Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature
Valley Acrylic (Valley) is a B.C. based, female owned, environmentally focused company dedicated to the design and manufacture of new and innovative bathroom products. The company’s acrylic bathtubs, showers, modular bathing systems, shower receptors and fixtures are designed and manufactured with the goals of being healthy, easy to clean, easy to install, and to look good.
Ravi Beech, responsible for marketing and business development, founded the company with her mother and aunt based on an interest in creating innovative, Canadian made products that would better support the industry.
“My father came to Canada with a background in science and began working in plumbing, using science to improve the market,” she said.
She says he wanted to provide the market with plumbing products that were affordable, healthy and environmentally sound and that he was the first to bring the dual flush toilet to B.C.’s lower mainland.
At the time, all of the product was outsourced and so quality control was a major concern. Beech launched Valley driven by a desire to see products that were fully Canadian made, where she could be assured of their quality. “Those first two years we were completely focused on research and development, securing details including jetting from Quebec from another female owned manufacturer, (and) drains manufactured in Ontario from a family owned business.”
By 2007 the company began selling its unique products, based on its innovative mold design that allows for multi-size products from 30 to 72 inches, adjustable drain locations and a variety of clearances.
Many of the company’s lines began with solutions in mind, such as the Life Series line which provides barrier free accessibility and modern design to suit any user. Other lines were inspired by Beech’s personal interest in high fashion, such as the Coco Channel line or the freestanding Stiletto model that resembles a stiletto shoe.
Beech says Valley’s custom products are designed to solve plumbing and technical challenges, but also are designed to appeal to users. “Our Colour Me series is hand painted by in-house artisans with pop-up colour that can be added in any location.”
In recognition and celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Beech says by July 1, the company will release the Canada 150 Onyx Collection. The collection will include a hand carved, stone tub with storage and an Illumination Series of food-grade entertainment sinks. Beech says this is Valley’s contribution to art and its celebration of what it means to be Canadian.
She says the company’s all female drive also means a focus on ensuring a healthier end user environment. That means, right from the healthiest jetting that is available to drain cover solutions that prevent hair build up, attention to cleanliness, healthier water supply and ease of maintenance are built into every design.
Valley’s 25-member team is multicultural and diverse, says Beech. Members speaks 12 languages and all materials are produced in English, French and Spanish to reflect bilingualism in Canada and the U.S.
Beech says this is just one way the company works to go the extra mile. Its commitment to the environment is another. The company is working on several reclaimed and recycled product lines focusing on sustainability with the intent of becoming a zero-waste manufacturer.
In 2016 Valley succeeded in preventing about “1,300 kilograms of materials from going into landfills with an equivalent carbon value of 4.7 tonnes prevented from entering the atmosphere by recycling materials rather than producing them again from scratch.”
Recycling these materials also saved a total of about 5,800 kilowatt hours of electricity, 24 trees worth of paper and paper products, and a total of nearly 38,000 litres of water.
Beech says her long term goal is to one day use materials left after renovations as raw materials. “For now, we make our own composites, use recycled materials and buy green when we can.”
Valley is also a big contributor to Habitat for Humanity. “We didn’t want to just make bathroom products, we want to be part of the community, part of people’s story. That’s part of why we participate with Habitat, support prostate cancer research and a local program to help single mothers get housing.”
Through its wholesale and retail networks, Valley product is available across North America. The company’s products have been installed in hotel and condominium projects, multifamily homes and in custom homes and renovation projects. “Our dealers tell us that contractors especially like our lines because of the easy to install instructions and videos that come with every product, including custom designs.”
For more information, visit http://www.valleyacrylic.com.