Norwegian University of Life Sciences - Sørhellinga building

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Focusing on sustainability, this university chooses Jets™ solutions for a building renovation and modernizing project with biological treatment technology. New sustainable solutions were put to use in this project.

The natural choice

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Jets™ share an interest in innovative sanitation systems for collecting and recycling wastewater and organic household wastes in order to reuse water, energy and nutrients. The company Ecomotive AS was started by NMBU and Jets™ to develop sustainable treatment solutions. So when the time came to renovate a university building from 1979, a Jets™ system was the natural choice along with treatment technology from Ecomotive AS.

Sewage is a risk in inland waters

Sewage washes out nutrients that cause harmful accumulation in inland waters. Bacteria feeding on decomposing sewage steal dissolved oxygen from the water, which can suffocate other aquatic life.

Using sewage as a resource

Greywater (from sinks, showers and washing machines) and blackwater (from toilets) go to separate outlets. This creates possibilities for water saving and reuse, and production of organic fertilizer and renewable energy (biogas) from blackwater. This is the aim behind the sanitation system at Sørhellinga Building and student dormitories at the NMBU. They are equipped with a Jets™ vacuum toilet system and biological purification of greywater.

Fossil fuels and renewable energy

Diluted blackwater from gravity toilets is difficult to convert into biogas as an alternative to fossil fuels, while concentrated blackwater from vacuum toilets is a resource for renewable energy (biogas).

Recovering nutrients and fertilizers

Exploding growth in food production could cause a shortage of phosphate, which is essential to agriculture. There is no substitute for phosphate, and energy is needed to produce it. Vacuum toilets make it possible to recover valuable nutrients from blackwater so that it can be used as organic fertilizer in the field of agriculture.

Energy savings

Energy used to purify and pump fresh water is wasted when the water is used to flush toilets. A source separating outlet, vacuum toilets, and low-energy greywater purification reduce the energy needed for water pumping and sewage treatment. This also reduces CO2 emissions.

Opportunities in building renovation

Renewal of existing buildings creates opportunities for more sustainable solutions. The university’s Sørhellinga Building, built in 1979, has been modernized with environment-friendly technology including vacuum toilets, a source separating outlet for grey- and blackwater, and a separate water supply for flushing toilets. The biological purification of greywater has been developed by the university and Jets™ through the company Ecomotive AS.

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