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The Clean Hub

Architect John Dwyer has designed The Clean Hub, a sustainable housing design for areas with insufficient infrastructure. The name fits its multipurpose sanitation and energy functions: the 10 x 20-foot unit includes a V-shaped roof that collects rainwater, an underground reverse-osmosis filtration system to recycle and store gray water from showers and laundry facilities, and […]

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Architect John Dwyer has designed The Clean Hub, a sustainable housing design for areas with insufficient infrastructure. The name fits its multipurpose sanitation and energy functions: the 10 x 20-foot unit includes a V-shaped roof that collects rainwater, an underground reverse-osmosis filtration system to recycle and store gray water from showers and laundry facilities, and 16 rooftop adjustable photovoltaic panels that can generate up to 2,600 watts of energy. For more on this architectural Swiss Army knife, visit Utne.

Dwyer is a member of Minnesota’s chapter of Architecture for Humanity, an organization founded by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr. The duo was just named winners of a Wired 2006 Rave Award, saluting “The People Changing Your Mind.” I got the chance to interview Sinclair, who visits the Walker June 13 to keynote PUSH, for the forthcoming book Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook, edited by former Walker visual arts curatorial fellow Max Andrews for the Royal Society of the Arts’ Art & Ecology program. Excerpts here.

  • glenn says:

    We have been building facilities like this for about 20 years using our Phoenix composting toilet. Our buildings include a solar heat collector built into the roof framing, photovoltaic panels under the same glazing, filtered, pressurized rainwater for lavatories, earth tube for cooling air, efficient lighting and energy efficient controls. We have installed them in many remote sites using an ATV, raft or helicopter for transportation and they will last much more than 30 years.

  • Paul says:

    That’s great, Glenn. I know projects like this have existed for awhile, but I love giving them some ink (er, pixels). If you’ve got a link to one your comprehensive buildings (your site seems to focus just on the composting toilets), please share it. Thanks for the comment.

  • Scott Smith says:

    Just a quick note to let you know the Clean Hub link is broken. It should be http://www.shelterarchitecture.com/cleanhub.htm.

    The Clean Hub does feature an Envirolet composting toilet.

  • Scott Smith says:

    Oops, the period got picked up in the link… the URL is:

    http://www.shelterarchitecture.com/cleanhub.htm

  • John Galt says:

    http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1249637.html

    Wow. 16 students to help design, 6 students to teach others how to use it, and a $20,000 per container in production cost? And this passes for engineering these days?

    If I were a U. of M. alumni, I would be ashamed.

    Mike

  • I wouldn’t. They’re making an effort and it’s a great beginning.

  • John Dwyer says:

    The Clean Hub has evolved. Learn more about it at the following links:

    http://thecleanhub.blogspot.com/

    Of particular interest is the additional information on the economics of the Clean Hub relative to the cost of supplying infrastructure to those who lack it in the world. Hopefully that will make all of us Alumni proud.

    http://www.membersproject.com/Community_Development/1489