With summer around the corner and temperatures starting to rise, use of the Earth’s most precious natural resource – water – increases, resulting in widespread calls to implement water conservation measures.
Conserving water should not be a reactionary cause, according to Archicentre Australia, but should be a proactive, year-round decision made by all Australians.
“Water is a precious gift and we all need to do what we can to ensure that our children, grandchildren and future generations can appreciate it,” Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says. “The professional design expertise of architects offers particular attention to conserving water.
“Architects are best placed to incorporate water conservation measures in the design phase of new homes or apartments as well as in additions to existing residences,” he says – “and not just for matters compliance”.
“They take into account a site’s natural attributes, including site slope, soil type, climate and its compatibility with a proposed or existing dwelling – then coming up with water-friendly designs.”
Peter Georgiev says, “Where appropriate design tools can incorporate grey water systems, rainwater tanks, suitable guttering and downpipes and water efficient gardens – possibly even feature ponds.
“A pond can include reed beds, which act as a completely natural grey water recycling system by using a plant’s roots in a bed of gravel to aerate water and break down bacteria.”
In the garden, mulch should be used to help retain moisture and plants should be low maintenance and less thirsty. Paving or decks should be considered as an alternative to large lawns which require plenty of water.
Landscape architects have particular knowledge regarding appropriate plant species, paving materials, heights of paving relative to internal floor levels, decking, entertaining areas and other outdoor effects.
“It is wise to seek their advice on effective, sustainable and complementary strategies for external design,” says Peter Georgiev.
Internally, design is also important to make efficient use of water. “Grey water or rainwater tanks can be utilised for toilet flushing in many locations.
“Even in existing residences it may be possible to access fixtures such as ground floor toilets and laundry taps serving washing machines by using diversion plumbing and pumps from tank water. Relevant local plumbing regulations will guide how an appropriate and safe secondary water system can be installed.
“It is simple and advisable that water-friendly devices are installed by residents, including WELS rated taps, washing machines and dishwashers, in order to minimise water use,” he says.
Plumbing authorities have established the WELS system to provide design standards for plumbing fixtures such as taps, shower heads and the like. The aim is to achieve efficiencies by means of WELS-rated fixtures.
For more information go to www.archicentreaustralia.com.au
This media release has been written and distributed by:
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950