There are several good reasons for installing vacuum sanitary systems in buildings. Whether you want to save water, reduce your sewage volume or install pipes independent of gravity, you will find what you need in a Jets™ system.
Private homes sometimes install a vacuum system to meet regulations or requirements, such as obtaining a building permit when building a new house below the level of the public sewage network. Larger buildings with hundreds of toilets are usually set on saving water – and money. And some are just thinking about the environment.
New opportunities in both new buildings and rehabilitation projects – that’s what Jets™ systems are all about. Vacuum systems are affordable and have low life cycle costs. Return on investment periods are usually short. At the same time, these systems are flexible, adaptable and not least: they scale with your system needs.
Easy and fast installation
Thin vacuum pipes with diameters as small as 50mm (2″) transport sewage faster, more efficient and more reliably than a traditional gravity/water system could ever do. The piping can even be installed vertically in thin walls and in ceilings, because vacuum systems are able to lift sewage upward from the toilet. This enables faster installation at a later stage in the building process than what is possible with gravity toilets.
Virtually no risk of leaks
Vacuum piping is literally air tight. If a leak does occur however, air enters the piping instead of sewage leaking out. Any leaks are discovered extremely fast because they cause the pumps to run for extended periods, alerting the owner that something is wrong.
Constant Vacuum System solutions
In larger buildings, Constant Vacuum System (CVS™) solutions are used to enable connection and reliable operation of virtually unlimited numbers of toilets. CVS™ systems are expandable – so if more toilets are installed, simply add more vacuum units.
Long experience in building projects
Jets™ has some 15 years of experience in vacuum sanitary systems for buildings. The very first systems we installed in the early 1990s are still operational today, and we are happy to share our wealth of knowledge about vacuum systems for your building project.
Originally built in the 1970’s the Castelão stadium in Brazil is undergoing a complete renovation in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A Jets™ vacuum sanitary system will ensure the 70,000 spectators have access to reliable and hygenic toilets at every match.
Challenges that faced the designers
Brazil is facing a water crisis in urban areas, and infrastructure for water and sewage is being overloaded. Stadiums add considerably to this strain on infrastructure, when tens of thousands of fans flush toilets during half time. It is common for stadiums to have water tanks holding millions of litres of water, as the public water supply simply cannot cope with this demand.
Laying new 110mm soil pipes that rely on gravity for sewage transport is often difficult in renovation projects, especially in heavy concrete structures such as stadiums. With Brazil’s high water prices, operating a traditional toilet system with large numbers of users is very costly.
Using just 1 litre of water per flush, Jets™ vacuum systems reduce the volumes of water and sewage associated with toilet flushing by up to 90%. The size of water tanks in the stadium can be considerably reduced. 50mm pipes used in vacuum systems are easier to install when renovating. Pipes can be laid horizontally or even upwards if need be. The low water consumption of Jets™ systems means their ROI time is remarkably short in areas such as Brazil where water is pricey.
Results for the Castelão stadium
Even conservative estimates indicate savings in excess of 500,000 litres (about 130,000 gallons) of fresh water at every match, when the renovation is completed using Jets™. When finished, the stadium building will have the world’s largest onshore vacuum sanitary installation. The increased hygiene of vacuum toilets compared to traditional toilets, is an added bonus for spectators.
Brazil’s fresh water resources are the largest on earth, but major cities are facing a water and sewage crisis. Growth and expansion means water pipes and sewer systems have to cope with volumes they were not designed for. Jets™ systems are perfect for scenarios like this, and our Brazil distributor has made major breakthroughs with vacuum sanitation.
Marco Cerulli of Tavola Engenharia, Jets™ distributor and representative in Brazil, explains why Jets™ was the system partner of choice for his business:
“Today, there is a whole new awareness of the potential of vacuum toilets for saving water in Brazil. And with Brazil’s high charges for water and sewerage, the payback period for the installations completed so far has been about 15 months.”
“Green buildings – my niche”
“I had seen traditional vacuum systems for toilets before. As an engineer, I was sceptical. But when I saw the Jets™ solution, I understood straight away that this was a much, much better design. With a small, powerful Vacuumarator™ pump and no need for a vacuum tank, it was easy to use and maintain.”
The first system
“I was looking for an opportunity in technology projects that would enable me to compete with larger players. Green buildings created a niche for me. Jets™ vacuum toilets became an important part of my portfolio. As a trial, Tavola installed 5 toilets at Incor, the Heart Institute at the University Hospital of São Paulo. During each of the two installation phases, half of the emergency room closed down for the installation. The other half continued functioning normally.”
Reliability and compact size
“The clients loved the vacuum system. The patients liked the idea of green technology and the hospital was very pleased with how easy the system was to run. If I take people to see the Vacuumarator™ pump, I have to ask the maintenance staff to clean the technical room first, because they hardly ever have to go in there otherwise and it might get a bit dusty.
When my guests ask where the whole vacuum installation is, I say: “You’re looking at it.”
“What?” they say, “only this?” They can’t believe it’s so compact.”
More successful installations
“The next installation was at the university of Uninove in São Paulo. The complete project involves 720 toilets in the Barra Funda buildings and 680 on the Santo Amaro campus. Another major installation was the WTorre São Paulo office block with 426 toilets. A great advantage of Jets™ systems is the flexibility that they enable in the floor layout.”
Focusing on sustainability, this university chooses Jets™ solutions for a building renovation and modernizing project with biological treatment technology. New sustainable solutions were put to use in this project.
The natural choice
The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Jets™ share an interest in innovative sanitation systems for collecting and recycling wastewater and organic household wastes in order to reuse water, energy and nutrients. The company Ecomotive AS was started by NMBU and Jets™ to develop sustainable treatment solutions. So when the time came to renovate a university building from 1979, a Jets™ system was the natural choice along with treatment technology from Ecomotive AS.
Sewage is a risk in inland waters
Sewage washes out nutrients that cause harmful accumulation in inland waters. Bacteria feeding on decomposing sewage steal dissolved oxygen from the water, which can suffocate other aquatic life.
Using sewage as a resource
Greywater (from sinks, showers and washing machines) and blackwater (from toilets) go to separate outlets. This creates possibilities for water saving and reuse, and production of organic fertilizer and renewable energy (biogas) from blackwater. This is the aim behind the sanitation system at Sørhellinga Building and student dormitories at the NMBU. They are equipped with a Jets™ vacuum toilet system and biological purification of greywater.
Fossil fuels and renewable energy
Diluted blackwater from gravity toilets is difficult to convert into biogas as an alternative to fossil fuels, while concentrated blackwater from vacuum toilets is a resource for renewable energy (biogas).
Recovering nutrients and fertilizers
Exploding growth in food production could cause a shortage of phosphate, which is essential to agriculture. There is no substitute for phosphate, and energy is needed to produce it. Vacuum toilets make it possible to recover valuable nutrients from blackwater so that it can be used as organic fertilizer in the field of agriculture.
Energy used to purify and pump fresh water is wasted when the water is used to flush toilets. A source separating outlet, vacuum toilets, and low-energy greywater purification reduce the energy needed for water pumping and sewage treatment. This also reduces CO2 emissions.
Opportunities in building renovation
Renewal of existing buildings creates opportunities for more sustainable solutions. The university’s Sørhellinga Building, built in 1979, has been modernized with environment-friendly technology including vacuum toilets, a source separating outlet for grey- and blackwater, and a separate water supply for flushing toilets. The biological purification of greywater has been developed by the university and Jets™ through the company Ecomotive AS.
The extraordinary Pixel building is designed for minimal environmental impact and sustainable use of resources. With that in mind, a Jets™ sanitary system became the obvious choice for the futuristic-looking project. Located on a former brewery site in Melbourne, Australia, this office building has attracted the likes of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on their hunt for green technology which can help build a better, more sustainable future.
Prototype full of leading solutions
The Pixel building was designed by studio505 and built by Australian developer Grocon. The company needed a building to show and test environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions, as a prototype for other buildings. Grocon put together a group to find the best solutions the market had to offer for such a building, and discovered Jets™.
Small, but important delivery
Pixel only has 9 toilets and a vacuum pump, a comparatively small Jets™ customer. But the importance of supplying a system to this building is far greater than the numbers indicate. With water use measuring just 1 liter per toilet flush, combined with the pump’s low energy consumption, the Jets™ system was nearly ideal for the Pixel building’s needs. After just a few months, Pixel became a world-leading showcase for sustainable technology and solutions, and received global attention.
“In creating this pilot project, we have sought to identify best of type technology from around the world”
Grocon CEO Daniel Grollo speaking to the U.S. Secretary of State and the Australian Prime Minister
Pixel produces its own energy, using both wind turbines and solar/photovoltaic panels. Some of the solar panels move with the sun through the seasons to fully exploit the solar energy’s potential. The building in fact produces more power than it uses, enabling it to supply renewable energy to the power grid.
Green roof and independent water supply
The Pixel building’s roof is partly covered by a garden with grass and other plants, irrigated by rain water. This rooftop garden also insulates the floor below. But the rainwater is not just used for irrigation – it is also treated to potable water quality and used in showers and basins throughout the building. After use, the water is treated again in a series of filters – one of which uses plants that consume nutrients from the water. Although connected to the public water supply, that connection was designed as a back-up only.
Installation of a vacuum sanitary system is straightforward and easy. The small-diameter vacuum pipes can be installed at a later phase in the construction process than traditional gravity piping.
Basic systems for houses and homes are not only very easy to install, they also give great design flexibility for your bathroom.
Larger and more comprehensive vacuum solutions are even more rewarding for their owners, due to the great installation, water and sewage benefits of vacuum sanitary systems.
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