Water Wars: Changing the Way We Build Buildings
We need to change the way we build buildings and cities. Here I discuss how to incorporate water conservation practices and water efficient designs, using my own personal practices as well as examples from around the world gathered for my book. In particular, I focus on what designers can do to bring contemporary water thinking into new developments, especially by practical whole systems thinking.
What I foresee is the development of a new design specialty, the “whole systems water engineer,” who will integrate rainwater harvesting, stormwater mitigation, graywater reuse, site irrigation, cooling tower water use, onsite water treatment, sewer mining and other technologies and techniques into a unified approach to “zero net water use.” In this way, the whole systems water engineer will integrate the work of the architect, landscape architect, civil engineer, mechanical engineer and plumbing engineer in new buildings and major renovations, specialties that seldom communicate with each other on water issues. What’s critical is that we all learn how to become “water wizards” in our homes, schools, offices and cities.
Jerry Yudelson is principal of Yudelson Associates, a strategic green marketing and project consultancy. One of the original class of LEED Fellows, Jerry is the author of 12 books in the green building space. His next book, The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design, is due out in the Winter of 2013 from Routledge Taylor & Francis (London).
image: @doug88888 via Flickr cc (some rights reserved)