SVSS – Amenities Block | pentArchi

The Samford Valley Steiner School Amenities Block is a demonstration that even a small project can make a big difference in shifting social socially perceptions which will enable greater sustainable goals and targets to be reached.

Providing the school campus with a typical composting amenities block was part of the sustainable design – Masterplan strategy by pentArchi for reducing water consumption and not exacerbating the existing onsite septic system which was already overloaded.

The school campus has no town water and relies on rain water harvesting with H2O stored in tanks for all the water usage of the school.
The findings of an audit on water consumption at the school campus established that WC flushing was one of the biggest single identified causes of water consumption.
Traditional WC’s not only waste a lot of water every day, additionally WC would have required relocation and provision for new onsite treatment plant with large effluent treatment area taking away precious play area for pupils.

The Steiner School is s a client who is willing to outlay the additional finance required, when it comes to specification and long-term vision of any design alternatives that offers sustainable solution.

Composting toilets eliminate the need for flush toilets, this significantly reducing water use and allows for the recycling of valuable plant nutrients to go back into the environment.

From an educational perspective, it was imperative decision for the school ethos to enhance public perception on waterless toilets.
In the past, composting WC’s may have been perceived socially to be old fashioned, ‘smelly’ and not appropriate for a school environment.
The design provides an excellent solution which facilitates pupils’ supervision, is easily cleaned and the chosen composting system is accessible and maintainable at low cost over a long period of times.

The design of the Samford Steiner School compost Amenities will increase sustainability in school campus and community at large in the following ways:

The waterless WC will drastically decrease the water consumption in the school which has no reticulated town water.
The waterless WC will not affect the existing on-site wastewater treatment infrastructure which is at maximum capacity.
The facility produces a dried usable by product top-soil like humus that does not need to be transported off site and when cured can be used as compost garden in beds and enrich topsoil.
The composting facility will make pupils aware of the efforts required for recycling including the constant monitoring of composting processes
Last and most importantly the high standard quality of the design will start to change the perception of pupils using waterless toilets and more importantly of taking responsibility of our own waste product.
Clever choice of materials and simple design reduced the total embodied carbon of the project and the overall energy consumption and water consumption is a fraction compared to similar conventional toilet blocks in other schools.

The Waterless amenities design was congruent with the underling sustainable principles of the school and thus provided appropriate solution.

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