Tag Archives: commercial rainwater collection

Students Design Rainwater Collection System & Save Money for Business

K5116 Tyler Hammerle Engineering Senior Design Project
K5116 Tyler Hammerle Engineering Senior Design Project

Let’s hear it for the next generation! A team of students in Miami, Ohio designed and built a rainwater collection system for a local business that was looking to save money.

An article in the Miami Student details the story of how, in 2010,  an environmental commission discussion on improved stormwater management at an auto shop led to this project. Once the right student team could be assembled, the venture began in September 2014 with students from The College of Engineering and Computing

With the help of their professor, the students worked on designing a rainwater harvesting system that would reduce water usage through filtration, collection and reuse from the 4,200 square feet of roof at the business location. The collected water is used for washing cars and other cleanup functions at the shop.

K5116 Tyler Hammerle Engineering Senior Design Project
K5116 Tyler Hammerle Engineering Senior Design Project

According to the article, the system has been successful, providing the business with 2,500 gallons of water per inch of rainwater and saving close to $1,000 on water bills this year because city water no longer needs to be tapped for this function.

Congratulations to these innovative students for designing and implementing a cost saving, functional and sustainable rainwater collection design.

Photos by Scott Kissell

Arts and Science Academy To Use RWC System for Toilet Flushing

Seattle Arts and Science Academy - RainBank

RainBank Rainwater Systems is constructing a 11,000 gallon flat roof CorGal tank for the Seattle Arts and Science Academy on Capital Hill in Seattle. 

The collected rainwater will be used for toilet flushing throughout the school. 

The challenge for RainBank was to construct the 10 foot tall tank in the basement of the building with very little head clearance. 

Electric bin jacks were used to lift the first two upper levels and roof assembly to place the bottom panels in place. 

Seattle Arts and Science Academy joins many newly constructed commercial buildings using rainwater collection to help mitigate storm water run off.

Here’s a short video clip of the build:

Designing a Commercial Rainwater Collection System for Irrigation

Designing a Commercial Rainwater Collection System for IrrigationWe recently discussed designing a residential rainwater collection storage for irrigation based on capacity and amount of irrigation needed. Now lets look into designing a commercial rainwater collection system for irrigation, based on the same theory.

Designing a Commercial Rainwater Collection System for IrrigationCommercial irrigation demands are significantly higher than residential, requiring much larger storage capacities. Landscaping of a commercial building can be extensive. The use of drought tolerant plants,  swales and rain gardens are becoming increasingly popular. New construction is required to infiltrate or use roof runoff. Rainwater collection can offset costs of expensive infiltration and cut municipal water supply usage.

Designing a Commercial Rainwater Collection System for IrrigationThe larger roof area of a typical commercial building will produce a large amount of water. If one square foot of surface area receives .623 gallons of water per 1″ of rainfall, a 20,000 square foot roof will yield approximately 12,460 gallons per 1″ of rain.  If 1″ of rainfall is required for the healthy growth of plants and 1 square foot of surface area receives .623 gallons per 1″ of rainfall, a 4,000 square foot area would require 2,492  gallons per week or 29,904 gallons stored for the 3 month dry period.

From these equations, you can see that careful thought to the landscaping will help bring the storage capacity down. As much as 50% reduction can be achieved by integrating both landscaping design and storage capacities. Generally, steel, bolted together “silo”, style tanks are best suited for commercial applications. Many architects are including these cisterns as focal points in their designs, adding a bit of an industrial look. Irrigation of landscaping uses most of its water during the summer months. By incorporating rain gardens or swales into the landscaping, considerable amounts of water can be infiltrated during the rainy season while stored water providing watering during the summer months.