Aug/Sept 2013: Omaha North High School

Omaha North High School  II  Omaha, Nebraska II  USA

The high school students at Omaha North installed their HOGs themselves, learning the practicalities of rainwater catchment and reuse, and irrigating their school garden.

Omaha HS wedge

“The Rainwater HOGs fit perfectly,” said Lee Kallstrom, Engineering Technologies Department at the time of the installation. Two years later he reports, “I’m still extremely happy with your product.”

Year of Install: 2011

Installation Stats Omaha North magnet high school built a LEED silver four-story addition and a two-story greenhouse. Two HOG tanks are in the wedge between the new and old building collecting rainwater for landscape irrigation, and one waters plants in the greenhouse. “I can water the entire place in 5 minutes when I turn the HOG on,” says Lee Kallstrom from the Engineering Technologies department.

Science, engineering and technology are the focus at Omaha North magnet high school in suburban Omaha, Nebraska. With students doing the hands-on installation themselves, they learn practical construction techniques alongside the sustainability principles taught in the technical curriculum and illustrated by the building and greenhouse.

Where is it now? The school, which earned a silver certification for its sustainable addition, is the first in Nebraska to be certified under the LEED for Schools system rating.

By building green, Omaha North H.S. reduced its energy use by 20% and its potable water consumption (with low-flow sinks, dual-flush toilets, and rainwater tanks) by 43%.

In the winter of 2012, “the wedge” platform gave way in -20ºF temperatures. Students rebuilt in the spring (at a height of 24 inches to allow the water to drain completely from the tanks) and took the extra security measure of strapping the two HOG tanks to the building.

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Aug/Sept 2013: Rainlab at Dalton School

Rainlab at Dalton School  II  Manhattan, New York  II  USA

Who needs a play pool when you can mount running water on a wall?!  In an innovative way to integrate motor skills, learning and pure play, HOGs on the roof spill water down into a maze of pipes and valves that delights all ages.

dalton waterwall

“For kids this age, it’s all about interactivity and exploration,” says Will Hopkins, the Dalton School Science Department chairman.

Year of Install: 2012

Installation Stats: The interactive rooftop science classroom at Manhattan prep school for First Program students (grades K-3) has two orange HOGs installed horizontally to capture rainwater from an adjacent roof.

HOG Skills: The stormwater moves down the wall through a series of pipes, paddles and wheels and collects in removable buckets used to water plants. When it rains, the wheels and beams move on their own, even when the tank valves are shut off. Planters, a cold frame, a compost bin, and solar panels complete the 16-foot square rooftop “RainLab.”

Where is it now? Science lessons in the rooftop classroom are an interactive experience for young students. With the water wall demonstrating stormwater capture, planters, solar panels, and wind and weather elements, the small Dalton School rooftop is a kid-friendly introduction to sustainable practices. Liz Pulver, landscape architect from Town and Garden Ltd. and designer of the Rainlab, does periodic maintenance on the structure to ensure it’s continued smooth running.

Aug/Sept 2013: Nundah State School

 Nundah State School  II  Brisbane, Queensland  II  Australia

104 HOGs in the school colors hold 5,700 gallons for irrigation, toilet flush…and teach students about gravity and water pressure!

nundah behind the trees

Yellow and black HOGs mounted on the library peek out from behind the foliage at Nundah State School.

Year of Install: 2007

Installation Stats: 114 HOGS are grouped around the library building to capture water from each downspout.  Made to order in the school colors of yellow and black, the tanks are installed at different elevations on different sides of the building.

Annual Water Capture: 5,700 gallons

HOG Skills: The different elevations demonstrate how a gravity feed system affects water pressure (higher elevation + full tank =  maximum pressure). The Nundah library uses ultra-low-flush Caroma toilets and flushing these with HOGS saves the school more than 28,000 gallons of water per year.

Where is it Now?
Six years later, our modular rainwater catchment system continues to capture rainwater, flush toilets, and teach the next wave of students.

March/April 2013: Amsha Africa Foundation

Amsha Africa Foundation to Bring Rainwater Harvesting to Rural Kenya

Amsha Africa Foundation
Amsha is a swahili word that means “wake up”. The non-profit Amsha Africa Foundation works to raise the standard of living in rural Africa by working with registered community-based organizations.

Rainwater Harvesting in Rural Kenya
Here’s the difference something as small as one Rainwater HOG tank used to harvest rainwater  can make. Women in rural Kenya often spend as much as 3 hours a day carrying water to their homes from distant sources.

Chibanga two women carrying waterIf a woman can carry 5 gallons of water per day, then one Rainwater HOG storage tank can hold water that would have taken her over 10 days to carry.

If she spends 3 hours per day carrying this water, a storage tank near the home can save her 30 hours of water transport over 10 days. This results in 1,080 more hours a year to do other tasks, such as entrepreneurial activities, daily cooking, cleaning, child care, and schoolwork.

If she spends even half of those 1,080 hours on work that earns even $0.50 per hour of income, this extra time can result in over $250 of income for this woman and her family.

The Amsha Africa Foundation is currently fundraising to purchase and install 130 Rainwater HOG tanks for communities in the semi-arid regions of rural Kenya where one of the most significant issues, with a wide-ranging set of repercussions, is access to clean water.

Some common problems include:

No access to safe water: Residents depend on frequently interrupted central water supply systems from the government.
No adequate waste water management resulting in polluted ground water.
Lack of safe sanitation.

Amsha Africa founder Tony Abuta, a native Kenyan, lives and works in the U.S.A. It was a combination of his childhood experiences and return visits to Africa and other developing countries that inspired him to found Amsha. The organization aims to use common-sense, site-specific solutions to help lift people out of poverty with dignity.

One hundred thirty Rainwater HOGs tanks would make over 6,760 gallons of water available to rural communities in Kenya. Here’s how you can help.

March/April 2013: Marin Home and Garden Expo

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Simple Sustainable DIY Rainwater Harvesting with Sally Dominguez
Sunday, June 2nd at 1 pm, Marin Center Fairgrounds,  San Rafael, CA

Rainwater HOG’s own Sally Dominguez, multi award-winning sustainable designer and educator, will present Simple, Sustainable DIY Rainwater Harvesting at the 2013 Marin Home and Garden Expo. Marin GardenShe looks to all corners of the globe for ways to use rainwater on the garden and inside the home. From selecting BPA-free vessels and calculating rainwater storage potential to the effective filtration of roof water and even using rainwater to flush toilets and wash laundry, Sally draws on her experience designing for Australia and for the Bay Area to guide you to the best sustainable choices for rainwater re-use.


January 2013: Green Building Industry Perspective

Hawaii’s National Green Building Standard

Hawaii NGBS home

©EcoHome

We originally encountered this remodeled home (shown left), the first to be certified to Hawaii’s nascent National Green Building Standard, in November 2012, making note of their use of HOG tanks for garden irrigation.

“The biggest lesson we learned is that a certified green home can be built for the same price as a regular home,” explains Leanne Bossert. She is president and co-owner of Bossert Builders, the general contractors who rebuilt the home after it burnt in an electrical fire.  Read more about this green home’s rise from the ashes in the EcoHome article.

Contractor Magazine Taps into a Natural Resource

A recent article in Contractor Magazine showcases recent rainwater catchment system installations, mostly large-scale for toilet flush and irrigation, across the United States. From Washington state to Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia, writer Candace Roulo makes the case for rainwater harvesting as a useful tool in the arsenal of plumbers, green builders, and mechanical contractors.

December 2012: The Face of Rainwater Harvesting at Via Verde

Affordable Housing Development in New York City Installs Five HOG Tanks

New York City is leading the green way with affordable housing that emphasizes healthy living and sustainable, beautiful architecture. Rainwater HOG is delighted to be included as the face of rainwater harvesting for the residents of Via Verde.

Giovanni Diaz, project manager from Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture, calls the five Rainwater HOG tanks installed on the fifth floor of the much-lauded Via Verde, a new affordable housing development in the South Bronx, alternately a “showcase” or a “celebration” of rainwater collection – one of the green tenets for the building.

“Via Verde’s dual emphasis on resident health and architectural sustainability expands the concept of “green” building,” writes Karen Kubey in a thorough and informative piece for Domus.

Her report encapsulates high profile praise for Via Verde:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the South Bronx project “one the most environmentally advanced affordable housing developments in the nation,” while architectural critic Michael Kimmelman made Via Verde the subject of his front-page, New York Times debut last September, writing that the development “makes as good an argument as any new building in the city for the cultural and civic value of architecture.”

Installed on the fifth floor roof, our modular water catchment system provides a visible, accessible water collection point for building residents who will use the rainwater to grow their community garden plots, located on the same level.

Via Verde HOGs

“We wanted an accessible water source that was sustainable – which means rainwater,” explains Diaz.

HOGs provide the visible component to a larger concrete water collection system housed underground that holds enough water to fully irrigate the 20 floors, 10 rooftops, and the courtyard level of the Via Verde building.

“Rising south-to-north from three-story townhouses to a 20-story tower, Via Verde wraps around the edges of its narrow, triangular site, forming an intimate courtyard and maximizing sun exposure,” writes Kubey. The name Via Verde, or the green way, references the distinctive forty thousand square feet of terraced green roof that incorporates, among other features, an orchard, a fitness area, and a community garden.