Claus Dyre, the recipient of the Building Component Award 2015

On 5 November 2015 architect and designer, Claus Dyre received the Building Component Award, which is given by VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN. Claus Dyre invented an entirely new solution for floor drains in shower cabinets. The solution has been installed in more than 600,000 bathrooms worldwide.

The Building Component Award is given for 'the good idea' and it is given either to individuals or to small groups who have made ​​a special 'practical action' regarding the value, importance and practical use of industrially produced building components in everyday life. The award is DKK 100,000.

From unsightly necessity to an award-winning design element

A floor drain always look the same way. A square metal grate in the middle of a shower cabinet. Everyone knows that and yet. Designer Claus Dyre was drawing on a block while talking on the phone, and suddenly an idea was born. For why could water not just run down to the back wall and then directly down the drain. Today, his invention has been installed in more than 600,000 bathrooms and wet rooms worldwide.

The invention - the linear floor drain - was patented and named unidrain®. The classic grate in the middle of the floor was replaced by an elongated grating placed against the back wall of the shower cabinet. Water is drained through the specially designed outlet unit that can be easily cleaned. For the first time drain was transformed from an unsightly necessity to an award-winning design element.

Why was Claus Dyre nominated?

The recommendation reads,
"Claus Dyre has remarkably realized the dream of many people; having a good idea and pursuing it till it becomes a product and a market success. Claus Dyre has passionately and persistently, with his building technical as well as marketing background developed the idea from a sketch on a napkin to a unique product. Claus Dyre has patented the idea and developed the product. He has had close cooperation with industrial partners to develop production techniques that were a precondition for the product to be mass produced at a good price".

Persistence pays off

As an entrepreneur, Claus Dyre was in close dialogue for several years with the Danish Building Research Institute, that test the quality of new building components.

Senior Researcher Erik Brandt from the Danish Building Research Institute:

“We receive many ideas for new drains, but this was a totally different thought. Claus Dyre would put the drain close to the wall, which was unthinkable in relation to the recommendations of the law, but the solution was logical, and we could see that the idea was very good. It requires tenacity and perseverance to engage in such a process with several prototypes and quality tests. Claus Dyer has pursued his idea from start to finish, where others probably would have given up."

Professor Anne Beim, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation:

“The Building Component Award focuses on materials, details and good and beautiful solutions in architecture. With the award, we wish to honor enthusiasts, who think in new and innovative ways of construction. It may be a product or a new constructional solution that can affect many people's lives and make the craftsman’s job easier."


The Committee:

Bjarne G. Thomsen, former Director, Chairman of the Committee

Professor Anne Beim, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation

Program Manager, Mikkel Kragh, Danish Architecture Center

Program Manager, lecturer Ellen Kathrine Hansen, Aalborg University, Project Manager for the Building Component Award


1999, the idea arises as Claus Dyre is talking on the phone.

In 2000, he initiates cooperation with the Danish Building Research Institute, where they try to change the established standards.

In 2003, Unidrain is launched and will initially be sold through the major plumbing wholesalers

Cooperation with Poland, Faroe Islands, Estonia, Norway, Czech Republic, Iceland, Latvia, Sweden and Russia

In the years 2003-2008, the company's turnover increases by 50 % annually.

In the years, 2008-2010 Unidrain receives several design awards

In 2009, Claus Dyre and his former partners and investors sell Unidrain to the Swedish manufacturer of plumbing products; Purus AB. Unidrain is now further developed under this brand.

For further information:

Ellen Kathrine Hansen, Aalborg University (+45) 2172 3181 or e-mail:

Press contact: Eva Beckmann, VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN (+45) 2084 2085