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).

The Whole HOG: January 2012

                            The Whole HOG
                           Water-centric Green Design News

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding” (the fourth poem of Four Quartets)

Happy New Year! We’re taking a cue from T.S. Eliot and embracing new beginnings in 2012. What better way to create the new than with the upcycled old?

“Freedom is responsibility to explore,” says Sourabh Phadke, 25-year-old architect and ecology teacher whose radical focus on upcycling trash to build schools and homes in India is the subject of our B.U.G. Design section.

Speaking of voices, we want to hear yours in our beginning of the year customer satisfaction survey. We’re offering a discount to say thanks once you’ve completed the survey. (*You must have purchased a HOG tank within the last 5 years in order to be eligible.)

Brrr, it’s cold outside. We talked with distributor Frank Koll, of GreenScapes Lawn and Garden Service, who has firsthand experience with winterizing HOG tanks. Check out his tips on preparing your HOG system for the winter season.

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

                                                   Sourabh Phadke

Sally writes, “In December last year I MC’d three inspiring days of stories and ideas at the Humanitarian Engineering Conference in Melbourne.  A standout was Sourabh Phadke, a passionate Indian architect, philosopher and teacher who helps slum children build their own schools out of materials other people call junk.

Sourabh Phadke stands in front of the home he is building – made of earth, straw, and ‘junk’ – at the Aman Setu School in Wagholi, India.

Why is it beautiful?  Sourabh brings many streams of education to the slum kids: how to build a structure from bottles, mud and plastic bags; how to create a functional place of community; and how to manage ablutions in a hygienic and useful way.  His message is clear, his graphics are simple, and his passion is admirable.

Why is it useful? Sourabh uses an iron to melt plastic bags together, creating tarpaulins for waterproofing his buildings. He cuts up plastic bottles to make gutters, downspouts and air vents for the walls. His resourceful work is the epitome of usefulness.

Why is it green? Sourabh doesn’t merely recycle rubbish, he upcycles waste packaging into useful, long lasting structures.  Would that more communities did the same.

To find out more about Sourabh’s philosophy of equitable living through equitable building, read the Sakaal Times article.

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