The Whole HOG: May 2012

Water-centric Green Design News

“It’s all about how much room a school can give up on the playground. It was the design details of the HOGS that made a water catchment system possible for this school.”
-Kat Sawyer, San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance’s Tap the Sky

Kat Sawyer, Tap the Sky’s project manager, was instrumental in coordinating the 2010 installation at McKinley Elementary School. Seven HOG tanks, collecting rainwater to irrigate the school’s native garden, are virtually invisible underneath a boardwalk that has become a new play space for students.

Architecture for Humanity features HOG and the McKinley School install in their new book Design Like You Give a Damn [2]. We’re honored to be included in their compilation of people-friendly designs that create social change and make a positive impact around the world! Read more about the book in our B.U.G. Design section.

Read on to find out more about how HOGs maximize space and continue to nurture young sprouts, plants and children alike, in schools like the John J. Daly Elementary School in New York.

And closer to home, a LEED Platinum spec home designed by architect Geoffrey Butler demonstrates how seamlessly the HOG modular system integrates into a modern, environmentally-friendly California home design. Preview The Trickle-Up Effect in San Francisco Magazine.

HOG designer Sally Dominguez is adding to her laurels with a nomination from Advance 50 From the Future as an influential Australian innovator. Check it out here.

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May 2012: Daly School Garden – Learning by Example

Elementary school kids in Port Washington, New York are in for a spring treat. Two rainwater HOG tanks were installed this May to water the John J. Daly Elementary School’s edible garden tended by students in third through fifth grade.

“It is a great upgrade for our garden and, most importantly, our kids,” said Principal Drew Graves.

The four-year-old garden is one of five school gardens in the Port Washington District, but it is the only one harvesting rainwater.

HOG tanks were landscape designer Mark Scaramucci of Permascape Designs‘ first choice for the Daly School rainwater catchment system. He needed 100 gallons of water storage to fit into a slim space, and the modular design of the HOGs made it possible for him to install two tanks, vertically, side by side. The green-minded Port Washington Facilities Director upcycled old wooden bleachers from the high school for the structure housing the tanks.
Mindy Germain is involved with sustainable projects, including the Daly School garden, in the area as Executive Director for Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington and co-chair of the Daly Green Committee.  She says, “I liked [the HOG tank] not only for its technical purpose, but also for its innovative design that I thought the kids would connect with. At that age the “cool factor” weighs in on personal connection.”

Mark also notes that the HOG tanks are made of food-grade material, “so there are no worries about watering food-producing gardens.” The kids are growing lettuce, kale, radishes, string beans, and herbs in their garden. They learn organic gardening, water conservation, and composting. The two HOGs harvest approximately 175 gallons of water annually. Not to mention the kids connect with nature and get a tasty introduction to eating locally.

As Mindy says, “Kids learn that eating healthy from the garden can be delicious.”

May 2012: San Francisco Magazine – The Trickle-Up Effect

Architect Geoffrey Butler’s LEED Platinum home design features state-of-the-art water reuse

Sausalito-based architect Geoffrey Butler’s $2.9 million Marin spec home brings up-to-the-moment architectural design to a water-wise home.


©Philip Harvey

Profiled in the June 2012 design issue of San Francisco Magazine, the Geoffrey Butler home, located in Mill Valley, saves up to 61,000 gallons of water per year.

A 4-HOG installation (hidden under the deck) converts showers into lawn water, and an additional 15 HOG tanks are used to flush the toilet in the 5-person home for up to 8 months out of the year.
How does the HOG modular rainwater catchment system work in this Mill Valley home?


©Philip Harvey

Toilet Flush                                                 Gray Water System
rainwater                                                   shower and bathtub water
[goes to]                                                                [goes to]
15 HOGS behind garage                              4 HOGS under deck
[goes to]                                                                [goes to]
toilets                                                                      garden

Check out the magazine in print if you’re in the San Francisco area or see it online here (we’re on page 72-73).

May 2012: Advance 50 for the Future Award

Shaping the Future of Australian Innovation

Sally Dominguez, HOG designer and co-founder, was recently recognized as a leading Australian innovator with the Advance 50 for the Future award. Check out the video.

Advance is a non-profit championing Australian-sparked innovation on the world stage.

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

Design Like You Give a Damn [2]: Building Change from the Ground Up

Why is it beautiful? With their second book, Design Like You Give a Damn [2], Architecture for Humanity has compiled over 100 projects showing architecture as a driver of change and economic re-invigoration.  The book itself has a satisfying, if compact, heft to it that is complimented by what’s inside – good design sense.  The user-friendly, picture-intensive layout makes the information accessible and interesting.

Why is it useful? The book is beefed up by a section written by co-founder Cameron Sinclair on lessons learned – everything from working on economic development in post-disaster contexts to transforming long-term rebuilding centers into local economic development corporations – that adds up to a raison d’etre for Architecture for Humanity. Kate Stohr, also co-founder, contributes what is essentially a primer for community groups, architects and others seeking to finance their initiatives in the Financing Sustainable Community Development section.

Why is it green? Design Like You Give a Damn [2] urges readers to give a damn: to care, to get involved, and to take positive action. The Wall Street Journal calls it, “Architecture with a cause.” The book provides compelling examples – our McKinley School install included – and tools for environmentally-friendly, culturally-specific solutions.
“It’s not just about putting bricks to mortar. It is about taking the vision of creating a better world for others and making it tangible.”
Auma Obama, CARE International

“The resourcefulness of the projects in the book is inspiring, its information practical and its numerous factoids sobering.”
-The New York Times

Buy the book here.

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