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published on 18.08.2021

RVB - The object becomes.

A conversation with Pierre Gillieaux, sales & marketing director, Alexandre Humbert, director and Giovanna Massoni, curator.

Since 1935, rvb® creates, designs and manufactures high-quality faucets to meet the highest expectations and needs regarding bathrooms and kitchens. rvb® continues to manufacture in its Brussels workshops with high quality standards and respect for the environment.

What is a tap? 
A tap (or faucet) is something that's used to wash your hands, to brush your teeth, or to just use water, in the bathroom or the kitchen. The body is made of brass, the main component of a faucet. Then you have the aerator where the water comes out and then the handle that you can turn to open and close the tap. Generally, you have two handles, one on each side of a spout, to have cold and hot water. 

How often do we use taps?
We probably use taps more than 10 to 20 times a day.

How did you build taps when you started the company?
We used to build faucets using more craft-based skills. Today our company is a big mix of craftsmanship and industrialization. We have beautiful machines but we need skilled people to work them. Originally, from sketch to final product, everything was made by hand. Today it's a completely different production system. We have a research & development department where engineers design new products on a computer then send the information directly to the machines. We have people who work with the machines to build parts and make the taps. The process has changed in 20 years. We’re proud to have very up-to-date production, but we keep people at the centre of this production process. Human beings have to continue to be the key part of the production system, for many reasons: guaranteeing quality is the main one.

How do you imagine you will produce taps in ten years?
I hope we will produce our taps and faucets in a greener way. We can’t produce taps, cars or whatever like we did 40 years ago. Today we play a role in sustainability. We can’t produce waste as we did before. Not being on Earth but being part of the Earth… It's very important not to use plastic, to keep working with brass and to be able to repair our taps. That means that if in 20 years your faucet doesn't work anymore, you can repair it and make it work for 20 more years.

What about water consumption?
It's a very relevant topic for us. You can work on different things to reduce the impact on the Earth. Regarding taps, today, you can use different aerators that can regulate the water flow to reduce it as much as possible. We have taps just to wash hands, that give you less than 2 litres per minute, which is very low. In general, we want to mix comfort and eco-friendliness. When you take a shower, it's always a pleasure. You want to keep that comfort but you want to care about the planet too. And with the aerators for showers and washing basins and every kind of faucet that we produce, we can do it. We reduce the flow of water, but we try to keep the comfort. That's our main objective today.

Could you tell us about the fact that RVB produces all the parts of a tap here?
At RVB we produce all of the components of the taps, everything is made here in Belgium. We work with outsourced companies for smaller parts that we can’t make here, but the companies we collaborate with are like us. An important fact is that we can master the tools here, we can produce all the elements of the taps here in Brussels. That wasn't the case years ago, and it's very important to us to master the complete production process.

Yours is a family business… What is the approach of a family-driven company?
I work with my dad and my brother. We have values. We’re not just a company, we’re a family. My dad took over the company beginning in 2000, and now my brother and I try to keep that heritage going: production in Brussels, the quality of the product.
RVB isn’t a start-up, it's not a new brand, it's Belgian heritage. Following my father's dream, this is a people-oriented company producing nice, green Belgian products. And both my brother and I will try to keep these legacies alive as much as possible for future generations.

Joe collection, 2021
Designer : Co.Studio
Materials : Brass