There’s kind of an edgy, underground movement of conscious homeowners and environmentalists that are finding creative ways to capture water and reuse it for their needs. BusinessWeek’s Malia Wollan just wrote an article called "Rainwater collectors work to ease shortages," and she talks about the popularity of the movement. In the article, Wollan mentions a website called HarvestH20, which has seen an increasing number of visitors seeking information and advice on rainwater collection and reclamation.
Prairie Crossing is located in Grayslake, Illinois about 40 miles north of Chicago. This beautiful, nature-focused community has preserved more than 60% of its 677 acres. An impressive measure which clearly points to the good intentions of the "developers", a group of neighbors who bought the land in the 1980′s with the goal of truly responsible development. The community has 359 homes and 36 condos versus the 2400 homes that another developer had plans for. The condos have received the highest energy star rating possible.
This is Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, a $9.8 million visitor’s center near Ashville, North Carolina. As a modern structure seeking LEED Gold certification, it’s garnered significant press for its ecological design. Designed by Lord, Aeck, & Sargent, Blue Ridge was modeled to use 75% less energy than a comparable, conventionally designed building. That’s due, at least in part, to its incredible green features, such as the sawtooth Trombe walls on the southerly face, 10,000 sf green roof, natural daylighting, high-efficiency mechanical system, natural ventilation, radiant heating, rainwater reclamation system for on-site use, etc.
Last month, Lorax Development broke ground on a building that’s being billed as the first off-grid building in San Francisco. At 1400 sf, The Eco Center is certainly an example of the future of green buildings — buildings that are off-grid and sustainable. The Eco Center is a $1.5 million environmental education center that will be located in McLaren Park. Designed by Toby Long Design for the non-profit Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), when it opens in the fall, it will be the first building in San Francisco, purportedly, to recycle its own wastewater. Additionally, the off-grid center will have solar panels and an extensive green roof.
I know it’s just a toilet, but this miniLOO is quite the attractive alternative when it comes to taking care of your primary and secondary business. MiniLOO utilizes a water-efficient, dual flush, in-wall tank with either a .8 or 1.6 gallon flush. The compact off-floor mounting allows easy cleaning and accessibility in either the residential or commercial setting. It’s perfect for a smaller space and available in a variety of finishes, including recycled stainless steel and white powdercoat.