Vermiculture Toilet Header, vermiculture waste processing, vermiculture composting, worm composting, earthbag village, earthbag construction, worm composting, Highest Good food, Highest Good housing, One Community

Vermiculture Eco-toilet Design

As part of the the open source earthbag village (Pod 1), we will be building and are open source project-launch blueprinting an ultra-eco vermiculture (worm composting) solid waste processing option that includes a traditional toilet and septic option. The purpose of these designs is to:

● Demonstrate indoor worm composting as an option for repurposing human waste
● Include a traditional septic for people that want one and counties that need one
● Demonstrate Pod 1 as a duplicable and complete village model capable of producing zero waste

This page discusses this design with the following sections:

NOTE: THIS PAGE IS NOT CONSIDERED BY US TO BE A COMPLETE AND USABLE TUTORIAL UNTIL
WE’VE BUILT IT, TESTED IT, AND ADDED ALL THE NOTES AND MODIFICATIONS FROM THAT
EXPERIENCE TO THIS PAGE
 – IN THE MEANTIME, WE WELCOME YOUR INPUT AND FEEDBACK

Here is the Work Breakdown Structure created by Fernando Remolina (Industrial Engineer specializing in Project Management). It includes the steps we are taking for completion of these designs.

Fernando Remolina (Industrial Engineer specializing in Project Management) continued with his 3rd week of managing the Vermiculture Bathroom development. This week's focus was finalizing this Work Breakdown Structure for the complete project.

Vermiculture Bathroom | Work Breakdown Structure of Steps for Tutorial Completion – Click to Enlarge

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GOOGLEDOC LINK

WHAT IS VERMICULTURE

EVI earthbag vermiculture communal toilet, Earthbag Village Icon (EVI), Earthbag Village Construction, earthbag building, earthbag architecture, earth construction, community construction, community living, Pod 1, One Community, earth bag home, earthbag house, building with earthbags, building with earth, earthbag community, earth architecture, green living, earthbag community, earthbag eco-tourism, earth building, earth construction, One Community Pod 1Built twice in the North half of the village, the vermiculture toilet designs we have created contains six toilets, two of which are traditional septic toilets (for county compliance), and four that are vermiculture solid waste processors. The four vermiculture toilets will be positioned above, and empty into, the design shown here:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

Vermiculture” is the process of using worms to decompose organic food waste or feces. With this process, the waste/feces is turned into a nutrient-rich residue. This residue is called vermicompost. It can provide the necessary nutrients that contributes to plant growth. The worm’s ability to convert organic waste or feces into nutrient-rich residue reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers whilst simultaneously saving money with a simple, effective, natural and sustainable method. For example, when food is sent down a garbage disposal, or when it is buried in a landfill, nature’s ability to complete the life cycle process is negatively affected. When burying it in a landfill the soil becomes depleted and nature is deprived from rehabilitating itself, because nature’s natural recycling process is being bypassed.

Vermiculture is a process that improves soil structure and aeration, and increases its water-holding capacity. The plants subjected to these nutrients produced by the vermiculture process will grow strong, with drought tolerance and disease resistance.

The vermicompost residue adds organisms that are beneficial to the soil. These microorganisms and soil fauna help break down organic materials and convert nutrients into a more available food form for plants.

The goal is to build a structure to process human waste coming from 4 different toilets using vermiculture. The main considerations with creating this design were cost, and the difficulty to move, clean, and build the structure. Some of the features needed are:

  • maintenance requirements needing as little human interference as possible,
  • to build the structure as cost effectively as possible,
  • and the ability to be easily duplicated by others.

This final design created was first seen on the website Clivus, where models are sold for $20,000. An attempt to duplicate the idea and improve upon it went underway, however, the basic design and functions were very different in philosophy.

Earthbag-Village-Vermiculture-Toilets-View-Looking-Southwest

The One Community Earthbag Village Vermiculture Toilets | Concept Render – View Looking Southwest

 

WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO EVOLVING THIS SUSTAINABILITY COMPONENT WITH US

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KEY CONSULTANTS TO THE EARTHBAG VILLAGE VERMICULTURE TOILET DESIGNS

Adolpho MaiaMechanical Engineering Student
Betty Lenora
: Earthbuilding Instructor and Author
Christian OjedaMechatronic Engineer
Dijimba “Joss” Kabuyi IlungaElectrical Engineer
Douglas Simms Stenhouse
: Architect and Water Color Artist
Erika Yumi TamashiroArchitecture and Urban Design Student
Fernando RemolinaIndustrial Engineer specializing in Project Management
Jorge Antonio RicardoMechanical Engineering Student
Lin XuMechanical Engineer
Matheus Manfredini (Civil Engineering Student specializing in Urban Design)
Ray Triboulet: Web Developer and U.S. Navy Sailor
Victor Herber
: Mechanical Engineer

 

REQUIREMENTS

GOOGLEDOC LINK

The earthbag village consists of 72 earthbag hotel room styled cabanas measuring 150-200 ft² (14-18.6 ), plus 4 shower domes, 4 toilet domes, and the central Tropical Atrium. It consists of 72 living units with a total capacity of 160 people.

If the vermiculture toilets are used exclusively, there will be 80 people using them. According to many sources the average person produces approximately 0.556 lb (0.25 kg) of waste daily. So we will have a daily production of:

80 (people) × 0.55 lb (0.25 kg) × 1.1 (safety factor) = 48.5 lb (22 kg) per day

The goal is to process and use this waste in our agriculture system as fertilizer in order to achieve sustainability.

There will be 4 vermiculture toilets (shown in yellow) and two flush toilets (shown in gray). In the future, flush toilets are to be eliminated in order to optimize the vermicomposting area, thereby utilizing vermiculture toilets exclusively. The vermiculture system is to be located directly underneath the toilets.

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

 

WORMS

There are different species of commercially available worms that can be used in the vermiculture process. Here is a list.  Red Wigglers are commonly regarded as the most effective worms at processing waste. They have set the standard for composters. They are more voracious than other compost worms and their ability to survive in captivity is unparalleled.

Originally, there were some concerns regarding temperature, however the proposed structure will be built into the ground so that it should remain a steady 55°F (13°C) as long as the doors are insulated properly. The Red Wigglers were also chosen for their ability to survive in varying temperatures, although they do slow down in the cold.

The optimal temperature for Red Wigglers to live in has been the subject of research, and the results or that study are as follows:

worm temperature details

The recommended worm density can be a difficult parameter to set. One online source recommends using 0.25 lb – 0.5 lb of worms per ft². If applied to this system, assuming a density of 0.5 lb/ft² and a surface area of 60 ft², there would be 30 lb of worms with to service this system.

Worms eat about half of their weight each day. This means about 15 lb of waste per day. If the process is to be completed in the top 4 ft of the system ( a conservative estimate), the number of worms could be quadrupled, increasing the amount to 60 lb of processed waste per day.

 

DESIGN

The Vermiculture system has a metal frame as its main component. This consists of the front, the trays, the sides, and the covers. All other parts are fixed to the metal frame with bolts and welding spots.

It consists of a sloped main chamber and the processing chamber (front). The main chamber volume consists of the metal frame, aluminum tray, side, and the acrylic side. The front is composed of three metal sheets, an acrylic floor, and a wood cover.

The worms will be added to the composting chamber to start processing the incoming waste. Once the chamber gets full, the main chamber will begin to be filled. When the worms are finished composting they will move to the main chamber leaving the finished product behind. The processing chamber will then be emptied and the waste inside the main chamber will be pushed to fill the empty space created.

The venting system will be responsible for taking the smell out of the structure as well as the chamber.

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

Click to Enlarge

Main Chamber

Metal Frame

The frame will weigh 1,257 lb (570 kg) and hold 9 tons (8.2 metric tons). Utilizing the following equation, the Safety Factor is 2.4 (this would make the structural efficiency 14.65):

SF = Breakpoint / Normal Workload

The structure can process 818 lb (371 kg) of manure in 82 days. This gives it a  3.7 processing rate. Below we can see the detailed filling process of the structure:

<img graph>

As we can see, the structure can handle 460 days in the worst case scenario.

The frame was calculated using EFM routine in SOLIDWORKS. All the members were treated like beams and all the joints were calculated. It will support 9 tons (8.2 metric tons) that will sit on 5 beams (3 sides, 2 central).

<tb from doc/>

Below we can see the frame behavior when the structure is full:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community, frame, full load

The structure will only deform 0.05 in (1.3 mm) in the red areas, so like this we can minimize the leakage between the pieces attached to the frame.

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

The lowest safety factor is 2.4 to plastic deformation.

Here are the technical design of the frame and its components dimensions are displayed. It is built with stainless steel and steel all welded together.

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

Click to Enlarge

 

Aluminum Tray

The tray is responsible for holding and transmitting all the forces to the metal grid. It is made of aluminum 3/32 in (¼ cm) thick with 25/32 in (2 cm) holes, these holes are responsible for directing away the flow of the water excess.

The tray dimensions were calculated using EFM routine in SOLIDWORKS. It was divided into four pieces of equal size to simulate the contact with the grid and to simplify the calculation.

<img tray-load>

The stress and displacement results were expected as we can see in the graphics below:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community
Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

The results were satisfactory and the tray can be thicker than we were expecting.

Acrylic Side

The side part will cover the frame and hold the waste pressure. Initially the waste has 80% in terms of water mass, so like this the pressure calculations were made considering the height of the column of water (P=pgh). The holes are to allow access to the structure with a stick to move the compost in case it gets blocked. They will be covered with rubber stoppers that can be bought in any hardware store. It will be bolted in the frame so like this we can assure that there will be enough pressure in the sides to hold the leakage.

The part was calculated using EFM routine in SOLIDWORKS. Because of the roof and ceiling slope, the height is constant along the structure, therefore our pressure distribution will vary in x and y in the side part of the structure. The pressure equation and its distribution can be seen below:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

 

The stress and displacement results were expected as we can see in the graphics below:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community
Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

 

The 1.44mm of displacement attend our requirements to avoid leaking between the tray and the side piece.

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

Filament Parts:

The filament parts are acrylic sheets which are easy to buy, assemble and are impermeable. They are bolted to the frame and bolted between each other in an L beam

The parts dimensions were calculated using EFM routine in SOLIDWORKS. And again like the side piece it will be subjected to a variable pressure in the x and y axis’.

<img pressure>

The stress and displacement results were expected as we can see in the graphics below:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community
Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

<img stress chart front>

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community
Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community
Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community


Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

All the pieces will be attached to the frame and between each other with bolts and nuts.

<img sidedesign>

Processing Chamber

The front part will be responsible for storing the ready-to-use compost. Its total area is what determines the processing rate. The design is such that quick removal will prevent overflow, and timing will allow the worms to fully digest the waste.

The wood cover is articulated to make it possible to see the process and control it. The floor is acrylic due to its permeability.

Removable Door

The steel front piece was made removable in order to shovel the ready compost to the emptying tray. As we can see below it will fit between two steel sheets welded to the side structure:

Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community
Earthbag Village, earthbag village construction, sustainable housing, vermiculture toilet, worm composting, composting, one community

Item Profile/Length Units Price item Total
Steel Beam 3x3x11GA  3×24` 1×8` 4 118/57 411
Stainless Steel Beam 3x3x11GA 20` 5 304 1520
L Stainless Steel Beam 1x1x1/8  /  1×20` 1x`4 2 107/18 125
Stainless Steel flat bar 1×1/8 5 42 210
Steel plate 2`x4`x1/4 5 85 425
Steel Plate 4×8 2 205 410
Acrylic 50`x96`x1/4 6 178 1068
Aluminum Plate 4x8x1/4 2 410 820
Pallet jack   1 2500 2500
      Total 7489

Risk Management

In the case of something going wrong in the main compartment, the upper frame is there to allow a tray to slide in between and hold all the waste above it. In doing so we can empty the space beneath it and undergo the required maintenance.

RESOURCES

SUMMARY

EVI earthbag vermiculture communal toilet, Earthbag Village Icon (EVI), Earthbag Village Construction, earthbag building, earthbag architecture, earth construction, community construction, community living, Pod 1, One Community, earth bag home, earthbag house, building with earthbags, building with earth, earthbag community, earth architecture, green living, earthbag community, earthbag eco-tourism, earth building, earth construction, One Community Pod 1We went through several designs and even reverse-engineered a successful design before we came up with this one. Our design is inexpensive when compared to similar large-scale designs, easy to build, modifiable, and meets all of our requirements for the Earthbag Village.

FREQUENTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS

Coming…

WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE EARTHBAG VILLAGE TOILET DESIGN

SUGGESTIONS     ●     CONSULTING     ●     MEMBERSHIP     ●     OTHER OPTIONS