Modern water usage and design in the bathroom is in need of a complete overhaul, as detailed before in Lloyd's fascinating History of the Bathroom series. With better water conservation in mind (and not flushing with perfectly good drinking water), South Korean designer Jang Woo-seok tackles this aspect with this clever water-saving design, which uses an double compartment system that stores greywater from a connected washbasin to flush the stainless steel toilet bowl below.
Conventional toilets present a range of problems; not only would they be better separated from shower and bath (less germs), we shouldn't be using drinking water to flush away pee and poop either. Says Lloyd in The History and Design of the Bathroom Part 8: Pulling It All Together:
We built a system that uses expensive fresh water to flush away poop and pee that has real value and that we are going to need in the near future, as the cost of phosphates and nitrates explode.
It's a disaster already decades in the making, but not everyone's going or able to go for a composting toilet, so a toilet design where greywater can be conserved for future flushes makes a lot of sense. The design's integrated, dual-compartment system still allows for straight flushing if there's not enough greywater stored; there's a green LED indicator above the toilet to the left that tells you when there is, and red one when there isn't.
The washbasin is a little to the left of the bowl (at least you don't have to reach over it to wash your hands), but the angular washbasin might present problems though -- those corners are bound to harbor grime over time, making it harder to clean. A dual-flush capability (less water flushed for liquid waste and more for solids) would be a good idea too. Still, this concept eco-toilet incorporates smarter water use from the get-go, and it would be interesting to see it prototyped. For more, see Jang Woo-seok's site, and check out our other posts on greywater-flushing toilets in the related links to the upper left.