Shower Boss wins sustainabile design award
Queuing for the shower was the driver behind Emil Martin's winning entry in the AUT University Sustainability Design
Coming from a family of four teenage boys, the Christchurch teenager was used to his parents yelling "Don't be so long
in the shower" and "Turn off the water now!" Often by the time the last person got their turn the shower was cold.
The AUT Sustainability Design Challenge brief was to develop an original idea for an object, product or device with the
potential to minimise people's impact on the environment and/or contribute to improving the environment.
When he saw the challenge, Emil decided to design a device which could limit shower time to reduce use of electricity
and water and the power bill.
A student at Lincoln High School, he went to work surveying people about what they would and wouldn't want in such a
system and conducting market research on what was already available.
From a questionnaire of 40 people he found that most people term 10 minutes as an adequate shower time, most have
problems with long term showers in their home and most are happy to have their shower time restricted in order to
control the time of other shower users in the home.
He came up with the award winning Shower Boss, a programmable device that can be used on an existing shower by fitting
it outside the shower lining between the mixer and the shower head.
After a lot of homework and visiting irrigation suppliers and plumbing outfitters, and with the help of engineer Kenji
Irie from Lincoln University, he designed a system using a valve and programmable chip which cuts off water after a set
time. The Shower Boss is programmable to meet the unique needs of each household and has an LED flash to warn the user
that the shower is about to turn off.
Emil says his household pays around 20 cents for each unit of electricity. A 10 minute shower uses about four units,
therefore every 10 minutes shower costs about 80 cents.
"If the Shower Boss halves your 10 minute shower time each day, saving 40 cents daily, you would save at least $146 each
year. And that would be for only one person in your family."
As the winner of the inaugural AUT Sustainable Design Challenge Emil won the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design which
includes Adobe InDesign CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3 and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional.