The Whole HOG: July 2013

Water-centric Green Design News

Foggy summer days can be magical, especially in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco. The video “Adrift” featured in our B.U.G. Design section captures that magic. We’re staying in Marin (and Sonoma) County long enough to share the news about our favorite kind of giveaway – get rewarded for saving water with the 20 Gallon Challenge.

The Solar Decathlon 2013 challenges student teams from around the globe to keep it local while designing the green home of the future. This month, we’re introducing TEAM ASUNM and their SHADE home, which will be bringing HOG tanks to the contest.

Next, with a spin of the globe, we’ll catch up on HOG inventor (and Aussie) Sally Dominguez’s doings Down Under. Humanitarian engineering, women in design, patent law – don’t miss the party!

July 2013: Team ASUNM to Bring HOG to Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon 2013: Team ASUNM Presents SHADE Home

This October 20 university teams from across the world will present the culmination of over two years of work with their state-of-the-art green homes. The Solar Decathlon 2013, to be held in Irvine, California from October 3 through 13, challenges student teams to design, build and present net zero energy homes.

Each team is encouraged to design and build a solar, modular home that answers the needs of their particular environment within a greater framework of sustainability.

Here’s the framework:

“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”

Rainwater HOG is delighted to announce that Team ASUNM, a collaboration between Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico, will be using six HOG tanks in their SHADE home.

SHADE is an acronym for solar homes adapting for desert equilibrium, and the team’s “ultimate goal is to create a model for sustainable desert living.”

Team ASUNM video

Arizona State University and The University of New Mexico Computer Animated Walk-through

What we like about the contest framework is that it allows for a greater diversity of design while encouraging students to strategize solutions for specific locations. The Solar Decathlon also provides students with invaluable hands-on experience in multiple aspects of the green building industry.

So, while Team ASUNM envisions a solution for urban sprawl in the desert environment (where the city of Phoenix has grown to 4.5 million people), the Middlebury College Team has designed their New England home with wood flooring harvested from sugar maples – the Vermont state tree – to support their local economy.

We’ll be following (and cheering!) Team ASUNM on The Whole HOG through their journey to Irvine, California. Next month, we’ll delve  deeper into some of the sustainable technologies Team ASUNM will showcase with SHADE – including a look out how our HOG tanks will be used.  We hope you’ll join us!

July 2013: Parties, Patents and Design Down Under

Engineers Without Borders Gala Dinner

EWB gala dinner

image via Engineers Without Borders Australia

           EWBA 10th Anniversary
Gala Dinner

Friday August 2, 2013
Docklands, Melbourne

Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWBA) is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a Gala Dinner! Our own Sally Dominguez will be emceeing the event. Expect formal attire, fireworks, music, and a visionary look at what’s to come for humanitarian engineering.

Sally was recently named an ambassador for the organization, with which she’s shared an adventure or three. Bringing running water to a birthing room in a rural clinic, a karoake campaign to maintain arsenic-free well water, and waste management in the floating communities are some of the highlights from her trip to Cambodia with EWBA in 2011. Find out more in the archives at The Whole HOG: April 2011 edition.

Protecting Your Patent


image via James Brey, E+/Getty

In this panel discussion from ABC’s Radio National program By Design, inventor and architect Sally Dominguez’s journey with HOG is used as a ‘what-not-to-do’ example of patenting gone awry in Australia.

Learn more on the importance of owning, what Sally describes as, “the whole brand image of what you’ve designed.”

Explore the legal intricacies, and hidden pitfalls of the (sometimes complex) patent process to protect a design.


  Women in Design

women in designSally Dominguez will be talking about the importance of good design with five other artists, architects, and designers who are leading the way
Tuesday, August 13
6 pm  – 9 pm
AGL Theatre,
Museum of Sydney

July 2013: 20 Gallon Challenge

20 gallon challengeHey California friends, we want to tell you about an ongoing water conservation contest with the opportunity to win some great prizes.

The Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership is sponsoring the 20 Gallon Challenge. Make a commitment to save 20 gallons of water per day – this can be as simple as running the dishwasher only when it’s full or removing two minutes off of outdoor irrigation time – and enter to win through October 2013.

Our water-saving tip: go for 50 gallons! Install a HOG tank to re-use your rainwater.

July 2013: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

or Alchemy of Sea and Sky

We’ve been talking a lot recently about climate change and politics.
In that conversation it’s easy to forget about the majesty of nature, and it’s deep connection to art and creativity. Robert Krulwich, our favorite NPR science guy, shows us a “beautiful connection” between sea, sky and clouds in his post Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds in the Sky. “Not only do clouds look like ocean waves, sometimes waves in the ocean help create clouds in the sky,” he explains.

Along those lines, we have something beautiful to share with you:

adriftSimon Christen visited the Marin Headlands, our home stomping grounds, to create this time lapse video of an icon covered in an endless, mesmerizing ocean. Let yourself drift as the fog laps like waves over the Golden Gate Bridge.

                                                    Isaac’s Storm

isaac's stormInterested in the weather? Like a good read? To satisfy the useful category, we have a book to add to our recommended reads – Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm. Historian and master storyteller, Larson narrates the story of the hurricane of 1900 that destroyed the coastal Texas city of Galveston. He is equally as adept at tackling the science of hurricanes, as he is at bringing Isaac Cline, chief weatherman of Texas, to vivid, flawed life.  Larson’s books include The Devil in the White City and most recently, In the Garden of Beasts, among others.

The curiosity with which Larson and Krulwich approach their subjects, and their skill in explaining complicated scientific phenomena, make them fantastic guides to life among the clouds. Dive in!

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