In 2013 the ZVSHK Award was presented for the first time by the Zentralverband Sanitär Heizung Klime. At the ISH, the world's leading trade fair for sanitary heating and air-conditioning, the Zentralverband Sanitär Heizung Klima (ZVSHK) presented the "Bathroom Comfort for Generations" product award to five winners on 14 March in Frankfurt am Main. The award ceremony took place in the presence of Günther Hoffmann, Ministerial Director at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, who represented Dr. Peter Ramsauer, patron of the award.
Manfred Stather, President of the ZVSHK, was very satisfied with the results of the Product Award: "Our expectations of the competition were more than fulfilled. 55 product submissions from Germany, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Brazil and Japan have shown that companies worldwide have recognised the market potential to develop attractive products for the bathroom that meet the criteria of 'Design for All'," explained Stather. The competition has proven to be a good instrument to meet the challenges of demographic change with innovative product solutions. "Growing older is a lifelong process", also jury member Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehr, former Federal Minister and Chairwoman of the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen (BAGSO) underlined the cross-generational approach of the Product Award. "For self-determined living in old age, the bathroom is gaining in importance," added Ministerial Director Hoffmann.
A-Flex (FSB), as a flexible mounting system for folding support handles and shower seats, opens up new perspectives for equitable equipment of sanitary facilities in the hospitality industry. The ShowerSelect (Hansgrohe) bathroom fitting is characterised by intuitive use. Built-in recessed grips on the Comfort to Care (HEWI) washbasin offer safety and can also be used as towel rails. The name of the Walk in - Easy Comfort (HSK) shower cubicle is the program: here, too, the design combines aspects of comfort and safety. The award for the 4Bambini play and water landscape (Keramag) makes it clear that the concept of design for all extends over generations.
"Design for All offers concrete approaches to overcoming stigmatisation. In times of global economic consolidation, the time has come to invest in demographic change," emphasised Pete Kercher, Ambassador EIDD - Design for All Europe. "All the award-winning products combine great user-friendliness with high-quality design," emphasised Dr. Peter Neumann, Chairman of Design for All - Germany e.V. (EDAD) and chairman of the eight-member interdisciplinary and international jury. "Design for All offers strategies and tools for the development of a more comfortable and livable world for all people," explained Francesc Aragall, President Design for All Foundation. "The award is a start," said Andreas Bethke, member of the jury and Chairman of the Executive Board of Bundeskompetenzzentrum Barrierefreiheit e. V., "when political demands such as those laid down in the Disability and Equal Treatment Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are implemented within the framework of product development.
The demand for attractive and generational solutions in the bathroom is increasing with the growing number of elderly people. In 2012, 480,000 bathrooms were renovated by the guild craftsmen to meet the needs of around 195,000 elderly people. "With this award, we want to address the growing demand and encourage manufacturers to develop innovative products," said Elmar Esser, Managing Director of the ZVSHK, underlining the motivation for the Product Award. Esser understands the commitment of the ZVSHK both at the socio-political level and in his function as a representative of the interests of his members, the more than 30,000 guild businesses of the SHK trade. For the customer and at the 'point of sale', they are the point of contact for innovative bathroom solutions: from advice and planning to implementation and maintenance. Neighbouring sectors such as architects and specialist planners or the senior citizens and housing industry also benefit from the association's commitment. The award recently met with great interest from the tourism industry at the ITB 2013 in Berlin.
The five prize winners were selected from 25 nominated products covering almost all product groups in the bathroom: from bathroom furniture and elements characterised by high-quality design to bathroom fittings and assembly systems which, by involving users in the development process, have a high level of user orientation and usability. Following the ISH, the prizewinners will be on display in bathroom exhibitions organised by specialist wholesalers.