Case Study: The Cost Benefit of Flushless Urinals

waterless.jpgThe first in what we hope to be a long list of MBA business case studies is one I helped lead recently on the financial benefits of flushless urinals. It’s a topic that most people think is rather funny at first, but one that has suprisingly positive environmental as well as financial ramifications.
Basically, my collegues (Kathryn Zender and Steve Kropfl) and I examined an existing facility – the Kaiser Permanente French Campus in San Francisco, and assessed their current water use costs. We then came up with a proposal showing how those costs would change if flushless urinals were installed (minus installation and maintenence). As you might expect, even our most pessimistic projection still turned out to have a positive ROI.

A distilled PDF showcasing the findings of the project  and a PDF version of the spreadsheet showing caclulations is available.  Please contact us for more info.
ED NOTE: I got a note from Jim Allen at Sloan Valve today who helped clear up some pricing issues. Getting accurate pricing information was really difficult when we did this project, so we essentially took the highest price we could find which happened to be a Sloan product. It turns out their products are much less costly, which actually only adds to the positive ROI, but for clarity, here’s Jim’s note:
Just a quick note – first of all, great job on your study. Very good information and well presented. One thing which I was compelled to comment on was the price of the Sloan WES 1000 unit. You have in your findings that this $471.58 and the Falcon F-2000 at $230. I understand how this mistake can be made given our published price sheet is a “distributor” sheet and is not an actual end user cost, let me briefly explain. Sloan has, actually the whole established plumbing industry, a discounting structure that defies common sense. We publish a list price and it is understood by the distributor what his net pricing will be. If you got the price off the internet, this is the worst pricing of all – they simply use our list price. The list price is NOT a Suggested Retail Price as the name would imply. I apologize for this unfortunate fact of our industry. I am working on a more “end user” focused sheet that shows a more realistic pricing structure. Rest assured, the Sloan waterfree urinal is competitive in price with the Falcon unit – the Sloan WES 2000 is in fact a perfect choice for Kaiser Permanente and because Sloan is a 100 year old national brand, we have the name you can trust to ensure that the product will be supported for decades to come.
Also, you refer to the trap as a siphon when in fact it is simply a non-mechanical, engineered, trap way seal. There is no siphon involved – just as a point of clarity.
Sorry for the confusion, Please contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
Best regards,
Jim Allen LEED AP

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.