The Whole HOG: January 2014

Water-centric Green Design News

Welcome to 2014, HOG enthusiasts! But before we go too far, let’s look back at the highlights of 2013. This year more than ever the importance of rainwater harvesting hits home for us. We’re experiencing a historic drought in California that has left our fields dry, our reservoirs low, and our water in short supply. NASA satellite images show a barren landscape, and Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency. All the more incentive to use HOG tanks – for us, too! Our marketing manager and HOG writer Mattie Ivy is stepping up to Marin County’s recommended 20% water use reduction. Stay tuned for her video adventures in setting up a HOG system of her own.

In the meantime, catch up on a cool catchment system in Maui that transforms air conditioner drip to garden gold. HOG co-founder and designer, Sally Dominguez, is teaching a continuing studies course at Stanford. We pull up a seat in the Insights and Tools for Creative Thinking classroom for our B.U.G. feature.

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January 2014: Year in Review

2013 in Review

Thank you for helping make 2013 an eventful and productive year for us at Rainwater HOG! From magazine-worthy green home renovations to a clever green roof irrigation system for a home in the Chicago suburbs, and from a school garden in New Jersey to our inclusion in TEAM ASUNM’s SHADE Home design at the Solar Decathlon 2013, we’ve had an exciting year!

HOG 2013 in review

“The Rainwater HOG makes it easy to commit to a lifestyle of rationalized use and conservation. The system boasts negligible costs, simple technology, and immediate results.
-Beverly Maloney-Fischback, CEO, Founder and Publisher of Organic Spa Magazine

The HOGs are a great product and a very clever design. With only a narrow gap along the side of my house which would have otherwise been unable, the installation of the tanks there has been of real benefit. The post-sale care and service of the HOG team has been fantastic and I could not be happier with this product.
– Ian Goff,  homeowner Sydney, Australia

I was looking for a system that would be able to sit as flat against the wall as possible, which could easily form and array and where the integrity of the connectors was paramount.

– Michael Ruehle, GREENHeart Builders, Inc. on why he chose HOG tanks for the Brietzke install

“This is an awesome addition to our school garden!”
– Jack Griffith, Egg Harbor City Community School (EHCCS) principal, on two Rainwater HOG tanks for the edible school garden.

January 2014: Maui’s Cool Catchment

A Novel Collection System in Maui: From Air Conditioner Drip to Garden Water

Warren Jessop of Maui Catchment Service has designed and installed a HOG water catchment system for air conditioning condensation  – a use that demonstrates the multi-functional adaptability of the tanks.

“If you have plants around the building, why not water them with the AC condensate?” asks Jessop, who was looking to move water from a potential problem spot to “where it could do some good” hydrating thirsty plants with his pressurized (non-gravitational) HOG install.

Jessop’s client, Volcano Maui Group, LLC owns a three-level commercial office building in Lahaina, Maui. A basement-level private parking lot is available for tenants. The condensation generated by building’s AC systems (12 in total) is collected and discharged via one main pipe into in a rain drainage sump located below the basement parking lot, where the presence of the water presents various maintenance issues.

The solution? Plumb the AC collection pipe to a  four-HOG system, and use a pump to redistribute the water via pipes and drip irrigation to the yellow hibiscus, red ginger, multi-colored crotons, night-blooming jasmine and other plants growing outside in the gardens of the exterior parking lots.

Maui_car_garage1The catchment system is installed around a central elevator shaft, the location of which made the narrow HOG tanks the best choice for the job. This HOG installation collects water for distribution without restricting driver access or maneuverability in the underground parking lot.

“Rainwater HOG [tanks] make it easier to catch the water without taking up a lot of space,” says Warren Jessop, who sees the HOG air conditioning catchment system as a replicable model for other commercial buildings.

Maui_car_garage_cheat_sheetThe ‘primary port’ tank (shown above) serves as the collection point from which the air conditioning water is dispersed across the four-unit system, as well as the distribution point from which the water is pumped out.

“The tanks are drip free,” reports Jessop, who installed a 5′ tall 3/4″ PVC pipe inside the ‘primary port’  tank which sends out the water with the help of a pump. It is accessed via a piggy-back float switch in the tank that sends irrigation water out automatically once the reservoir reaches a certain level. Pipes along the ceiling lead the water to a drip-irrigation system for the outdoor vegetation.

Maui_car_garage_frontTransforming unwanted air-conditioning waste into water-savings is just one out-of-the-box (or maybe we should say, around-the-box) way that HOGs, with the guidance of an educated systems-installer, can save the day.

Maui Catchment sourced the four HOG tanks from Green Builders Depot.

January 2014: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

Insights and Tools for Creative Thinking

HOG Designer, architect and innovator Sally Dominguez is mid-course Winter semester at Stanford teaching a continuing studies class on Insights and Tools for Creative Thinking.

We’re sharing it here in our B.U.G. section because the classroom setting articulates and teases out some of the values that Sally brings to HOG as co-founder and designer. The class is an expansive and exciting illustration of where our core values of innovation and sustainability can lead.

left brain right brain
Why is it beautiful? This class full of creative chaos, group projects and outside-of-the-box problem-solving is at capacity with 48 students (about a 50/50 split between traditional/non-traditional students and men and women) and shows the applicability of creative thinking in manufacturing, business and beyond.

Why is it useful? Sally brings an outsider perspective to the classroom and finds herself in good company with philosopher Jacques Derrida, writer and neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer, maker and architect David Heatherwick, writer of The Toaster Project Thomas Thwaites, and artist Banksy, among others. Ultimately, through hands-on exploration and creative play, participants will leave with a personalized tool kit for the creative prompts, approaches and useful disrupters that best suit each person.

Find inspiration with Sally’s Creative Insight crib notes here.

Why is it green? Students cozy up to William McDonough’s game-changing Cradle to Cradle philosophy, learning how it applies to them. From sessions including reconsidering negative space, thinking backwards, re-thinking what you have, and assemblage and deconstruction, sustainability is taken as a base point and used as a benchmark and goal.

To read more B.U.G. Design features, check out Sally’s Blog.