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The Shard of Glass, London

Shard of GlassThe Shard of Glass is London’s tallest building so it only seemed right to show the entire structure. Shame that lady walked past, but then you don’t see that many yellow coats these days. I haven’t been to the viewing platform yet. At £25 a pop it seems quite expensive. However, I discovered that on the viewing platform you can enjoy the call of nature whilst admiring the view. That almost makes a visit up there worth while. Almost.

Shard of Glass

That thought made me wonder how the plumbing works in the Shard of Glass. After all, everyone likes to throw a stone down a well and listen out for the splash when it finally hits the water.

My good friend Google came up trumps again. It is of course a significant engineering problem. Pumping water up requires pressure, and the amount needed increases the further away from the ground you go. When water decends, it draws air with it. This is a problem for lower floors as the air, infused with delightful toilet smells, tends to escape the system. The problems, and how they are dealth with are well explained in this interesting article.

Key fact: If the Shard is ever at full capacity thirty-six litres of sewerage per second will flow out of it. That’s 3.1 million litres per day. To put that into some perspective, an olympic size swimming pool holds 2.5 million litres.

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