The Loo Sets the Standard for Sustainable Restroom Architecture

Public restrooms have earned a bad reputation for their negative impact on the environment. This criticism poses a significant challenge to a city’s sustainability efforts and can hinder the fight to expand the availability of public facilities. Unfortunately, traditional restrooms indeed burn through valuable resources due to their susceptibility to damage, expensive components, and energy inefficiency.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. By setting a new standard for sustainable restroom architecture, the Portland Loo is making it possible for cities to balance the need for public amenities without sacrificing environmental responsibility.

Quick installation.

The Portland Loo’s prefabricated design, in stark contrast to traditional public restrooms that require on-site, piece-by-piece construction, is a key factor in its eco-friendliness. Once the concrete and utilities are prepared, the Loo only takes around two hours to install. This dramatic reduction in installation time greatly diminishes the resulting environmental consequences. Throughout the installation process, the Loo consumes less energy, emits fewer contaminants, and causes less ecological disruption when compared to standard public restroom options.

Smaller footprint.

The Portland Loo measures only 6 feet (1.8 m) x 10.5 feet (3.2 m) which is significantly more compact than the average facility. This smaller footprint means less environmental disruption to local habitats throughout the unit’s lifespan, not just during the installation process.  By occupying less space, the Loo reduces the ecological impact, which is particularly vital in sensitive areas such as local parks. Unnecessarily large facilities threaten to cause irreparable damage to local environments.

Angled louvers.

The angled louvers were initially designed to strike a balance between privacy and safety, but this unique design has some sustainability benefits too. These openings allow sufficient natural light to enter during daylight hours, limiting energy usage for artificial illumination. A built-in skylight at the top of the Loo helps boost visibility. The angled louvers double as a ventilation system by allowing for natural airflow which eliminates the need for expensive and energy-consuming fans.

Solar panels.

Solar power is the most abundant natural energy source on the planet which is why the Portland Loo comes with optional solar panels. These energy-efficient and carbon-neutral panels can be used in tandem with municipal electricity or power the entire unit, depending on the amount of sunlight available. This eco-friendly option makes it easy for cities to cut down on their carbon footprint while optimizing the accessibility of public restrooms in off-the-grid locations. Plus, the Loo is equipped with low-voltage electricity for optimal energy efficiency.

Further Reading: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Portland Loo

Durable materials.

There’s no shortage of horror stories about cities removing public restrooms only a few years (or months) after installation. The high churn rate with facilities has serious ecological consequences including disruptive and prolonged installation, emissions associated with creating new materials, and the tossing of non-renewable materials. The Loo bucks this trend by using renewable and highly durable materials that are designed to last for 100 years. Cities will also save time and financial resources due to easier and lower-cost maintenance.

Low-flow toilets.

Low-flow toilets are a cornerstone of the Portland Loo’s sustainable design. While most public restrooms meet the federal minimum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush, the Loo goes a step further by saving an extra 20% of water per user. In addition, the outdoor sink is equipped with an automatic shutoff which guarantees water conservation without relying on user discretion. This is a crucial design feature for cities struggling with alarmingly low water levels and high instances of droughts, especially in the southwest of the US.

Interested in bringing a Loo to your city? Check out some tips here. The Portland Loo already calls over 20 different cities home across three continents. Feel free to contact us if you have specific questions too. We look forward to hearing from you!