“Big Arse Toilet” can be 3D printed and converts waste to electricity

Multinational firm Spark Architects has created the "Big Arse Toilet," a 3D-printed lavatory that can convert waste into electricity.

Spark Architects says in a press release that the 13 sq m project was designed for use in India to "combat open defecation and the associated issues of hygiene and sanitation" in remote villages.

Energy is developed by the conversion of waste into a biogas, which then fuels a combined heat and power unit, which converts the biogas into electricity.

Launched in conjunction with World Toilet Day on the 19 November, the Big Arse Toilet is printed from a mixture of processed bamboo fibre and gum resin.

The printed shell of the toilet comes complete with toilet bowl and basin printed as part of the toilet cubicle, and an underground store for the biogas. The exterior of the shell can be rendered or finished with local materials.

The toilet and biogas dome can be flown by drone into remote locations and can be locked together on site.

Spark Architects says the biogas dome can last for up to a decade, generating enough electricity to power a "small community of eight dwellings".

Stephen Pimbley, Spark Architects partner, said: "The self-funded Big Arse Toilet has been developed to highlight the fact that not enough is being done to provide solutions for vulnerable individuals that are worst affected by lack of access to the level sanitation most take for granted."

In a 2014 update on global sanitation, the UN reported that that nearly half the country – 597 million people – currently defecate out in the open, with major implications for public health. says that 1,600 Indians die every day from diarrhoea alone, a death toll roughly equivalent to eight Boeing 747s crashing each day.

In 2015 Spark Architects won the "experimental" category at the World Architecture Festival for a retirement home development with an urban farm.

Images courtesy of Spark Architects

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