Heron Brothers an award-winning construction and property development company, has been building several high end office buildings in the United Kingdom and Ireland for a number of years. The company was seeking to achieve the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) excellence standard for their new office buildings in Ebrington Square, Derry. The BREEAM standard is a leading sustainability assessment method for buildings, covering several categories including water management, energy efficiency, and environmental impact.
To achieve the BREEAM excellence standard, Heron Brothers decided to incorporate a rainwater harvesting system in their new office building. The system would collect and store rainwater for non-potable uses, reducing the building’s reliance on municipal water supply and promoting sustainable water management practices.
After conducting a feasibility study the building design engineers at JCP Consulting reached out to RHI Water Ltd, a rainwater harvesting specialist. Heron Brothers decided to install a rainwater harvesting system that would collect rainwater from the roof of their new office building. The system consisted of a series of downpipes that would channel rainwater into a storage tank located below ground outside of the building. The storage tank had a capacity of 12,000 litre and was equipped with a HYDRAPRO® FT rainwater filter that would remove debris and contaminants from the collected rainwater.
The rainwater harvesting system was integrated with the building’s plumbing system, which allowed them to use the collected rainwater for non-potable purposes such as flushing toilets and irrigating landscaping. With RHI Water’s HYDRAPRO® Smart CPU the system was also designed to automatically switch to municipal water supply when the rainwater storage tank was empty, ensuring uninterrupted water supply for the building’s occupants.
The rainwater harvesting system proved to be a highly effective solution for Heron Brothers in achieving the BREEAM excellence standard. The system helped the building to achieve high scores in the water management category of the BREEAM assessment, contributing to an overall BREEAM rating of “excellent”.
In addition, the rainwater harvesting system will help the office occupants to become more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact. The system reduced the building’s reliance on municipal water supply, promoting responsible water management practices and reducing water consumption. The system also helped to reduce the building’s carbon footprint by reducing the energy required to transport and treat municipal water.
Rainwater harvesting can be a highly effective solution for buildings seeking to achieve the BREEAM excellence standard and promote sustainable water management practices. The Ebrington Office Block 1 case study demonstrates the benefits of rainwater harvesting for commercial buildings, including high BREEAM scores, reduced water consumption, and improved environmental sustainability. As a result of the benefits detailed here a second building, Ebrington Office Block 2 is currently be fitted with another HYDRAPRO® system provided by RHI Water Ltd.