December 2012: Rainwater Catchment Options for the Urban Prefab Home

Greenbuild 2012 Showcases 5,000 Gallon Water Tank

Image via Inhabitat

“I was curious to see the show house at Greenbuild 2012 demonstrating a large, above-ground, steel riveted water tank,” writes HOG inventor, Sally Dominguez.  “In a seismic high risk area like San Francisco riveted steel tanks are not recommended – in fact most manufacturers will not supply them to parts of California – because in a moderate seismic event a small amount of movement is enough to twist the structure and pop the rivets – and any movement could send tons of water rolling! Did I mention that HOG tanks can’t roll?!”

Inhabitat writer Charley Cameron reports, “The water management for the Paradigm house has several levels; rainwater is diverted from the home’s roof to a 5,000 gallon free-standing outdoor tank, from which water is filtered for domestic use. Greywater is then collected for irrigation and fed directly to two small outdoor greenhouses where produce can be grown. The home’s compost toilet could potentially provide fertilizer for this on-site veggie patch.”

Sally responds, “What I find curious about an otherwise really tight, economical design is the size of the tank.  A 700 sq ft roof can only yield 436 gallons for every inch of rain, so for six months of the year in San Francisco the tank sits nearly empty; in March, our statistically highest rainfall month, it’s just under half full. A tank significantly smaller would still fulfill the water needs of a single bedroom house, especially one with a composting toilet.  It seems to be a case of seeking the largest storage without actually reckoning for local climate and household use.”

Simpatico Homes features Modular HOG System

Simpatico Homes rooftop

Image via Simpatico Homes

This month’s issue of Dwell magazine asks the the question, “Why prefab?” Simpatico Homes, a modular home company based in Emeryville, California, helps answer the question.  Although both homes have net zero energy as their goal, Simpatico Homes has a very different approach to rainwater harvesting than Method Homes’ Paradigm house. In a profile of the Simpatico Prototype House which founder Seth Krubiner now calls home, Joanne Furio reports, “Instead of taxing the taps, the home’s drought-tolerant garden can be watered with runoff from the roof. Krubiner’s technology of choice: Rainwater HOG, an off-the-shelf, expandable system of rainwater collection tanks that stores water for irrigation. Because the HOGs are slim, they can be positioned directly under a downspout without blocking the walkway – a necessity on a tight city lot like this. “The nice thing is that you can easily link them together,” says Krubiner… [who has] two sets of five 50-gallon HOGs…for the property.”

For more on the HOG tank’s unique design that prizes a small footprint and flexible, modular installation options for urban rainwater storage, check out the Rainwater HOG profile in AIArchitect’s online magazine.

The Whole HOG: November 2012

Water-centric Green Design News

As November comes to a close, we have lots to share and lots to be thankful for – including some great online press from AIArchitect, not to mention rain, rain and more rain. GreenBuild 2012 in San Francisco was certainly worth writing home about, and for that matter, sharing with our readers. Did we reconnect with you at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, or perhaps meet for the first time? Either way, welcome (back) to The Whole HOG!

Check out our B.U.G feature for our top five from Greenbuild including green roofs, green walls, big ass fans, and indoor/outdoor alternatives to traditional timber.

We’re partnering with old friends in Hawaii for a new sustainable housing development on Maui. Our tanks have been a vital piece of the ‘green’ puzzle for Armstrong Builders since they included HOGs in their 2010 Lai Opua development.

Speaking of green building in Hawaii, we recently came across Green by Design Hawaii’s post on an open house for the first NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) certified green home. What did we find? That’s right – a HOG tank industriously storing rainwater for garden irrigation. The Oahu home, rebuilt after a fire, is the first to meet the NAHB’s National Green Building Certification Program standards.

HOG CEO Simon Dominguez says, “Rainwater HOG is excited to be a part of helping advance sustainable building practices.”

November 2012: Greenbuild

Snapshots from Stand 2838

Mattie at Greenbuild 2012

Mattie Ivy, marketing manager, helps set up the booth.

Greenbuild 2012, the largest green building expo in the world, spilled from the halls of three buildings at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Sally checked out the green scene (check out her top 5), while Simon manned Rainwater HOG stand 2838 in the South Hall. With an estimated 35,000 people coming through from November 14-16, here’s a snapshot of who we met and what we saw at the two-day green bash, hosted by the Green Building Council.

Romilly Madew, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, stopped in for a visit with HOG CEO and fellow Australian, Simon Dominguez.

Romilly Madew, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, stopped in for a visit with HOG CEO and fellow Australian, Simon Dominguez.

HOG distributor Jamie Rogers of Rogers Remodel (on left) gives a thumbs up.

HOG distributor Jamie Rogers of Rogers Remodel (on left) gives a thumbs up.

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

Top 5 from Greenbuild 2012
A note from Sally Dominguez, HOG inventor and our in-house architect and design buff, “We saw so many innovative products and technologies at Greenbuild 2012. Here are five of the best from green roofs to green walls, to big ass fans and indoor/outdoor alternatives to traditional timber!”

live wallLiveWall Green Wall Systems is my stand out winner for an awesome and innovative product at Greenbuild!! It’s a great modular design and it irrigates using integrated sprinklers rather than drip – simulating rainfall for healthy plants.

friendly wall

Friendly wall. From Canada, a prefabricated 3mm solid timber textured wall cladding on a plywood base brings the warmth and interest of timber in an unusual layered finish.

GardnetHydrotech’s GardNet flexible green roof system for pitched roofs. Sometimes flat modular planter panels don’t fit the bill for a green roof refit. GardNet creates a wavy tile outline into which planting material and plants can be integrated on site.

big ass fanIt’s not just the name that we love about Big Ass Fans – they also make a great looking product that is really effective in moving air around a room. Did you know that an air conditioning system is doubly effective if used in conjunction with a ceiling fan?!

resystaResysta is a breakthrough simulated timber system from Germany sold in California by Marin’s own Matt Berg. It combines 60% rice husk with 22% common salt and 18% mineral oils to form a durable, grained timber deck and cladding product that stains beautifully. Sally plans to use it on the QuickDominguez Bondi Garden house, so stay tuned!

October 2012: Greenbuild

Rainwater HOG will be exhibiting at Greenbuild 2012. Meet Sally and Simon Dominguez of Rainwater HOG this November in San Francisco.

November 14-16
Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA

Catch up on the newest innovations and trends at the world’s largest green building conference. We’re busy planning our booth and looking forward to seeing friends, old and new!