The Whole HOG: March 2012

Water-centric Green Design News

Trending (by the numbers) for 2012

The fourth-largest advertising agency on the planet, J. Walter Thompson (JWT) recently released their alphabetized list of 100 things to watch in 2012. Rainwater harvesting comes in at #58, and rooftop farming at #61. Solar gets simpler (#73), and spiking food prices (#74) are also pieces of the trending global puzzle.

Rainwater HOG is on the road to addressing global concerns of 2012, at the intersection of rainwater harvesting and rooftop farming.  QuickDominguez Architects (a new venture for designer and architect Sally Dominguez) is on the scene in Australia with a twelve-HOG, multi-green roof sustainable renovation of a Bondi Beach residence.

Ecobuild, the world’s largest sustainable building conference, is being held in London this month. Find us there, alongside other innovators working to improve building materials and techniques, and to promote sustainable practice like garden-growing, solar energy, and rainwater harvesting (that’s #58, #61, and #73 on the list).

Inside the Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure report is a call to action. The report is a compelling look at the reality of expanding water scarcity (hello #74 – spiking food prices) and an urgent need to update the United States’ aging water infrastructure.

And finally, veer off-road and into the sand in our B.U.G. Design section, as we get ready to follow Sally on a nine-day road rally through Morocco! She and fellow Australian Samantha Stevens are team 168 in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.

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March 2012: QuickDominguez Architects Multi-Green Roof Residence

A City-Side Look at Rainwater Harvesting, Rooftop Farming and Green Renovation

QuickDominguez Architects mid-century revitalization in Bondi Beach
Sydney, Australia

It’s been a while since we covered an Aussie HOG story, but we’ve got a green roof extravaganza of a story  – and in parts!  HOG designer Sally Dominguez is working with architect Sam Quick in a new venture, QuickDominguez Architects, to revitalize a corner of Bondi Beach more known for its urban concrete and grit – with barely a green leaf to be seen.


Model of the multi-green roof Bondi Beach residence seen from the northwest.

The QuickDominguez project involves refurbishing a mid-century brick apartment building into a multi-green roofed vivid green benchmark of sustainable residential design. Ten HOGs will store rainwater for flushing the toilets and irrigating the ground level gardens, and two HOGs will store shower greywater for reuse on the upper level green roof plantings. All up, the HOGs will reduce the use of city water by more than 80%, and all storm water will be absorbed or re-used on site.

A sneak peek, and a northeast facing view, of the concept model.

We will keep you updated as the scheme makes its way from the drawing board to its Bondi block.

March 2012: Ecobuild

In England this month? Visit our Rainwater HOG booth- manned by Zambesi (UK) Limited–  at Ecobuild from
Tuesday, March 20 –
Thursday, March 22

at the ExCel conference center
in the heart of the new Green Enterprise District in London.

Ecobuild is the world’s biggest even for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK’s largest construction event of any kind.

Visitors will be eligible to win three Rainwater HOG tanks!

March 2012: Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure Report

Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure Report

The nation’s water infrastructure is at a critical juncture, according to the recently released Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure report. Before you skip right on past that dry, curiosity-quencher of a title, be assured, the information inside is as compelling as the title is off-putting.

We lose over six billion gallons of expensive, treated water each day because of leaky, aging pipes. This represents 14 percent of the nation’s daily water use. This endemic water waste is underscored by the fact the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the nation’s water systems a D-, the lowest grade of any infrastructure including roads and bridges.

In order to achieve more sustainable, resilient and cost-effective freshwater systems, the report recommends bold new approaches for financing and operating public water systems, including:

• Local water solutions that can improve efficiencies, including green infrastructure, closed-loop systems and water recycling;

• Flexible water pricing and revenue structures that distinguish between drinking water and various other types of water, such as lawn water and toilet water;

• System-wide, full-cost accounting of water services and financing mechanisms; and

• Less reliance on state and federal funding and more reliance on private, market-based financing mechanisms that can support local, customer-supported solutions.

For an easy-to-understand overview of the report, check out David Mark’s press release at the American Rivers site.

How does the report relate to HOG and to you?
HOG tanks provide a modular rainwater storage system with future flexibility in mind.

The report recommends using water, in its different stages of treatment, for appropriate purposes. Save potable water for drinking. And collect water from the source! Harvested rainwater, stored in a HOG tank, can be used to water the garden, the lawn, and to flush the toilet.

An added bonus: reduced dependence on an energy-inefficient, centralized water system.

Recommended Reading: Cadillac Desert

A dose of narrative makes the facts go down smoothly. Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert offers the (riveting!) story you won’t find in the report. His 1986 book exposed the cutthroat politics and environmental implications of water consumption in the arid west.

25 years later, a group of scientists revisited Reisner’s predictions of water scarcity in the southwest, and confirmed the legitimacy and foresight of his research. Read about it in On Earth Magazine.

March 2012: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

Rallye Aicha des Gazelles

Sally writes, “Ever heard of an offroad car rally having environmental credentials? NO? That’s because the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, now in its 20th year, is the first to seek and be granted ISO 14001 certification for seeking to manage and constantly improve its environmental performance.  And the best bit – I am driving in it!

Why is it beautiful? The wild vistas of Morocco have staged countless Hollywood movies but this time they are the terrain for an all-female nine-day off-road rally where the emphasis is on land navigation (no satnavs here) rather than speed.  The Rally raises funds for medical services in the remote areas of Morocco, and demonstrates female strength and independence in a country which is finally starting to support its female population.
Why is it useful? Raising funds for essential medical services is useful but the Rally also demonstrates, with its commitment to minimum waste, responsible practices and socially beneficial outcomes, how a car rally can tread lightly on the earth and still be sporty – and fun!

Why is it green? The Environmental Management System for the Rally involves all competitors signing an “environmental good behavior” charter around water and energy use, the carbon emissions from the event are offset by contributions to a program in Morocco that composts household waste for agricultural use without releasing CO2 into the air, and the premise itself that the winner drives the shortest distance, rather than the fastest speed, encourages less fuel consumption.

It is so much more productive to re-design driving events like this rather than to call for a halt to all extraneous fuel-burning activity.  By the time you are reading this I will be in Paris learning to navigate without electronics, in French, before my epic drive in a VW Amorak.  We will be posting YouTube video daily – I hope!!

Join the Sammy and Sally Rally community page on facebook to follow the adventure.

Check out Sally’s blog for more B.U.G. Designs.

Surement le Maroc a besoin d’eau de pluie porcs! (Translation: Surely Morocco needs Rainwater HOGs!)