Perth Zoo Eco Toilet Facility
Labouchere Road, South Perth
Clean design for dirty business: Perth Zoo’s award-winning Eco Toilet Facility.
Sanitation is never the most exciting part of a public facility, so we were quite intrigued to take on Perth Zoo’s new Eco Toilet project. More than a necessary amenity for visitors, the aim of the project was to create a practical and convenient facility using ecologically sustainable strategies, including active and passive systems, technologies and materials.
We began with the chief function of the facility: it needed to be an appealing, comfortable space for visitors’ sanitation needs. We built it around the concept of a ‘village’, with a loose collection of pavilion style buildings and a series of interconnected courtyards. The resulting space is fresh, pleasant and natural, without the secluded, dingy ‘cell’ feeling of typical toilet blocks. Natural ventilation is facilitated by the ‘floating’ roof structures, which also allow abundant light in. We balanced this open roof with solid concrete walls, to maintain the necessary sense of privacy for visitors.
We are exceptionally proud of the sustainable nature of the facility, which was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for Excellence in Energy Efficiency at the 2011 MBA Awards. We used recycled wood and plastic composite battens as organic awning features and recycled granulated rubber for the pathways. Concrete blockwork was selected for the walls instead of kiln-fired clay bricks due to its lower embodied energy, and all columns and beams are sustainably sourced LVL timber. The buildings generate their own power with an array of solar panels and an on-site wind turbine, and rainwater collection tanks are situated throughout the facility, with an additional function as privacy screens.