Apr 21, 2022
The HSB Living Lab is exactly what it sounds like – a living laboratory. In this house innovations are being developed and tested on site in a real environment. During the past six months, an exciting project has been underway in collaboration with Orbital.
The Orbital Shower Retrofit has been installed in three different housings at the HSB Living Lab. Partly in a normal family apartment, partly in two student residences.
In concrete terms, the HSB Living Lab is a building on the Chalmers Campus Johanneberg in Gothenburg where the top three floors accommodate 29 residences for researchers and students and the ground floor contains rooms for collaboration. In the housing, approximately 40 people live in both more traditional apartments and student housing with common areas, where research is conducted around the sharing economy and how best to use common areas.
In the Living Lab, both technical and architectural inventions are tested, to increase knowledge about how we should build the homes of the future. Much is about long-term sustainability – how we can save resources and energy by finding new solutions for everyday tasks such as washing, cooking and daily hygiene.
During the past six months, there has also been an exciting project in collaboration with Orbital. Orbital Shower has been installed in three different residences at HSB Living Lab. Partly in a normal family apartment, partly in two student residences.
Because the Orbital Shower cleans and recirculates the water, the user can shower as long as they want without wasting water, and at the same time reduce energy consumption. For Orbital, it has always been central not to compromise comfort in order to save water. The company's founder, Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, is convinced that solutions must be developed that do not feel like a sacrifice for the user in order to bring about a change in behavior in the environmental field.
Mikkel Garde is an industrial designer at Orbital. He has been deeply involved in the project and sees it as a great advantage to be able to test the Orbital Shower in close cooperation with the residents at the HSB Living Lab.
- We are always working to improve the user experience of our products and this is an excellent platform for feedback from engaged and interested students. It has given us valuable insights into how we can further develop both the technology and how users can get the best possible experience while saving water and electricity, says Mikkel.
The feedback from those who tested the Orbital Shower during this period is well illustrated by one of the students in the residence, Zigge Sommar. He was initially a bit skeptical about whether a water-saving shower would really work as well as a conventional one and make you feel the same clean after the shower. But after using it for a while, he has come to the conclusion that he now prefers the Orbital Shower to a regular, traditional shower.
During the project, a large amount of data has been collected on how the Orbital Shower performs in the various apartments under various conditions depending on the residents' different showering habits. The savings depend, as always, on how often and how long you shower.
The data from the HSB Living Lab shows that the Orbital Shower has provided good savings. Compared to a traditional shower, they have reached savings levels of 80-90 percent less consumption of hot water and between 60 and 70 percent savings in electricity and heating energy.
- These are very good results at the same time that we have received really good qualitative feedback from this test period. We take it further in our development process and look forward to continued cooperation in future projects with HSB, says Mikkel Garde.