The Whole HOG: August 2012

Water-centric Green Design News

This August we’re offering a modern take on tradition, from the traditional facade that disguises the modern sensibility of a LEED Platinum home in Glencoe, Illinois to modular solar leaves redefining the ivy league at the University of Utah. Farther afield, the Ito Yogyo Co. is bringing acclaim to Rainwater HOG tanks in Japan by capitalizing on the country’s narrow footprint allotted for homes.

Also, we have a reminder about the Campus Rainworks Challenge and our 3-HOG giveaway in tandem with the EPA’s student design contest. Happy hogging, readers!

August 2012: Campus Rainworks Challenge

Omaha North High School students install two HOG tanks as part of their 2011 school renovation.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has launched Campus Rainworks Challenge, a student design contest engineered to raise awareness of green infrastructure alternatives for stormwater management.

Our offer to participating student teams: incorporate Rainwater HOG tanks into a winning entry, and we will give you three HOG tanks.

Registration opens September 4 and ends December 14, 2012. Winning entries will be selected by the EPA and announced in April 2013.

August 2012: Go! Go! Ito Yogyo – HOGs in Japan

Rainwater HOG tanks have been making waves  in the Japanese marketplace since 2010, with help from our distributor in Japan Ito Yogyo Co., Ltd.

Two Rainwater HOG tanks were installed in May 2010 in front of Ito Yogyo Co.’s Osaka storefront.

The two HOG tanks at the Osaka storefront collect 6,868 gallons (26,000 liters) of water annually.

Space for housing is limited to “narrow plots of land” in Japan, explains Mr. Yoshihiro Hagihara of Ito Yogyo, which makes the slim-lined HOG tanks a perfect fit for residential installations.

In fact, Rainwater HOG won the Japanese Kids Design Award in July of 2011. HOG was chosen not only because the HOG tank is an easy way to teach kids about the benefits of re-using rainwater, but also because of its superior, multi-purpose design. The tanks can double as an emergency water supply source, are easy to install, and the slender, architecturally-designed profile allows the modular system to fit into a tight space.

A HOG tanks collects rainwater in city of Ikoma, in the Nara Prefecture.

Garden irrigation and car washing are the primary uses of harvested rainwater for the environmentally conscious Japanese homeowners who have installed HOGs. For example, a homeowner in the city of Ikoma waters the kitchen garden with rainwater collected from one HOG (pictured left). The tank, chosen for it’s narrow profile, was installed in September 2011; it collects 3,434 gallons (13,000 liters) of water annually.

August 2012: Glencoe Green Home

Twenty-five miles outside of Chicago,  the fifth LEED Platinum home in Illinois was certified in December 2011 in the town of Glencoe. Barry and Natalie Slotnick publicize their residence online as the Glencoe Green Home.

“The fact that it is a traditional home that is LEED Platinum makes it a unique structure,” says Barry Slotnick, of his Glencoe Green Home.

“Our two children are the biggest motivator,” explains Barry, on the inspiration behind building a home to the highest environmental standards. “They are four and six. The world will be theirs and their kids and grandkids.”

He identifies the most distinctive feature of his Illinois home, constructed from April 2010 through April 2011, as its traditional facade . It fits into the neighborhood. “It looks like it was built in 1911 rather than 2011,” says Barry.

The heightened functionality of the home belies its conventional facade. The materials and technologies used help save energy and minimize its environmental impact. The Glencoe Green Home has a green roof, solar rooftop panels, Energy Star appliances, and windows and sliding glass door sized and oriented to increase passive solar energy. Water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and sustainable landscaping were considered during construction. Additionally, a modular, off-site construction method reduced the energy and waste output and shortened the overall build time.

Rainwater HOG features in the LEED certification of the Slotnick’s home. The main roof was configured to direct rainwater towards the east side of the house and into two vertically-mounted HOG tanks.  “HOGs work well because of their design,” explains Barry, after using them for over a year to irrigate arbor vitae around the perimeter of the yard. “They have a very good outflow.”

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

                                                 Solar Ivy

The brother and sister team Samuel Cochran and Teresita Cochran behind Sustainably Minded Interactive Technologies (SMIT) are the New York-based producers of solar ivy, ‘a solar energy product that looks and behaves like natural ivy on buildings.’

“Ivy is a plant that integrates with our buildings and our structures – it grows to find light and resources so it can prosper,” says Samuel Cochran, explaining his design inspiration in Organic Spa Magazine. “The concept was how can we as human beings learn from that plant and its relationship to our built environment and create an object that can provide for us in a similar way that this plant can provide for itself.”

Why is it beautiful? The clean energy start-up is climbing the halls of higher education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City with their modular, and distinctively customizable, solar ivy. These solar beauties will grow anywhere – even up the vertical brick facade of a building – and can be installed to specifications for color, spacing, photovoltaic type, and orientation.

Why is it useful? Re-purposing the traditional ivy covered halls of higher education with solar ivy – leaf-shaped photovoltaic panels that transforms solar power into energy – is a technologically savvy move by the next generation of green-minded students. The leaves combine solar power with cladding and also provide shade for the building. This means green energy and a cooler building with lower energy costs.

Why is it green?  These modular leaves flutter in the breeze and shift to capture the available sunlight – mimicking the natural world while producing energy. A 4×7 foot strip can generate up to 85 watts of solar power. And it doesn’t have to be green – the color is customizable!

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