give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater
 

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater

when it comes to innovation, swiss bathroom specialists LAUFEN aren’t for taking things sitting down. except, of course, if it’s their game-changing save! separation toilet…

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater
a urine-separating toilet – with all the design smarts that you’d expect from a brand like LAUFEN – is just the latest in the company’s proud history of paradigm-shifting firsts. welcome to ‘save!’
all images courtesy of LAUFEN

 

show me a brand that doesn’t claim to be innovative and I’ll show you a hen with teeth.

some are genuinely committed to game-changing transformation, of course, and deliver it. while others believe that they’re shifting paradigms, but, in fact, aren’t. and then there are those that say they are, yet happily continue producing the same old stuff in the same old way. which is fine if it works for them. but you can’t call that innovation.

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater
save! is the result of a collaboration with austrian design studio EOOS, together with the swiss federal institute of aquatic science and technology (EAWAG) and the bill & melinda gates foundation

 

 

in business for over 125 years, swiss bathroom manufacturer LAUFEN’s story is one of a series of firsts. 1980, for example, saw the company develop a new pressure-casting production method, which went on to establish a new industry benchmark, while saphirkeramik, its 2013 material breakthrough, has already served to change the design language of bathroom products.

 

its latest innovation comes in the form of a product that acts as a potential catalyst for a major infrastructural change: a separation-toilet concept called ‘save!’. there are compelling reasons why separating out urine from our wastewater is a good thing. the stuff is packed full of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, essential nutrients for plant growth. think fertiliser. currently, these nutrients pass through sewage-treatment plants untreated, resulting in the prolific growth of algae in our natural waterways, ultimately depriving them of oxygen and killing them.

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater

 

 

with its urine trap invisible to the user, the save! toilet deploys a so-clever-yet-so-simple and sustainable, hydrodynamic concept that avoids the mechanical or electronic

 

the separation toilet itself might not be new, but, via a collaboration with austrian design studio EOOS, along with the swiss federal institute of aquatic science and technology (EAWAG) and the bill & melinda gates foundation, LAUFEN has created a viable, sustainable product where the ‘urine trap’, as it’s called, is hidden, maintaining the visual integrity of the bowl.

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater

give pee a chance: LAUFEN save! toilet separates urine and wastewater
save! is not just a product. it functions as a clarion call for real systemic change that can have a real environmental impact

 

the design deploys a hydrodynamic principle, meaning no special membrane or other widget, be it mechanical or electronic, is needed. instead ‘passive separation’ is achieved – regardless of whether the user is a man, woman or child – via the bowl’s clever form. (you do need to be seated, however!) the pee meets the side of the vessel and runs along it into a special receptacle. the flushing water, meanwhile, goes down the big hole (if you’ll allow me the technical term) as usual, due to its faster speed and higher pressure – and in doing so bypasses the urine that’s been siphoned off.

 

the environmental – and, indeed, economic – benefits of separating wastewater at source are clear. LAUFEN’s save! concept functions as a clarion call for real systemic change by showing how it can, and should, be done. if not now, then when?

 

 

guest feature by simon keane-cowell / architonic

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