Rain harvesting smart building reduces water reliance and increases resilience
Rainwater harvested from the roof of facilities management company Sodexo has enabled a 50 percent reduction in the organisation’s mains water usage for non-drinkable purposes.
The company, which has been conducting improvements of its Eight Mile Plains office since 2015, has captured 584,828 litres of rainwater since the project began.
The rainwater is now being used 50 percent of the time for non-drinkable purposes, such as for outdoor taps, ponds and irrigation, instead of relying fully on Queensland’s water supply.
Sodexo director of on-site services Keith Weston says the initiative benefits the environment while saving the company on water costs.
“The project aligns with Sodexo’s goal of being more sustainable across the business, including reducing waste and lessening pressure on the environment,” Weston says.
“Population growth and decreased rainfall continues to put pressure on limited state government water supplies. Smart buildings such as Sodexo’s Brisbane office assist in reducing this demand, saving water for others in the community.”
Along with preserving water, Weston says the direction makes the business more resilient.
“Every now and then there can be disruptions to main water supplies which in the past would result in complete loss of water supply to buildings in our business park. Having our own water systems in place allows us to continue to be operational, no matter what happens,” he said.
Sodexo has been able to achieve these results by installing a dual feed water system, which separates potable and non-potable plumbing.
Rainwater is diverted from the Sodexo roof to an in-ground 20,000-litre rainwater tank. Floats within the tank talk with a RainPro controller and when a high water level is detected the controller selects water usage from the rain tanks. When the water level is low, the controller automatically switches the supply to come from the street water mains.
Sodexo plans to continue its focus on saving water at the site.
“We’ve had discussions with our landlord and we believe we can get to 100 percent rainwater usage for our non-potable purposes if we install additional rainwater tanks,” Weston says.
Image credit: Terry Vlisidis