Pee-Powered Restaurant Pops Up in Melbourne

Joost Bakker introduces Greenhouse, his 100% recyclable restaurant to Melbourne's Food and Wine Festival.

Anya Krenicki
Published on March 15, 2012

Solar power? Wind power? Sure. But pee power? Human urine serves as an energy source for Melbourne's pop-up Greenhouse restaurant.

Open March 2 through to the 21st as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Greenhouse is the brainchild of Joost Bakker, a designer who has proven that an entirely waste-free restaurant is indeed possible, and is making its debut in Melbourne after appearing in Sydney last year.

The restaurant contains custom-built lavatory facilities designed to collect patrons' urine. The urine is then diluted and used as canola and soybean plant fertilizer. Nontraditional and maybe a little off-putting to some, pee collection is a surprisingly effective plant fertilising method. According to Bakker, “Urine is incredible for nitrogen, it’s so valuable — you only need the urine of 25 people to provide fertiliser for a hectare of crop.”

Greenhouse boasts other eco-friendly features as well. The building is constructed out of a light gauge steel frame and ECO-ply plywood walls. Held together by glue made entirely of soybeans, the whole structure is 100% recyclable. The restaurant runs on energy generated and fuelled by pure canola oil, and is insulated by locally sourced straw bales, an agricultural by-product.

[via Gristlist]

Published on March 15, 2012 by Anya Krenicki
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