Creating developments that operate within the water balance of a given place and climate
“The intent of the Water Petal is to realign how people use water and to redefine ‘waste’ in the built environment so that water is respected as a precious resource.” International Living Future Institute
One hundred percent of occupant water must come from captured precipitation or closed loop water systems that are appropriately purified without the use of chemicals.
Imperative: Net Positive Water
Design approach includes:
All water is collected, treated, and used on site by incorporating four types of water management requirements:
- Greywater (used water that does not have organic matter in it) includes shower drains, sink drains, condensate from the HVAC system, and water fountains. Greywater management includes collecting, pumping, cleaning via constructed wetland, and allowing the water to infiltrate back into soil.
- Condensate from the HVAC system will be collected and used in irrigating the green roof and landscape. Any excess condensate will be diverted to the stormwater management system and returned back to soil to recharge the aquifer.
- Blackwater (water with organic matter) will not be present in the project. This project uses composting toilets. The small amount of waste from the toilets will be hauled off-site and reused in a beneficial way (not sent into the municipal sewer).
- Rainwater will be collected off roof and PV array, routed to the cistern in the basement and filtered with UV to treat it to potable (drinkable) standards, then piped throughout building for potable and landscape use.
- Storm water (water from rainstorms) is only allowed to have minimal runoff. All storm water will be captured on site for a controlled infiltration back into the soil through seepage areas, rain gardens, and through permeable pavers.
Operations approach includes:
- The rainwater to potable system will be permitted as a Public Water Supply System through the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. This process requires extensive design review, including mock-ups, and extensive testing in the operations phase.
- Georgia Tech will contract out operations and testing of the system through the certification period, as the system requires a licensed operator. During this period, Georgia Tech staff will train to become licensed operators.