Completed solar-assisted VIP latrine blocks for the Druk White Lotus School. The granite finish, required because of the buildings’ exposure to Ladakh‘s harsh climate, makes them relatively expensive. The dark south façade, with the solar flue, draws air through the cubicle and pit, which eliminates flies and odors. Both images Arup Associates
|Shey, Ladakh, India
|Druk White Lotus School
|Ove Arup & Partners
The waterless VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) latrine, designed for a school on the remote Tibetan plateau (see “Druk White Lotus School”), offers an improvement over the standard pit latrine. Designed by Arup, the system uses a solar-heated flue to force fresh air through the toilet cubicles and waste pits and out a vent, taking with it unpleasant odors and flies. Solid waste dries in twin composting pits for use as fertilizer.
“Everyone thinks that modernization means flushing toilets. It means water infrastructure, waste infrastructure, all those things. Here we are saying you can do something simply in a very remote area and still deal with these problems in a very modern, civilized way,” explains lead architect Jonathan Rose. The firm is working with local groups to replicate the design throughout the region.