The Future of School Toilets - Partner search – an Interreg Baltic Sea Region project proposal

1 | 7 Interreg Baltic Sea Region Third Call for Applications Priorities 1-3
• Vesthimmerlands Kommune (Municipality), Vestre Boulevard 7, 9600 Aars - Denmark (Leader) • Aarhus Kommune, BØRN OG UNGE, Grøndalsvej 2, 8260 Viby J, • “IWI TECHNOLOGY APS”, Tjornevej 18, 2800 Lyngby (private company) • ”Bunker 43”, Rantzausgade 41, 90

Background - State of the art

In Denmark, 40.000 children experience difficulties keeping the stools. They suffer from fecal incontinence which causes them significant social issues and reduced quality of life. The condition often emerges from bad toilet habits, e.g. when school children hold on the stools an entire day due to not wanting to use the insanitary toilets of the school.

Recent Danish analysis pinpoint that more than 60% of pupils find the physical conditions of school toilets unsatisfactory; more than half of pupils find toilets either often or always being disgusting. The analysis show that a very large segment of pupils have felt insecure and that toilets are unpleasant to use, why a large proportion of pupils completely have avoided using the toilets during an entire day of school. This results in increased risk to some pupils of developing fecal incontinence and various intestinal diseases due to pupils avoiding eating or drinking during school time. Furthermore, a great risk of pupils’ abilities of learning and concentrating being significantly reduced, exists.

Likewise, Swedish and Norwegian inquiries show similar tendencies to the Danish inquiries.

To reduce the number of cases concerning fecal incontinence among children and thereby improving the quality of life among children and teenagers, this project is concerned with the development of new types of school toilet facilities. In practice this means the development of a new standard of hygiene-stations, development of a new standard urinal for boys, digital nudging and decoration of toilet rooms etc. A number of technical building recommendations concerning interior design and proposals of how to use products will be included.

We assume the similar challenges occur at schools in other countries, therefore this project-proposal:

Proposed activities

The project will emphasize on how focus on indoor climate, interior design, renovation and establishments of new school toilets can create optimal conditions for a good indoor climate, well-being and hygiene thus fewer children and teenagers experience life-threatening symptoms from not utilizing toilets during the school day. Absence will be reduced and on a societal level it will have great impact on the well-being of the individual and economy in general.

Intendedly, the schools in this project will function as drivers of innovation and will in close collaboration with institutes of knowledge and private corporations develop new techniques and methods of school toilet-optimization.  To corporations participating in the project, the renewed use-practice of existing products on the market utilized in new types of solutions will be a potential of growth and increased revenue – and thereby an increased number of jobs.

The overall result of the project will benefit all participating municipalities due to a complete concept description, providing an overview of solutions that municipalities can utilize in the context of renovation, construction or simple improvements with the purpose of creating increased well-being among children and teenagers.

 

Project phases
Proposedly the project will be divided into four phases, which will be illustrated below. In phase one, as much knowledge as possible about existing solutions on the market will be collected from corporations and institutions of knowledge. This will provide the foundation for new school toilet-solutions. Knowledge collection is executed through workshops with experts, pupils and corporations. Phase two will start immediately after execution of workshops with project relevance, where relevant products and corporations on the market will be revealed. The result of the workshops will be product preparations and tests of new solutions. Phase three gather data and results from the development- and test phase. Phase four summarizes conclusions and results from the three other phases of the project.

More value across the borders

A project partnership with countries from the Baltic region will have a common ambition of finding good and innovative solutions while benefitting from using existing products on the market. The mentioned solutions will be adapted to the context of establishing Future School Toilets and Future Teaching Environments with individual standards for individual schools. The collaboration must furthermore be a platform to learn from one another’s experiences, especially with the purpose of creating more future collaboration – both in the context of this project and other common challenges. The project will create attention to the need of action in the case of bad, unsanitary and breached school toilets alongside new indoor climate solution in learning environments. Simultaneously, the project will clarify the possibilities of adapting existing products on the market to new solutions. This creates an opportunity to corporate partners involved of increased revenue without the costs of developing new products to an expanding market.

Expected results
A new concept in which competence, hygiene, the experience of using better toilets and improved classrooms will give rise to fewer symptoms of disease, improved concentration, increased learning, fewer cases of incontinence and improved well-being in general. Competence- and learning material will be developed for the schools and a model, in which the effects of the new toilets and learning environments can be measured, will be developed. This model will also be applicable after the end of this particular project. An expected result will be an improved networked collaboration between the participating countries and corporations.
The new concept is expected to have a potential of export, thus it might create jobs eventually. It is furthermore expected, that experience gained from the concepts of school toilets and learning environments will be applicable in other contexts where demand exists for a self-cleaning toilet solution. Examples can be hospitals, nursing homes, children’s institutions, museums, libraries, concert halls and learning institutions in general.

 

Project partners

  • Vesthimmerlands Kommune (Municipality), Vestre Boulevard 7, 9600 Aars - Denmark (Leader)
  • Aarhus Kommune, BØRN OG UNGE, Grøndalsvej 2,  8260 Viby J,
  • “IWI TECHNOLOGY APS”, Tjornevej 18, 2800 Lyngby (private company)
  • ”Bunker 43”,
  • Skiltefabrikken ”Tryk På”,

 

Project partners from the Baltic region with similar challenges are searched for. Typically it will be schools:

  • Marks Municipality andi.e companies in Sweden
  • Municipalities, university or companies from the 3 Baltic countries (to be announced)

 

  •  Municipalities, university or companies from  Poland or Germany (to be annonced)

 

Knowledge- and analysisinstitutions:

  • UCN, University College Nordjylland
  • Aalborg University

 

Budget and timeschedule

The project will apply for funding from Interreg Baltic Sea Region during the action ”Capacity for Innovation”. An expected overall budget is expected to be 2½ to 3 million € and the project is expected to last three years.

• Vesthimmerlands Kommune (Municipality), Vestre Boulevard 7, 9600 Aars - Denmark (Leader) • Aarhus Kommune, BØRN OG UNGE, Grøndalsvej 2, 8260 Viby J, • “IWI TECHNOLOGY APS”, Tjornevej 18, 2800 Lyngby (private company) • ”Bunker 43”, Rantzausgade 41, 90
The project will apply for funding from Interreg Baltic Sea Region during the action ”Capacity for Innovation”. An expected overall budget is expected to be 2,5 to 3 million € and the project is expected to last three years.
Aija Konisevska Azadiaka@ndeu.dk