ROMO Backcountry Privies 2018

Date: 1/31/2019
Others Involved: CU Denver Staff: Katherine Hartung Collaborators: Justin Morse DenCol NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) Student Researchers: Collin Bailey Riley Barber Taylor Carlisle David Cincotta Robby Cuthbert Marc Daubert Brian Duncan Kate Farrington Leah Fett Austin Gohl Brittany Goldsmith Leah Gordon Greg Hise Cate Humby Grant Johnson Ben Ludeman Morgan Marzo Selena Obelinas Jillian Pate Matt Rivera Gloren Roper Aleksi Vuola David Wallmueller Intan Yokelson Faculty Advisor: Rick Sommerfeld
William Koning
Andy Paddock, PE

Long’s Peak, the tallest and most iconic mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, has become one of the most frequented 14ers in the State of Colorado. To deal with human waste on the trail, the National Park Service (NPS) installed their first backcountry toilets in 1983. Since their installation 35 years ago the technology has deteriorated in the harsh climate to the point that waste is now required to be removed by shovel full, placed into five-gallon buckets, and carried down the mountain using llamas.

Determined to find a better privy design, and a more humane solution of collecting waste, NPS collaborated with ColoradoBuildingWorkshop to re-design and constructed new backcountry privies. The new Long’s Peak Privies explore lightweight prefabricated construction and emerging methods of waste collection to minimize the human footprint in Colorado’s backcountry. The final design solution is a series of prefabricated structural gabion walls. Within the gabions, a series of thin steel plate moment frames triangulate the lateral loads within the structure while stones, collected on-site, are used as ballast. This innovative construction assembly allows for rapid on-site construction (the project was erected in eight days) and an architecture that disappears into the surrounding landscape.

2019 ACSA Design Build Award Winner

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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