An Architect’s Guide To: Toilets

Tackle the technical design considerations for toilets.

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On the face of it, toilets aren’t the most poetic building-product in the world, they are ubiquitously important and incredibly complex. And as manufacturers like LAUFEN and Toto demonstrate with their expertise, toilets are the results of the utmost precision and artistry.

This week, with a little bit of humor, Architizer dove into endless angles of designing, specifying and selecting the best toilet for your next project. Including the latest in smart toilets, water-saving toilets, ADA compliant toilets and self-cleaning toilets, this distinct world of research is both greater and deeper than you may have ever imagined. Here’s this week’s guide to everything you need to know about toilets:

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How to Specify: Toilets

“You have to have a sense of humor when talking about toilets. There’s no getting around the fact that they aren’t the most charismatic building-product in the world, but they are very important (everyone has to use them), and, as we learned this week, they are pretty incredible feats of engineering. We talked to Ilker Hussein, Commercial Director at Swiss bathroom ceramics manufacturer LAUFEN, about the precision and art that goes into designing a toilet and what architects should keep in mind when selecting one.” Check out the full story here.

How to Select the Right Smart Toilet for Your Next Design

“While smart toilets have long enjoyed popularity abroad, they haven’t made a splash — no pun intended — stateside until more recently. ‘The majority of Americans just haven’t grown up using smart toilets and bidets like in Japan where 78 percent of households have them,’ Jeannette Long, vice president of brand marketing at plumbing giant American Standard, explains. However, within the last few years, more and more manufacturers have been introducing smart models to the U.S. audience.” Check out the full story here.

TOTO’s 3-D Tornado Flush toilet takes sustainability a step further; GIF via TOTO

How to Choose the Ultimate Water-Saving Toilet

“One of the biggest ways a seemingly trivial toilet can contribute to the overall sustainable ecosystem of a building is by helping it save water. Designing for water conservation is an ever-evolving world and one that not only building-product manufacturers should be aware of, but architects also have a major responsibility in heeding.” Check out the full story here.

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Accessible bathroom design requirements; images via Bobrick.

How to Design and Specify an ADA-Compliant Toilet Cubicle

“Today, many manufacturers extol their products as ones that meet and exceed the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act’s (ADA) standards for design. However, planning an accessible bathroom, which meets the requirements contained within the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, boils down to a much larger process than selecting the perfect toilet. As the ADA regulates almost every specification contained in a bathroom, compliance means not only selecting an appropriate product, but also properly integrating it into the bathroom setting so that it is readily usable by individuals with disabilities.” Check out the full story here.

Case Studies

Firing of sinks and toilets in a LAUFEN kiln

How LAUFEN Created a Custom Toilet for Herzog & de Meuron’s “Jenga Tower”

“The development team behind 56 Leonard, the Herzog & de Meuron–designed luxury tower in New York City, knew that they wanted their project to have a bespoke bathroom experience from the start. Their solution was to enlist the Swiss ceramics manufacturer LAUFEN, a brand with over 120 years of experience creating bathroom furniture. The artisans at LAUFEN created 267 single washbasins, 144 double washbasins and 142 bathtubs designed by the architects as well as 577 toilets featuring a custom matte-white coating and imprinted with a special LAUFEN 56 logo for the project.” Check out the full story here.

Bacteria and any excess water swirling around the toilet will be effectively eliminated and dried within just hours of use; Via Duravit

Why Every Architect Should Start Specifying Self-Cleaning Toilets

Duravit’s advanced HygieneGlaze 2.0, which is made up of a metal ion-based chemical composition, kills 90 percent of bacteria including E.coli after six hours post-use. After a full 24 hours, 99.999 percent is gone, according to the global toilet manufacturer. It also arrests more bacterial growth compared to conventional ceramic glazing.” Check out the full story here.

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