Circular sanitation. Sure toilets can be green!

In our cities there are many buildings and elements that represent pure functions such as power stations, noise barriers, waste bins, recycling stations and public toilets. How can we, through vegetation, create both ecosystem services and higher attractiveness?

Greenworks green plant walls and roofs constitutes the exterior of Uppsala municipality and JCDecaux’s new public toilet in Stadsträdgården. After the inauguration in January, vegetation has now become so lush that a blackbird has built a nest in the greenery.

– I was there and filmed the nestlings the other day, Jens Öqvist, landscape engineer at Greenworks, says enthusiastically while describing a diverse plant palette with blue-shimmering bugle, red and green heuchera, dark pink rhododendrons among the lady’s mantles rosette leaves.

 

– We also have thriving red Chinese rhubarbs and large shield leaf plants that give even more jungle feeling. In addition we have cultivated moss on the roof.

At the inauguration, Rickard Malmström, chairman of the Uppsala Municipality’s Street and Community Environment Committee, emphasized that the city toilet should contribute to a more robust management of climate change.

– The toilet is accessible to everyone regardless of gender and age, Rickard Malmström emphasized. The green exterior with plant walls and moss roofs lower the temperature inside during summer days, while the smart water management saves water.

JCDecaux is responsible for the investment cost of SEK 3.5 million. Before Magnus Heljeberg, CEO of JCDecaux Sweden, assisted Rickard Malmström with cutting the red ribbon for journalists and the municipality’s employees, he stated that it is obvious that the toilet is free from all types of advertising.

– We are also responsible for the operating costs, the taxpayers here in Uppsala do not have to go in with any money and it does not cost to go to the toilet either. We are planning for several green and smart city toilets around Sweden.

– “The jungle mug” that the public toilet has been called in popular speech, is as green on the inside as on the outside, JCDecaux’s Deputy CEO Mikael Nilsson emphasized. The water for cleaning is filtered and can be reused between 50 and 80 times before it needs to be replaced. We also have sensors that alert if maintenance or other assistance is needed.

The location just next to Stadsträdgården’s playground not far from the park’s Pelle Svanslös Statue is of course strategic. Jens Öqvist explains that the plant map is planned to withstand both cold winter and hot summer.

Greenworks contributed already seven years ago to living walls to a city toilet at Konsul Olsson’s site in the middle of Helsingborg, says Jens Öqvist. Now we have a number of projects of this type under way, including upcycled recycling stations dressed in greenery for Madrid’s recycling company.

In a few weeks we expect to inaugurate Greenworks new showroom on Storgatan 1 at Östermalmstorg and Hedvig Eleonora church in Stockholm. In addition to the green-dressed office, an external plant wall is under construction, and on the inside we already have Philips Signify’s lighting in place to showcase and discuss the concept of Human Centric Lighting: how our bodies are controlled by light intensity and color temperature. In addition, we are in the process of building live vertical moss gardens in a unique project in Stockholm meetpacking area, we will return with more information shortly.

Learn more about some of our exciting projects, covering various architectural offices, real estate developers, construction companies, plant decorators and private homeowners!