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Off Grid Appliances: The Bathroom For A Zero Energy Prefab House

That may look like a livestock trough to YOU, but to me?
I have a toilet, and a tub.
[note: Temporary placement.]

I confess I always wanted a livestock trough for a tub.
Inner cowgirl, y'know.

The trough will work well with the tiny recycled, reused stainless steel sink we purchased from Richmond's Restore awhile back.

Here are my first thoughts on these fixtures:
Like Alice In Wonderland or Willy Wonka's hallway, they initially appear out of proportion.
There is a reason for that.

The tub and sink are much *smaller* than traditional counterparts.
In average homes, the bigger the sink and tub, the grander.

In an off grid zero energy prefab house kit, luxury comes in other forms, but not from waste of water.

Initially, I asked Handsome Husband to consider the 6 foot trough.
"We never have time for baths, and you could lie full out in a 6 foot tub, like you did in Skibo!
Ah, those were the days when you could stretch out in not a bathroom tub but a ROOM built for a tub, in a castle, and peacefully while away a morning sipping coffee and reading the paper as the sun streamed into your suds!
[Handsome Husband can thank me now for not publishing corresponding picture of him, in a tub, in Skibo.]

His rebuttal grounded me: "There is no room for water waste in an off grid zero energy prefab house." Agreed.

And instead of a sleek, discrete modern design toilet, we have the
non-electric composting toilet.

Which, one step ahead of its dual-flush / tankless / high-efficiency cousins, uses NO WATER.  It's so in-yer-face big, I'd almost call it Eco Bling except it's so ugly!

But boy is it effective. It not only reduces water use in the household, but reduces septic needs. (Much more on this in future posts, don't make assumptions here until we post our detailed and approved-by-department-of-health-for-Virginia irrigation and septic information!)

NO MORE PEE PAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yes, if this looks a bit awkward at first, I assure you:
It is a major step up for this off grid household!

Styling can come later.

Today, it's solely about off grid zero energy efficiency and effectiveness.
And the livestock trough will look really cool once we install the corresponding metallic sink and shower fixtures.

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At 9/15/10, 11:12 AM , Anonymous Becky / @ecomod said...

It is what it is! That toilet would be a GREAT project for Industrial Design students to take on. It'd be cool if the drawer thingys under the seat were removable from outside the house. Maybe that whole assembly is an exterior wall mount, (or floor mount, accessible from a basement level) serviced from outside, & just the seat is inside. Opens it up for some interesting design solutions.

Either way, much comfier than a bucket, since winter is upon us shortly!

At 9/15/10, 12:47 PM , Blogger Passive Solar Prefab Homes said...

...MUCH nicer than taking a whining child through the darkness because they "have to go #2!" in mid-Winter!

I agree, composting toilets would make a GREAT design project for an industrial design school!

Composting Toilet.

One day.


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