Project Concept: Water

The NexusHaus is designed to harvest rainwater the primary potable water source for the home. Greywater is collected and used plants in the food production oriented landscape.

The importance of the relationship between water and energy is undeniable, and our goal for the NexusHaus is to use this relationship to reduce the need for both of these increasingly important resources. Austin has been in a state of drought for a significant amount of time and is projected to hit its drought of record in June of this year. The design of NexusHaus will incorporate both water efficiency and water-recycling measures to ensure the water that flows into the house is treated like the precious and finite resource it is.

The first step in the design is to ensure that all water in the NexusHaus will be used as efficiently as possible. This entails installing the most efficient water fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as implementing an efficient irrigation and food growing system. Water that has been used in the bathroom sink, shower, and clothes washer will be captured and treated as gray water. Treated gray water can then be used in the high efficiency drip irrigation system, allowing for a sizable reduction in potable water use. Water captured from the mechanical systems will be used to provide the small amount of water that the aquaponic grow beds will require.

One of the most important features of the NexusHaus is the canopy system that integrates a rainwater catchment system with the lightweight shade structure that is necessary for combating the hot summer days in Texas. The rainwater collected from canopy flows down a system of gutters into the thermal storage tank to be cooled for our hydronic cooling system during peak hours. Collecting rainwater will also protect the surrounding environment from storm water run off, and its neutral PH can be used in the aquaponic system as well.

The innovative NexusHaus water system design combines gray water treatment, rainwater catchment, A/C condensate recycling, and efficient water fixtures and irrigation techniques for upwards of 50% potable water savings compared to the standard home. Such significant water savings will allow for much less demand on the existing infrastructure, and will save the NexusHaus residents money on their water and energy bills. The NexusHaus water system provides a way to safeguard Texas’ water resources, while providing an affordable solution that can adapt to a changing climate.

Mar 3, 2015 by Kathleen Hetrick in NexusNews

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