a practical and creative response to the space. In Hong Kong, Landini Associates exposed the kitchen and introduced kiosk ordering technology. In Terminal 1, Landini Associates used the volume of the building due to restricted floor space.

McDonald’s In The Sky is located through security, amidst other food and beverage outlets. It is next to a large panoramic window offering views of aeroplanes taking off and landing, with chairs and tables for customers and departing passengers in between. The kitchen floats above the service counter in a yellow glass box, whose panels, with the brand’s golden arches, also serve as signage. Like a glowing beacon, it resolves visibility issues in a space that is busy, loud and visually noisy.

On the ground, the service counter wraps around two sides of the internal volume clad in a charcoal terrazzo-look tile and has simple, intuitive signage: Order and Collect. Customers place their order at the front counter or via kiosks with easy-to-use screen interfaces. McDonald’s products are ordered from one counter, McCafé items from another, and food and drinks are collected at the rounded corner in between.

The commercial kitchen is visible through the glass walls of the kitchen, allowing customers to see the food production and delivery. Employees become part of the spectacle of the kitchen, and a conveyer belt looping around and down transports the bagged food to the collection counter. “The experience we all seek these days is being served quickly. We have delivered ease of purchase and added some theatre,” says Landini. Indeed, these moving parts provide an element of entertainment that enhances the customer experience in an environment where people are typically watching and waiting.

The design is not only intended to enhance the customer experience, but also the staff experience. “We’re really proud of our restaurants and are always looking to give our customers the best possible dining experience. We also want our crew to have a great working experience and the design is definitely one contributing factor to this,” says Josh Bannister, McDonald’s senior development director. And as McDonald’s states on its job advertisements, “The kitchen is where all the action happens.”

The yellow-coloured film on the glass serves as a beacon from across the terminal. The floor has terrazzo textured square tiles with black grout – a familiar sight in McDonald’s kitchens across the world.
Reform
Muller Van Severen, Studio David Thulstrup, and Note Design Studio lend their talents to create captivating new cabinet fronts and countertops for your IKEA kitchen.

Your IKEA kitchen doesn’t need to be basic. Reform, a Copenhagen–based company founded in 2014 by Jeppe Christensen and Michael Anderson, offers architect-designed fronts and countertops to give your kitchen a chic, affordable upgrade. "We are here to challenge the traditional kitchen industry," say Christensen and Anderson. Reform collaborates with some of the biggest names in Scandinavian architecture and design, including Bjarke Ingels Group, Norm Architects, Sigurd Larsen, and Cecilie Manz.

Now, timed to coincide with International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York and 3daysofdesign in Copenhagen, Reform is launching three new collections. Muller Van Severen, Studio David Thulstrup, and Note Design Studio are bringing their acclaimed talents to Reform’s offerings.

Muller Van Severen

Ghent–based duo Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen form Muller Van Severen, are a design firm known for being at the intersection of art and design. Their new kitchen design for Reform, called MATCH, makes use of unconventional elements such as their signature material, the durable and wax-like HDPE, traditionally used in cutting boards. The duo playfully pairs the bright panels with classic features like brass handles and a marble countertop to create a bold, graphic look.

Studio David Thulstrup

Copenhagen–based Studio David Thulstrup’s series highlights materials and textures for kitchen options that are both classic and full of personality. "It's about how the materials come to life," explains Thulstrup. The collection is called PLATE, which is a reference to how the designer "plated" the solid, interior core material with different exterior materials as though making a sandwich. The result is a variety of elegant looks that include a rich, dark wood; a matte, industrial brushed aluminum and stainless steel; and a classic white option.

Note Design Studio

Multidisciplinary, forward-thinking, Stockholm–based Note Design Studio blends traditional, Scandinavian elements with a functional, human-centered approach in FRAME. "Our ambition was to create a kitchen that felt like something we could actually use ourselves," explain the designers. "There is so much going on in the kitchen—we wanted to keep the backdrop simple, elegant, and easy on the eye."
Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG
The four-bedroom, mostly vertical units are priced from $845,000 to $900,000 and range in size from 1,868 to 2,171 square feet.

Townhomes now selling in Irvine provide one vision of California’s homes of the future.

Each unit in the three-story, multi-hued complex will generate as much power as they consume over a year, making them “zero-net-energy” homes.

But CitySquare goes a step further: It’s also one of the latest housing developments to be both zero-net-energy and all electric.

The 44-unit building — in the heart of the Irvine Business Complex — is the vision of innovative developer Meritage Homes.

It’s also another sign that all-electric homes – once a futuristic vision of the late 1950s – are making a comeback as state leaders, energy officials and environmentalists seek alternatives to fossil fuels in dwellings.

Natural gas, some energy activists say, is on the state’s endangered list.

“We are at a turning point in this state from a zero-net-energy goal … to a zero-emission building goal,” said Kristin Driskell, efficiency chief deputy for the California Energy Commission. “CitySquare shows us how we can build a clean-energy future with the homes that we are building today.”

Meritage Homes has been at the forefront of energy-efficient homebuilding, unveiling its first zero-net-energy homes in Buckeye, Ariz., in 2011 and building its first zero-net-energy community in Fontana in 2015.

But this is Meritage’s first all-electric, zero-net-energy townhome community — built, developers say, to help curb global warming.

“California and other utilities nationwide (are) looking to decarbonize,” said C.R. Herro, Meritage’s energy efficiency and sustainability vice president. “If you can source (electricity) from wind, water and solar, you can effectively power communities with no carbon footprint.”

Sales began this month for the four-bedroom, mostly vertical units with prices from $845,000 to $900,000. Homes range in size from1,868 to 2,171 square feet.

And there’s not a single pilot light in the complex. The gas line stops at the curb.

That means no more gas stoves for simmering spaghetti sauce; no more flame-generating burners in the furnace; no more gas hookups to the clothes dryer; and no more matches to relight the water heater each time the pilot goes out.

Live Better Electrically

The all-electric home seems like a throwback to the 1950s and ’60s when actor Ronald Reagan pitched “Gold Medallion” total electric homes on the General Electric Theater — long before he became governor and president.

“Live Better Electrically” was the motto of a campaign backed by organizations like the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association and the Edison Electric Institute.

Billed as the epitome of clean energy and modern living, an estimated 1 million Gold Medallion homes were built, each with a bronze “TOTAL ELECTRIC” medallion emblazoned on its doorbell, according to the electrical manufacturer’s association. They featured electric ranges and water heaters, baseboard heaters and plenty of outlets.

The 1973 oil embargo ended the Gold Medallion campaign by driving up electric rates, said Sean Armstrong, managing partner of Redwood Energy, a zero-carbon consulting firm based near Eureka.

Nearly 50 years later, electric homes are on the rise, the latest U.S. Energy Department survey shows. As of 2015, 25% of U.S. homes were all-electric, up from about 19% in 1993. They made up more than 40% of homes in the South, the latest survey showed.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures
The defunct National Baths of Aix-les-Bains will receive a vibrant and sustainably minded revival in the hands of the Paris-based practice Vincent Callebaut Architectures. Selected as the winner of a competition following the popular vote, the firm’s proposal — dubbed “The Foam of Waves” — will not only restore the ancient thermal baths, but also introduce a sustainable, energy-producing paradigm that follows the carbon-neutral guidelines as recommended by COP 21. The project will adopt a mixed-use program that incorporates residential, commercial, tourist, educational and urban agriculture spaces.

The Foam of Waves focuses on the renovation of the Pellegrini, Revel and Princes buildings while staying respectful of the existing Roman remains. To inject new energy into the space, the architects have created a mixed-use program designed to attract locals, tourists and business investment. The scope includes a tourist office, a Center of Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage, a wellness center, a teaching space for the Peyrefitte School, a wellness-focused shopping center with restaurants, coworking spaces, 185 “green apartments” and parking. An urban educational farm integrating permaculture and aquaponics will be located on the green roof.

“The whole architectural project is the carrier of the new paradigms of our society,” the architects said. “It offers future residents and visitors the opportunity to adopt new lifestyles that respect the environment, health and urban well-being in order to simply live better. It is a resilient architecture, innervated by nature. It is an ode to biodiversity, renewable energies and the circular economy that advocates the construction of post-carbon, post-fossil, post-nuclear and even post-insecticidal cities.”

In addition to an expansive green roof, the buildings will feature updated wave-like facades with balconies large enough to accommodate trees and private garden spaces for residents. The building envelopes will be also be optimized for airtightness, insulation and passive solar conditions. The project aims to produce more energy than it consumes and will include a solar photovoltaic and thermal roof, a mini-biomass plant on-site and a co-generation system with rapeseed oil. Rainwater harvesting systems and gray water recycling will also be implemented.


Interior Design Media
We all know what April means: rain showers. So, to start the month we're celebrating the drizzles and downpours that occur indoors with a look at the best shower designs in residential and hospitality projects.

1. Mohammed Kabbaj Builds a Brutalist Villa on the Site of his Childhood Home in Casablanca

The four-bedroom house Mohammed Kabbaj designed sits on the exact footprint of the French 1940s bungalow in which he grew up. He made sure to provide each of his children with a large bedroom and en suite bathroom. “Today, kids sometimes stay at home into their late twenties, so you have to design rooms for adults that are suitable for children and not the other way around,” he reasons. His son’s shower, which features a wall sheathed in colorful Brazilian marble, is particularly stunning. “I sometimes sneak in to use it myself.”

2. SABO Project Gives Timeworn Paris Loft a New Lease on Life

Giving older spaces new life drives SABO Project’s founder and principal Alex Delaunay. A 1920s Paris loft was in need of just such attention. Delaunay added a single volume to house the master suite, storage, and a lofted guest bedroom. Cement tiles clad the floor of the master bathroom, which is inside the volume. Read more

3. John Pawson Transforms a 19th-Century Former Hospital Into the Jaffa, a Luxury Hotel in Tel Aviv

What was a French 19th-century hospital is now, thanks to a sensitive restoration and the addition of a new building by Interior Design Hall of Fame member John Pawson, the Jaffa, a luxury property featuring 120 guest rooms and suites, 32 residences, two restaurants, and a spa. Furnishings are characteristically restrained and chic. In the presidential suite, subtly veined Carrara marble envelops the master bathroom.
Inbani
From curvilinear marble washbasins to spa-inspired showerheads, these design elements will boost the look of any project.

Trends come and go, but timeless and functional elements usually won't go out of style. They can be seamlessly incorporated into different design typologies, from classic and traditional to eclectic and contemporary.

Trade shows in February, including the 2019 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), have introduced a whirlpool of trendsetting products to the kitchen and bath industry, from which ARCHITECT has selected eight items that will help transform your clients' bathroom into an elegant, personalized, and refined space.

Marbleous Bathrooms

Prime by Inbani
Inspired by antique rolled edge metal bathtubs and carved from a single block of marble, the Prime washbasin was designed by Danish architecture firm Norm Architects for Spanish bathroom manufacturer Inbani. Measuring 5.9" tall, this top- or undermounted sink features a smooth, curvilinear shape and comes in 13.7"- or 17.7"-diameter options. Available in three new marble finishes (pietra gray marble shown). inbani.com

Spa Features

Nebia Spa Shower 2.0 by Nebia and Moen
As part of a joint effort by Moen and Nebia to reduce water consumption by 1 billion gallons until 2021, the companies have produced a new showerhead that Nebia says can save 65% water compared to its conventional counterparts. Dubbed "Nebia Spa Shower 2.0," the new fixture is designed with Nebia’s patented technology that “atomizes water into millions of tint droplets that create 10-times more surface area of water.” The 2.0 version provides a warmer shower experience than its earlier edition (Nebia 1.0), has twice more coverage, and features three times more water pressure. Additionally, its revamped pressure regulator can now be installed in homes with below-average water pressure (as low as 20 psi). Nebia is currently raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign, and is expecting to launch mass production by June. Offered in matte black (shown) and matte silver. nebia.com
BuroHappold
$24-million restoration taps energy from warm springs for high-tech heating system

Ancient Romans in western England bathed in naturally warm spring water of the spa town of Aquae Sulis, now named Bath. Nearly 2,000 years later, the city’s 16th century abbey is now preparing to draw warmth from the still functioning Great Roman Drain to replace the former monastery’s dilapidated Victorian-era heating system.

As part of a $24-million refurbishment, new heating will include water filled pipes buried in the Abbey’s 800-sq-meter floor, which is being rebuilt. “Hundreds of burials over the years have created voids under the floor,” says the Abbey’s project director Alix Gilmer. Stablizing the floor provided “an opportunity to rethink the heating system,” she adds.

The Abbey’s project design firm, BuroHappold Consulting, explored options for tapping energy from warm water flowing along the roughly 250-m-long Roman Great Drain at about 36° C into the River Avon.

Running alongside the Abbey and about 7 m below ground, the drain carries most of 1,200 cu m a day of warm water that rises from springs and boreholes into the Roman bath area, according to Neil Francis, a BuroHappold associate director.

Because of the water’s corrosive nature, the designers ruled out flowing it directly through the heating pipes, says Edward Levien, commercial director of Isoenergy Ltd. The privately owned renewable energy designer/contractor provided early advice to BuroHappold and last May won a roughly $350,000 subcontract to supply and install the system.

“We introduced them to the energy blade idea…(and) helped them do some modeling. They worked out the final solution,” says Levien. The energy blade is basically a thin, stainless steel hollow panel filled with a water/glycol mix. When immersed, the glycol warms to the surrounding water temperature and is then stepped up by heat pumps. For the Abbey, 10 pairs of 3-m-long, 35-cm-deep energy blades will be fitted along an accessible 40 m stretch of the Roman drain. When in operation, they will provide enough water at 55° C to supply Abbey’s under floor heating, according to Francis. Conventional supplementary heating will boost temperatures when needed.

Isoenergy is now preparing technical proposals for installing the blades through a small roadway access hatch. “We worked out what length could be fitted and [BuroHappold] made up a wooden replica,” say Levien. Installation will take two to three weeks this fall with “rolling team” working 20-minute shifts in the hot, cramped drain, he adds.
Inhabitat
Being a steward of the environment means evaluating how many resources you and your family consume and consistently looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to make small eco-friendly fixtures to your home that can have a huge impact towards those goals.

Water costs

WaterSense, a federal program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency provides information about the most water-efficient fixtures for your home. Look for a label that indicates the device has met the strict restrictions certified by an independent testing facility for the best water conservation and lowest water costs.

Faucets

The bathroom and kitchen faucets provide a convenience water source for washing hands, brushing teeth and cleaning dishes. With the ability to crank out significant amounts of water, most of the water you pay for heads right down the drain. Instead of free-flowing the cash out of your wallet, look into aerating faucet heads. They work by forcing air through the system, which provides good water pressure while using significantly less water. Look for a model with WaterSense certification and replace each faucet as they begin to leak or as your budget allows.

Toilets

Standard toilets are a culprit for much of the water usage in the average home. By replacing standard toilets with low flow models, you will see the savings add up. Basically these devices work by providing two flush options: one for solid waste and one for liquid waste that uses about ⅓ the amount of water. Doing the math, that will save you 25-33% on your toilet flushes alone. With a standard flush requiring around three gallons, that’s some big savings.

Showerheads

Low flow showerheads work in the same way as other water fixtures. In addition to the aforementioned aerating design, there are other options for slowing the flow in your morning shower. Shower heads equipped with a laminar-flow shower head that feeds individual beads of water through the holes, allows less water flow over all. Other shower heads use a flow restrictor, which allow more or less water through depending on your water pressure preference. Whichever style you choose, look for a shower head with less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute) flow rate and a WaterSense certification.

Bathtubs

Bathtubs are notorious for requiring copious amount of water. After all, submersion in a hot bath averages a consumption of around 30-50 gallons. Showers with a standard shower head, by comparison, use about 10 gallons every four minutes so calculating your shower time will help you evaluate the best water savings. If you’re a disciplined sort, keeping it under ten minutes, than a shower is probably the way to go, especially if you invest in a water-conserving shower head. If you just can’t seem to shut it down in less than 20 minutes, than a bath won’t cost you any more.

Lighting

One of the best conveniences in a modern home is the ability to flip a switch and bring light to nearly any room in the house. But each flip of the switch costs you at the meter. One option to lower those costs is to replace the type of switch you use. For example, dimmer switches allow you to set the bulb at a lower output level. Lower output means lower consumption and therefore, a lower bill. Timers are another useful option if your family tends to leave lights on frequently. A device that tells your lights to turn off at a specified time will keep the meter from running all day when they are not needed. Motion sensored lights also save money by automatically turning lights on when you enter the room and turning them off behind you when they sense inactivity.

Of course, the bulbs you use also make a huge difference in the amount of energy you’re consuming. Traditional incandescent bulbs suck up significantly more energy t
Belwith-Keeler
Smart, eclectic, and multifunctional kitchens are permeating residential design this year.

Whether you are designing your clients' kitchens from scratch or updating their outdated features, it's worth knowing that kitchens are increasingly smarter, eclectic, multifunctional, and more importantly, used as a central hub for entertaining for families, gourmands, and avid cooks. As seen on fashion runways and trade show floors, this year's trends are urging bright colors, bold patterns, and warm, familiar looks. Here are six finishes, fixtures, fittings, appliances, and more to consider for your kitchen designs.

Gold and Copper Metallic Accents

"A nod to chevron" is what Belwith-Keeler's trend manager Knikki Grantham says inspired the design behind this asymmetrical cabinet hardware collection. Manufactured from zinc, this modern, minimalist collection is suitable for use in kitchens with a contemporary style. Veer comprises six pull handles, ranging in length from 3" to 8.8"; a 1.37”-diameter knob, a 1.37"-square pull, and a 1"-long pinch knob. Offered in polished nickel, brushed golden brass, black nickel, matte black, and satin nickel finishes. belwith-keeler.com

Marble and Terrazzo Countertops

Handmade in East London by local industrial designer Robin Grasby, this contemporary take on classical terrazzo surfaces can be used in many applications, including countertops, walls, and furniture. Each Altrock slab is made from 87% reclaimed marble flour, chips, and broken slabs and 13% resin, and then finished with wax oil for a matte look. Altrock solid surfaces are waterproof, stain-resistant, and durable, according to the designer. Available in custom colors, shapes, and sizes. altrocksurfaces.com

Rich, Saturated Color

"Bold" and "saturated" are how Benjamin Moore describes this classic green. As part of a palette of 15 harmonious colors that complement Benjamin Moore's 2019 color of the year, Hunter Green 2041-10 can bring warmth and depth to a variety of interior spaces and exterior façades, doors, and shutters. In kitchens, this rich shade could be used on cabinetry paired with a light-hued countertop surface, creamy white backsplash tiles, and black, gold, or brass metallic accents. benjaminmoore.com
Loonid Fumansky
Gone are the days of cinderblock walls and students crammed two to a room on symmetrically opposed twin beds. Shared unisex bathrooms are becoming a thing of the past. A year (or more) of living with three-hundred-plus strangers in a crowded university dormitory — once considered by many to be a rite of passage in the American college experience — may no longer be the source of horror stories for future generations. The latest offerings in privately owned and developed college student housing prioritize quality and quantity, showing what can be accomplished when ambitious architects and developers embrace high-density zoning laws to implement their visions.

In some circles, the West Campus neighborhood adjacent to The University of Texas at Austin’s urban campus is considered ground zero for the luxury student housing market. Throughout the past decade, West Campus has consistently reflected, if not exceeded, the citywide increase in development in Austin. In 2004, the City of Austin approved the University Neighborhood Overlay (UNO) district in West Campus. The new UNO zoning laws proposed “high density redevelopment in the area generally west of the University of Texas campus” and aimed to “protect the character of the predominantly single-family residential neighborhoods adjacent to the district.” According to UT Austin professor and Page senior principal Lawrence W. Speck, FAIA, UNO brought thousands of formerly displaced students within walking distance of campus: “In the 1960s, there were maybe ten thousand students living out in areas from which they had to take shuttle buses to campus. It was extremely inconvenient, and it deterred activities at UT. The solution to this was the upgrading of zoning in West Campus. UNO was a smart move, no doubt.”

Among other things, UNO came up with streetscape improvements, allowed for one-hundred-percent impervious cover, and established a number of density bonuses for projects that comply with affordable housing and parking components. If a structure in West Campus sets aside 10 percent of the dwelling units to house residents whose household income is less than 80 percent of the median income in the Austin metropolitan area, it may add on 15 feet in height, or reduce its number of garage parking spaces to 40 percent of the city minimum. Nearly 15 years later, UNO’s goal of establishing a densely populated but livable pedestrian neighborhood is well on its way to being achieved.

Due to the nature of UNO’s up-zoning, the appearance and character of West Campus is slowly transforming, as more and more privately-owned, multi-story apartment complexes are replacing the battered single-family homes that have been familiar to generations of UT students. However, these multi-story projects are not just new spaces for the university population to be crammed into, dormitory-style. Architects are taking cues from student demand as well as from the young professional housing market, and forging a new path in student housing, one that creates a level of luxury and amenities unusual to college living spaces.

Since the creation of UNO, student housing projects developed within the district boundaries have shown that upscale living arrangements do not have to be limited to downtown skyscrapers. Features now standard in multi-story student apartment complexes in West Campus include expansive windows that create light-filled rooms and hallways, and provide sweeping views of the surrounding hills; sleek exterior finishes; and spacious single-occupancy bedrooms.

Lobbies are no longer environments to simply pass through; they have become inviting spaces in which residents can relax and socialize thanks to savvy interior design. In The Ruckus, which opened in 2017, the lobby, designed by Chelsea Kloss Interiors, rivals that of many boutique hotels, with modern seating arrangements swathed in opulent fabrics, framed art pieces on quirky ga
Kohler
From lavatory dramatics to connected cooking, kitchen and bath exhibitors at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas—from January 8-11—are refining their smart-home strategies with real-time innovations.

Kohler unveiled several enhancements to its Kohler Konnect portfolio, including Numi 2.0, the latest Alexa-enabled edition of the manufacturer’s super-smart toilet. Lighting has been upgraded from static colors to multicolored, and new built-in speakers add to the immersive experience. Like the original Numi, the fixture boosts water efficiency while providing personalized cleaning and drying functions, including a heated seat.

New to the Kohler Konnect range is the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, fitted with adjustable LEDs, motion-activated nightlight and hermetically sealed speakers; and the Veil Lighted Bathroom Collection, a mood lighting system that seamlessly connects the toilet, freestanding bath, mirror, and three-piece vanity with personalized illumination.

Toto debuted a new generation of its Life Anew global brand campaign—Life Anew Next—including a template for fully connected public restrooms developed in collaboration with GP Pro. The commercial dispensing provider’s Kolo Smart Monitoring System promises secure monitoring and analysis that facility managers monitor via tablet or computer to keep tabs on water consumption, cleanliness, paper and soap supplies, and any malfunctions.

Whirlpool debuted multiple smart products across its four brands, including the Whirlpool Smart All-in-One Washer and Dryer, which allows the user to complete an entire load of laundry in a single machine, a welcome solution for urban apartments and other close quarters.

Introductions from the KitchenAid brand included Smart Oven+, featuring attachments for in-home grilling, baking, and steaming; and Cook Processor Connect, an all-in-one appliance that provides recipe guidance while weighing, stewing, steaming, mincing, or pureeing the ingredients.

As is typical in the kitchen and bath arena, water conservation played a key role in many of the smart-home introductions. Moen partnered with Flo Technologies to develop Flo by Moen, a water monitoring and leak-detection system that homeowners can access via smartphone. Daily tests calculate real-time water pressure, flow rate, and temperature, while also differentiating between regular and irregular water use, which would signal a leak or over