Essential Composting Toilets
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177 pages

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From waste-stream to mainstream, a practical guide to composting toilet systems

  • Essential Composting Toilets is a practical exploration of compost toilet systems for home-owners and building professionals covering selection criteria, design, installation, and operational processes

  • Drawing from existing regulations and research, this book will dispel myths, satisfy regulators, and provide tools to assess various systems in terms of meeting the health and safety objectives driving regulations

  • Ann and Gord Baird are the co-creators, designers, and builders of the award winning Eco-Sense home in Victoria, BC, Canada, the first Living Building Challenge (LBC) petal recognized residential project internationally

  • They implemented greywater systems, rainwater harvesting, and compost toilets into North America's first legal two story seismically engineered load-bearing cob home

  • The Eco-Sense permaculture homestead has become a well-known local site for tours and workshops, and has been the center of international media coverage including documentaries, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and blogs

  • Gord participated as a technical editor for the BC Ministry of Health's Manual of Composting Toilets and Greywater Standard Practices

  • This book is part of the Sustainable Building Essentials series

  • Intended audience: Existing home owners, Owner/builders, Water conservation advocates (NGOs), Community organizations, Permaculture design course providers (PDCs), Community adaptation and risk consultants, Environmental studies courses (universities), Building officials (municipal and regional governments), Policymakers (city, regional, state/province), Home designers and architects

From wastestream to mainstream, a practical guide to composting toilet systems.

Composting toilets are a key feature for local resilience, money saving, water conservation, resource recovery, septic system replacement, and an improved bathroom experience in rural and urban buildings.

Essential Composting Toilets is a streamlined manual that takes a practical, how-to approach to composting toilet system selection, design, installation, and operation, while meeting universal health and safety objectives. Drawing from existing regulations and research, this book dispels myths and provides tools to assess various systems. It includes:

  • Easily-understood drawings, plans, and photos

  • Coverage of all main composting toilet systems

  • Selection criteria including site considerations, urine separation pros/cons, renovations/new builds, ventilation, servicing, and composting details

  • Design and installation details.

Offering a professional approach accessible to DIYers, homeowners, designers, building consultants, water conservation advocates, and regulators, Essential Composting Toilets provides key information for redesigning toilet systems anywhere in the world.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Safe Composting
Chapter 3: System Components and Processes
Chapter 4: Design Considerations
Chapter 5: Commode Batch Systems
Chapter 6: Chambered/Moldering Batch Systems
Chapter 7: Continuous Systems
Chapter 8: Fluid Management
Chapter 9: Best Practices
Chapter 10: The Last Flush

Appendix A: Percolation Test Procedure
Appendix B: Manufacturers
About the Author
A Note About the Publisher



Publié par
Date de parution 27 novembre 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781771422604
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 4 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Praise for
Essential Composting Toilets
For over a hundred years our society has been treating water and waste as necessary evils rather than resources to be celebrated. A Victorian paradigm that is incredibly wasteful and damaging continues to underlie how we handle our most precious resources in nearly every city and community on the planet. There is a better way. In this important book the Baird s shed critical insights on the power and rightfulness of composting our waste and closing the loop between nutrient and fertility. Their depth of knowledge, practical experience and collected examples provide a way forward that is responsible and regenerative.
- Jason F. McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design, and founder, the Living Building Challenge
Get your shit together the right way, on the first try. This book is one of the best researched and presented books on the topic of composting toilets that I have ever read and is a must-have for anyone wanting to create resilient closed-loop systems on their home, acreage, or farm.
- Rob Avis, P. Eng, co-author, Essential Rainwater Harvesting ,
As a builder and manager of several humanure composting systems I can enthusiastically recommend this essential guide! Gord and Ann Baird begin this book with a simple statement: Thermophilic composting at the right temperature for the right amount of time transforms humanure into safe and nutrient rich compost. From this essential point they present the full range of options for reconnecting the missing link in our nutrient cycle. From the home scale to the urban office building, solutions are thoroughly examined and clearly explained.
- Darrell Frey, Three Sisters Farm, author, Bioshelter Market Garden and co-author, The Food Forest Handbook
True to form, Ann and Gord Baird once again lead on the innovation front with their informative and timely guide Essential Composting Toilets . Their research, pragmatism and practical experience, has resulted in a significant contribution to the advancement of water conservation practice in BC.
- Eric Bonham P.Eng,
Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia (PWSBC) Gord and Ann Baird have written a totally practical, inspiring guide that shows how we can work in partnership with the bacteria and worms to build healthy, safe residential composting toilets. Their dedication to detail is astounding. All praise to the psychrophilic and mesophilic bacteria - and to the Bairds!
- Guy Dauncey, author, Journey to the Future
Gord and Ann take on this potentially shitty subject and present it with a wonderful balance of science and humor. As we embark upon an owner-builder off-grid home project, this book could not have come at a better time. The guidance provided for working with building officials is invaluable. It helped us ask the right questions, and gave us additional confidence that we were making the right choices.
- Jeff Walton, Cowichan Valley.

New Society Sustainable Building Essentials Series
Series editors
Chris Magwood and Jen Feigin
Title list
Essential Hempcrete Construction , Chris Magwood
Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction , Chris Magwood
Essential Building Science , Jacob Deva Racusin
Essential Light Straw Clay Construction , Lydia Doleman
Essential Sustainable Home Design , Chris Magwood
Essential Cordwood Building , Rob Roy
Essential Earthbag Construction , Kelly Hart
Essential Natural Plasters, Michael Henry Tina Therrien
Essential Composting Toilets, Gord Baird Ann Baird
See for a complete list of new and forthcoming series titles.
THE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING ESSENTIALS SERIES covers the full range of natural and green building techniques with a focus on sustainable materials and methods and code compliance. Firmly rooted in sound building science and drawing on decades of experience, these large-format, highly illustrated manuals deliver comprehensive, practical guidance from leading experts using a well-organized step-by-step approach. Whether your interest is foundations, walls, insulation, mechanical systems, or final finishes, these unique books present the essential information on each topic including:
Material specifications, testing, and building code references
Plan drawings for all common applications
Tool lists and complete installation instructions
Finishing, maintenance, and renovation techniques
Budgeting and labor estimates
Additional resources
Written by the world s leading sustainable builders, designers, and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information is key to success. GET THE ESSENTIALS!
Copyright 2019 by Gord Baird and Ann Baird.
All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh.
Interior background texture Adobestock 90796513
Printed in Canada. First printing November 2018.
This book is intended to be educational and informative. It is not intended to serve as a guide. The author and publisher disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk that may be associated with the application of any of the contents of this book.
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part of Essential Composting Toilets should be addressed to New Society Publishers at the address below. To order directly from the publishers, please call toll-free (North America) 1-800-567-6772, or order online at
Any other inquiries can be directed by mail to:
New Society Publishers
P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada
(250) 247-9737
Baird, Gord, 1969-, author
Essential composting toilets : a guide to options, design, installation, and use / Gord Baird and Ann Baird.
(Sustainable building essentials)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-0-86571-872-2 (softcover).--ISBN 978-1-55092-665-1 (PDF).-- ISBN 978-1-77142-260-4 (EPUB)
1. Toilets--Design and construction. 2. Compost. 3. Sewage as fertilizer. 4. Night soil. I. Baird, Ann, 1967-, author II. Title. III. Title: Composting toilets. IV. Series: Sustainable building essentials
TH6498.B35 2018
696 .182

New Society Publishers mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a manner that models this vision.
C HAPTER 1: Introduction
C HAPTER 2: Safe Composting
C HAPTER 3: System Components and Processes
C HAPTER 4: Design Considerations
C HAPTER 5: Commode Batch Systems
C HAPTER 6: Chambered/Moldering Batch Systems
C HAPTER 7: Continuous Systems
C HAPTER 8: Fluid Management
C HAPTER 9: Best Practices
C HAPTER 10: The Last Flush
A PPENDIX A: Percolation Test Procedure
A PPENDIX B: Manufacturers
A S JOINT AUTHORS , we would like to thank each other for patience, listening, persevering, and dividing of tasks. Gord did the majority of the research, the initial draft, and drawings, while Ann went through and rewrote most of the text while deleting and adding content along the way and gave extensive feedback on drawings. We both take credit for the poor humor sorry about that. The whole process involved endless discussions while having a lot of trust in each other. Writing a book together is both more difficult and much easier thankfully, the latter was the dominant experience.
We are most grateful for the editing support of many good friends who provided feedback for us to consider and incorporate into the various draft manuscripts. Thanks to Paul Doherty, Chris Magwood, Christina Goodvin, and Jeff Walton. Your feedback was detailed, critical, hilarious, honest, and even somewhat painful to read.
This book would not exist without the immense work of Ian Ralston, who has been incredibly influential in the design of the Province of BC s Sewerage System Standard Practices. Ian was the lead author of the Manual of Composting Toilets and Greywater Practice for the BC Ministry of Health.
Special thanks go to Jason McLennan who we admire greatly for his inspirational and visionary leadership as the lead author of the International Living Building Challenge of which our Eco-Sense home participated. Many years ago, Jason introduced us to the concept of Net Zero Water and the role of compost toilets in regenerative design.
We also acknowledge compost toilet guru Joseph Jenkins, whose inspirational and pivotal book called The Humanure Handbook first inspired Ann a few years before she met Gord. In fact, for Gord to make it to their third date, Ann required Gord to read Joseph s book. Gord passed the test, and their future path was set in motion.
And finally, we bow down in awe to the real heroes of this book: the bacteria, worms, fungi, and arthropods who had this shit figured out millions of years ago.
Thank you all,
Ann and Gord
Chapter 1
What We Cover
T HIS VOLUME OF THE S USTAINABLE B UILDING E SSENTIALS S ERIES focuses on residential compost toilets for the North American audience. It is a comprehensive reference for selection, design, installation, management, best practices, and safety concerns. This book is for homeowner/builders, contractor/builders, architects

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