A controversial urinal design is being implemented across men’s restrooms in a bid to combat hygiene and the European water crisis.

Latvian designer Kaspars Jursons developed the new system, dubbed STAND, which features a tap and sink that sit on top of the urinal.

“The idea is about function and consumption,” he explains. “You are washing your hands in the sink on top of the urinal, and the same water that’s running is also used to flush. You don’t have to use water twice, like when you use the urinal and wash your hands in a separate sink.”

Kaspars Jursons, Designer

Kaspars Jursons, Designer

According to waterless.com, it is estimated that toilets and urinals that remain flushed with potable water waste up to 20 per cent of the world’s available drinking water. In addition, leakage of water delivery lines may add an additional eight per cent to the above figure while the collection, distribution and treatment of drinking water and waste water is an energy-intensive process producing approximately 116 billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year according to a 2009 Natural Resources Defence Council report.

Several STAND urinals has been installed in a concert venue in Riga, Latvia where the owners have reported savings of thousands of litres of water.

Stand Urinal

STAND Urinal

The design itself is equipped with a drain, tap and wall mounts and is constructed from stone mass technology resulting in a high surface quality. The STAND also features an infrared motion sensitive tap contributing to the hygiene factor.

A recent study by Michigan State University found that only five per cent of the 3,749 people observed using a bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infection. STAND could simplify the process and act as a reminder to wash hands properly.

STAND has caused controversy, with some saying it is unhygienic to wash one’s hands that close to the urinal, a charge the designer refutes.

“It is more suitable for hygiene than just a urinal and the guys who don’t wash (their) hands,” he says.

The simple product has already been rolled out in restrooms in Norway, Germany, Russia and Poland.