Trying to live a sustainable life does not always mean giving up something or making sacrifices. With technology developing, sustainability could turn into something very cool specially if you choose modern doors shower. When talking about water consumption and sustainability for instance, the first thought that might come into our mind is reduce the amount of water we use daily. Does this mean we should take shorter showers? That might be the answer unless you are using a shower built by Nebia. Nebia is a California based company and they have built an incredible shower system: it is so innovative that while being able to take your regular shower, you will still save a lot of water. How could Nebia achieve that? Today we are speaking with Philip Winter, one of the co-founders to learn more about it.
Who started Nebia? What is the story of your company?
Philip Winter: There are three co-founders: myself, Gabriel Parisi Amon and Carlos Gomez Andonaegui. Carlos used to be the head of a large chain of sport clubs in Mexico City, where he is from. They lack of water and it is very expensive to use. Having the desire to find a way to reduce and optimize the water consumption, it was Carlos father – a thinker and an engineer, who was 80 years old at that time – the person who made the very first prototype of Nebia.
Once we built and installed the first prototypes of Nebia, we had some positive feedbacks and realized that we had a good product. We decided to create a brand around it, move to San Francisco, and start the company.
In the Photo: Nebia Shower being used. Photo Credit: Nebia
Can you explain how does Nebia work?
Philip Winter: The core technology is called atomization. This technology has been used in rocket engines, internal combustion engines and agricultural sprays, but it is the first time this technology is applied on a shower. Atomization in this context means taking streams of water and turning them into millions of tiny droplets, that are much smaller than the average droplet. This create a surface of water that is ten times greater compared to a regular shower and this is what makes using Nebia such and enveloping experience. When creating Nebia we were always asking ourselves: “how could we reduce the amount of water used when showering and, at the same time, create a great shower experience?”
Is it possible to install Nebia in any house or facility? Do you have some specific technical requirements?
Philip Winter: It is designed mainly for homes and it is very easy to install and to use. There are some minor requirements: you need to have a minimum water pressure and pipes need to come out of the wall at a certain height above the ground in your house. Our first version of Nebia is compatible only in some countries, but we are coming out with a new version that will be compatible in more locations around the world.
In the Photo: Part of the team of Nebia working. Photo Credit: Nebia
Is the design functional to the atomization or did you also wanted to create a beautiful piece of design?
Philip Winter: The design is part functional and part to look modern and to show this is a truly new shower experience. It has few functionalities built into it: it can slide up and down about sixty or seventy centimeters; the hand shower can be sprayed at the same time as the top shower – in most of the shower system with dual spray you can only have one functioning at the time, in the case of Nebia you can have both working together – and still saving a tremendous amount of water.
Is it already available to buy? Are you thinking about developing other water-saving products as well?
Philip Winter: We have been selling Nebia for over a year now and we sold around 15,000 units around the world. For now, we are just focusing on the shower, but we are also working on developing other products; unfortunately, I can’t really say much about them now.
In the Photo: Nebia Shower. Photo Credit: Nebia
Nebia shows that technology is the key to achieve a better and sustainable world. What are your thoughts about this? Do you believe the world will be more sustainable in the future?
Philip Winter: I’m glad you asked that question. Sustainability is a trendy thing right now, which is OK if this brings it to the consciousness of more people. Truth is, sustainability is not a new thing: it is something we are going back to. We used to be a sustainable society but with consumerism and massive population growth we became massively unsustainable.
Right now, we are very far from having a sustainable society and we are still warming the planet every year; our target is to limit global warming, not to actually go back to where we were before. Changing things is incredibly hard with the lifestyle we all want to have and with the global population growing.
Sustainability is at the absolute core of what we do: the material that we choose, the way we manufacture things and of course what our product does.
I think it is absolutely incredible that a company like Apple that is the biggest company in the world and one with the most pioneering technology has announced that all their facilities are running on renewable energy – including their offices, their stores and the data and storage center. This is quite an indication we are moving in the right direction. I believe technology can play a really pivotal role in helping sustainability, and water is an area which is highly under invested in sustainability and that is going to change very quickly.
I was just in Cape Town, South Africa two weeks ago: Cape Town is one of the first major cities around the world having to turn down its supply of water: that is really scary. The inhabitants have been incredible and have reduced their daily consumption by half and now they are starting to think about their future in a more sustainable way. I’m afraid this is going to happen in more places in the future, if the demand of water increases with the population growth and severe weather start to become more prevalent.
We have to find a way to reduce our water consumption per capita, because we haven’t done it in the past and as the planet swells from 7 billion people to 10 billion over the next thirty years, we still have the same supply of water. We can’t mine or search for more water, we have what we have. I believe only 2% of earth water is fresh water and we have to find ways to use it more efficiently. With Nebia we hope to be part of the movement that really look at water as an opportunity for innovation and sustainability.