It was designed by two girls from the University of Bristol
Amber Robyn and Hazel McShane, who graduated from the University of Bristol last year, designed the hands-free Peequal (Pee + Equal), a urinal for women when asked to solve a ‘real-life problem’ for their master’s project.
Ms. McShane studied physics with innovation while Ms. Probyn is anthropology with innovation graduate. Their experience of queuing for hours at music festivals was useful to develop their urinal, which fits 6 units inside a pizza shape, meaning more urinals can fit in smaller spaces on the grounds of outdoor events.
During the design process, the research showed women queue up to 34 times longer than men because there are 10 male urinals for every women’s public toilet. And once they get to the front of the queue, up to 80% of women end up squatting over the toilet seat anyway to avoid bacteria.
The Peequal streamlines the queue, meaning those needing to use proper toilets can still have to a classic bathroom while others can get in and out within seconds from the urinals.
The pair talked to more than 2,000 women around Bristol in focus groups and pubs before coming up with their urinal, which they claim shortens queuing times and it’s 6 times quicker to use.
Ms. Probyn and Ms. McShane told the BBC that when they worked at music festivals, they used to have to choose between going to the toilet or getting food because the queues were so long.
“There are so many elements to the design. It’s open-air and touch-free. Especially in covid when people don’t want to touch anything”, the women explain.
Often women take more time to use a traditional toilet because of the practicalities of dealing with a period, which may slow down queue times. So, if women’s urinals were incorporated, those who may take more time on the loo can use a normal toilet, while anyone desperate for a pee can head for the Peequal line.
Not wasting time on opening and closing doors or cleaning toilet seats or laying toilet paper out over the seat, are demonstration on how the design can improve efficiency.
They designed the shape of the toilet bowl so it would suit various squat positions: low, high, and wide; meaning these urinals are suitable for most women.
A prototype of the urinal, which is semi-private so others waiting to use the Peequal can’t see anything from the waist down, is being trialed at the Bristol Comedy Garden.
“It’s designed like a boat to minimize splashback and also to have a little place for your clothing in front”.
The pair won the top prize in the University of Bristol’s flagship enterprise contest to start-ups, securing £15,000, BristolPost reported.
It is said that the new urinal produces 98% less CO2 than other portable toilets and is made from 100% recyclable materials.
However, some manifested their criticism about the design and for the lack of the roof.
Women’s urinals can be a revolutionary solution to equate men’s urinals with women’s urinals, but those who choose them will need to find the right compromise between these three types of toilets to avoid having too many toilets compared to the space available.