CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG
February 18, 2012
I just read Nadine Post’s blog post “Water Guzzlers Take Notice!” She describes the 52 acre Brooklyn Botanical Gardens that consumes 21M gallons of water each year. That’s over 50,000 gallons per day. You know how long it takes to fill a 55 gallon barrel with water? Think about filling 1,000 of them every day. So the botanical garden guzzles water.
They recently installed a rainwater capture system that should meet almost all their water needs. Their largest private donation ever of $7.5M US helped fund this work.
Scot Medbury, President of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, said, “Shelby White is a passionate champion of horticulture, conservation, and preservation of green spaces, and her gift to Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) was inspired by the Garden’s commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship, in particular one of BBG’s most significant landscape design projects, focused on water conservation. Encompassing much of the Garden’s 52 acres, it includes rainfall capture and recirculation, a new Water Garden, and an integrated approach to reducing BBG’s overall ecological impact through lessened demand on the municipal water supply.”
I agree the rain water capture for big water users makes great economical and environmental sense. I’ve done it for some of my manufacturing and car wash customers. Finding used underground tanks really makes the return on investment numbers work. I found recycled tanks from breweries that were updating their facilities.
As I’ve written before, I’m not a fan of the LEED checklist process that often rewards poor energy design and adds substantial project cost without substantial benefits. Rain water capture, though, really makes sense. Every project you work on with a big water user should consider rain water capture.