With sustainability one of the top priorities for local governments, community building projects are embracing modern technology and environmentally sensitive design. Recycled materials and reduced energy consumption strategies are being featured wherever possible. Another fundamental pillar of creating sustainable buildings is a thoughtful approach to water management that maximises community benefits.
Rainwater tanks are fundamental to an integrated water management approach. Rainwater tanks can help to prevent urban flooding by reducing and slowing down stormwater run-off and by limiting damage to urban waterways. Rainwater can be harvested and reused for various applications, reducing water use and alleviating pressure on mains water supplies.
Over the past few years, there have been numerous developments that offer a unique insight into the benefits of rainwater tanks. Below, we highlight two such projects, Marrickville Library and Pavilion and the Coal Loader Project in Waverton, North Sydney.
Marrickville Library and Pavilion
The new library precinct embodies state-of-the art technology and modern design while preserving Marrickville’s history. With sustainability as a key objective, the project included six Kingspan Water Tanks Round corrugated tanks featured in the library garden.
Rainwater is piped into the largest tank from the roofs of the new building and the western side of the old hospital, and it then overflows to fill the remaining tanks. When full, the tanks overflow into the water storage tank in the basement, which is located directly beneath the Kingspan water tanks. Any excess water flows through the stormwater 360 filtration system.
All of the building’s restrooms and irrigation use water that has been harvested in these tanks. The water supply automatically switches to mains water when there is not enough water in storage. The Kingspan water tank system helped the project design meet one of the project’s 47 environmentally sustainable design criteria.
The corrugated water tanks not only improved the project’s sustainability credentials, but they also provided a striking feature that enhanced the overall architectural design of the landscape.
Coal Loader Project
Coal Loader, an important historical landmark in Waverton, was in use from 1920 until 1992. North Sydney Council now manages the Coal Loader site, which the New South Wales government designated as an open space in 1997. The site was recently developed to have an extensive roof community garden and house the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.
The green roof features fifty 5,000 Litre Kingspan Water Tanks Modline Tanks that can collect up to 250,000 litres of stormwater that filters through ‘raingardens’ established in the old coal loading chutes and stored in one of the old tunnels beneath the platform. This innovative water recycling program is used to irrigate the community harvest plots and provide water to the site for flushing toilets.
Building resiliency to drought
Australia is moving into a hot and dry summer that may become a longer-term drought. Traditionally, this leads to a strong interest in rainwater tanks as people seek to make their homes more resilient. Australia has a good record of small rainfall events in our capital cities during drought periods. Recent research has shown that when we have normal rainfall, Rainwater Harvesting is increasingly important in managing stormwater and waterway quality and increasing green infrastructure. The Coal Loader project is a great example!
Kingspan Water Tanks 3D Water Tank Builder and AR tool is the perfect way to design the right tank for your next project, and see it come to life in Augmented Reality. Test out the four shapes, hundreds of sizes, the full range of Colorbond colours, and the different fittings and accessories available.
After a more specialised approach? Reach out to our team to help with all your project needs.