June 2013: Making Connections at the Brietzke Residence

Greenheart Introduces HOG to New Friends in Chicago

The streets of Oak Park, Illinois, a village adjacent to Chicago’s west side, have been witness to architectural legends. Frank Lloyd Wright spent the first twenty years of practice in his Oak Park Home and Studio.

That spirit of architectural innovation and a commitment to sustainability continues in Oak Park today. One residence, belonging to the Brietzke family, has recently installed a rainwater harvesting system that seamlessly marries high and low in the rainwater harvesting market.

Greenheart Building HOG

image via Greenheart Buildings, Inc.

“I was looking for a system that would be able to sit as flat against the wall as possible, which could easily form an array, ” says Michael Ruehle of Greenheart Buildings, Inc. who oversaw the installation.

Two Rainwater HOG tanks were selected by Ruehle to complement the six 55-gallon plastic barrels already in place. He installed the system to share water across each unit equally.

For nine months out of the year – from March through November – the harvested rainwater will water the garden and feed an as-yet-to-be-installed backyard pond.  Ruehle estimates that the capacity – 440 gallons – of the eight-unit system is enough to capture 100 percent of the average rainfall, or about 15,000 gallons per year.

“I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work,” said Frank Lloyd Wright. The Brietzkes need only look to their backyard to hear an echo of the renowned architect’s words.

Greenheart connector1

image via Greenheart Buildings, Inc.

Greenheart connector2

image via Greenheart Buildings, Inc.

Close up on Connectors

“The integrity of the connectors was paramount,” Ruehle explains.  “I have had too many experiences with poorly-installed fittings on plastic barrels.”

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