Restrooms of the Future

Restrooms of the Future

waterless urinals


by Klaus Reichardt — When the economy was booming and bustling, architects, designers, and manufacturers were encouraged to come up with an array of new design and technology ideas for buildings. And the funds were available to make them happen.

No discussion of trends in restrooms is complete without a mention of water conservation. In some facilities, more water is used, and often wasted, in restrooms than in any other area of the building. In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which included a provision that toilets sold in the United States use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush (GPF). At that time, many toilets, even new ones, were using as much as 3 GPF or more. The act also required urinals to use about a gallon of water or less.

Early systems did not work well, often requiring multiple flushes to perform adequately. This defeated the goal of the act. Further, they often required more cleaning because waste was not adequately removed.

Most of these problems have been alleviated, and now many manufacturers are introducing toilets that use 1.3 GPF or less. Some urinals also use less water.

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