Water systems in sustainable buildings are different in a number of ways from conventional buildings. Characteristics of water systems in sustainable building include:
- Self sufficiency: Sustainable buildings may aim to meet all, or most of their water needs from rainwater harvesting.
- Water quality: The quality of water is matched with use. For instance, the best quality water may be used for drinking and cooking and poorer quality water, such as grey water, used for flushing toilets and irrigation.
- Onsite retention: In natural environments vegetation and soil absorb and retain a large proportion of rainwater that falls on to it. Sustainable buildings aim to emulate this by ensuring that buildings and sites absorb and retain rainwater on site and avoid generating large quantities of runoff.
- Evaporation and transpiration: Air can be cooled and the humidity increased through evaporation of water and transpiration from plants. This may be used in sustainable buildings to improve comfort levels without the use of mechanical systems.
More information on water systems in sustainable building can be accessed here.