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15 Oct 2021

Sustainable construction with rainwater harvesting

Sustainable construction… a phrase often used within the construction industry! Do you have a good understanding of the term or how it can be achieved using water reuse systems?

 

What is sustainable construction?

As a society we have a duty to prepare to prepare our commercial and domestic buildings for future climate challenges. Therefore, all developers should consider how their construction projects will be designed to operate in a way that mitigates the pressures on surrounding environments. By developing such resistance early on in the design phase, the building will be fit for the future. Until recently, the construction process itself was overlooked, with many contractors having little awareness for sustainability. This Resulted in a high usage of scarce materials and resources on construction sites across the globe. More recently, the construction industry as a whole has been collaborating on solutions to combat not only high water and electricity consumption, but carbon too. An interesting read is the Bricks and Water Report which supports and encourages the construction industry to think not only about their own water impact during construction, but also that of the buildings they are creating Bricks & Water: Building resilience for England's homes | Policy Connect

Water, construction and sustainability

Although the construction industry has been installing alternative electricity supplies for a number of years, efforts to install alternative water supplies have only recently been considered. The problem with even more developments relying on mains water supplies is that demand is going to outstrip availability by 2050! The UK will run out of water if we do not adapt our water consumption habits. Water companies are also one of the largest carbon producers in the UK, accounting for 6% of total carbon emissions. That’s why rainwater harvesting and commercial greywater systems for both commercial and residential properties are going to become even more important to creating a sustainable future. It is essential that construction businesses install such systems early on so they too can reap the water saving benefits during the construction.

It is just as imperative for construction companies to educate the end user on the importance of maintaining such systems! They have invested in a sustainable building which is fit for the future, but only if regular maintenance is carried out to keep the system operating efficiently? Considering a comprehensive maintenance plan after a building has been commissioned ensures that the rainwater harvesting system will continue to reduce reliance on mains water supplies. Rainmaintain by Stormsaver are the leading providers of rainwater harvesting maintenance in the UK!

As well as saving money, water and carbon, installing a rainwater harvesting system on a construction project can have direct benefits for the construction company. BREEAM, the third-party sustainability assessment company, recognises rainwater harvesting as part of their water category. As a result, the project could benefit from up to 5 ‘BREEAM points’ which increases the construction company’s eco credentials!

Saving water during the construction process

Construction activities require large quantities of water and most of this will be for non-potable applications. For example, dust suppression and staff welfare facilities. Subsequently, rainwater harvesting can be used to reduce mainswater consumption on a construction site! Our self-contained StormStation is a portable rainwater harvesting unit which can be used across multiple sites during their lifespan, or it could be left as a legacy to the end user. This arrangement adds real social value to construction companies who are setting ambitious sustainability targets and will encourage your client base to choose you over your competitors. The compact design allows the unit to be craned in next to staff welfare facilities and operates on a ‘plug and play’ basis.

So, if you’re looking to make your next construction project future ready why not consider rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling?

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