SAVE circular approaches for green buildings!

The project demonstrates the cycle and use of synergies in an ARWAG residential building from the extraction of valuable raw materials through a urine treatment plant (fertilizer) using energy recovery measures (heat recovery, heat pump, photovoltaics) to the use of the fertilizer for the generously designed greening measures and the associated effects on the microclimate.

Short Description

Initial situation/motivation

In the building sector, green-blue infrastructures in the form of building greening are specifically used to make settlement areas more resilient. However, they required water and nutrients or fertilizers on the artificial sites. Human urine contains the valuable raw material phosphorus, which is a fertilizer for plants, and could be used on site without long distances. The urine separation toilet save! can contribute to a system change in the wastewater system, where different wastewater streams can be efficiently separated, and thus recycled into sustainable loop models.

Contents and objectives

In Austria, there is no use of a urine treatment system for fertilizer production yet. The combination of a urine separation toilet with the energy recovery measures available in a residential building itself, such as heat recovery, heat pump and photovoltaic system, is to be demonstrated.

The extracted manure and the generous landscaped greening measures it supplies will contribute significantly to improving the microclimate in the residential neighborhood. The demonstration in the residential building in Vienna 3rd district in the Adolf-Blamauer-Gasse will show that fertilizer may be produced from human urine (test approval) and has market potential (calculate profitability).

The long-term goal is to relieve the sewage treatment plants in the cities of tomorrow and to save Co2 through the shortened transport routes. Thus, the collected wastewater can be treated more efficiently on site, the preserved nutrients are recycled into fertilizer and the cycle is closed. Awareness raising will accompany the project.

Expected results

By means of green roofs and facades, including soil-bound ones, it will be demonstrated that on-site urine treatment will lead to growth in one's own home. The path from the treatment plant to the fertilizer site is tested by means of social sustainability.

A presentation of the functioning and the interaction of the construction elements, the legal and integral consideration of the implementation of the urine separation toilet for the approval process and the material recycling, the implementation and documentation of the construction of the plant and the recording of the microclimatic and energy parameters and survey of the users comfort will be achieved by this project.

Furthermore, synergies in building services and energy management will be used to reduce energy costs, to present an impact analysis of the installed energy and processing system and to identify potentials for operational optimization.

Methodical approach

Green and blue infrastructure are combined with innovative TGA solutions, developed and implemented in a practical way. The implementation, commissioning and actual performance of the implemented green and blue infrastructures will be evaluated according to the project steps. The projected bundle of measures aims at saving resources and reducing the risk of overheating in the residential quarter, long-term monitoring will be implemented within the project duration.

The actual performance of the implemented measures will be evaluated on the basis of climatic, social and energy parameters and compared with the projected improvements. Important parameters in this context are the operative temperature, the temperature differences during the day (day-night swing) and the relative humidity in the indoor and outdoor areas.

Furthermore, synergies in building services and energy management are used to reduce energy costs, to present an impact analysis of the installed energy and treatment system and to identify potentials for operational optimization.

Close cooperation and networking between the project managers, developers and planners enables SAVE to be tailored to the respective requirements at an early stage. Here, the exchange of experience and knowledge transfer of the network of GRÜNSTATTGRAU, but also the other consortium partners, is of particular benefit.

Project Partners

Project management

ARWAG Living in Town GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • ARWAG Bauträger GmbH
  • Building Research & Innovation ZT GmbH
  • EOOS NEXT. Social Design Enterprise
  • GRÜNSTATTGRAU Forschungs- & Innovations GmbH
  • Laufen Austria AG

Contact Address

ARWAG Bauträger GmbH
Würtzlerstraße 15
A-1030 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 79 700 - 0
Fax: DW 590