WHAT IS BLUE ARCHITECTURE?
Blue Architecture means designing a project through the lens of everything that comes in contact with water to optimize sources of water for collection, use, conservation, reclamation, and re-use over and over to result in an abundance of water for the occupants and activities on a site.
A water budget (like a financial budget) identifies and quantifies the demands (of occupants & operation) and the supply (all the sources that could be available: precipitation & reclamation) .
Roof Surfaces are optimized as large as possible to catch precipitation (rain & snow), with corresponding labeled storage containers, pipes, & filters. Roof water is generally the cleanest source needing the least purification for potable use.
Pavement Surfaces are designed to collect that water, with dedicated labeled storage containers, pipes, & filters to remove vehicle drippings for identified & appropriate re-use.
Site earth landscaping surfaces are designed as swales inviting maximum percolation & aquifer recharge, collected into vessels & ponds with silt & other filters , then allocated to appropriate uses.
Passive Design means you are harnessing free services provided by nature rather than using fossil fuels. Passive design of site & drainage identifies that water be caught at the lowest location, then pumped with renewable energy to uppermost topographic height where they are ready for gravity drainage when needed.
Blue Passive Techniques include: gravity flow drainage, evaporative cooling, cooling by running cold water thru-radiant hydronic heating pipes in the summer, solar hot water collectors, and solar distillers.
Grey Water (non sewage) can be used directly for sub-surface irrigation, as per California Gray Water code http://www.thegreywaterguide.com/california.html , or can be further filtered to potable.
Black Water (sewage) can be reclaimed into either gray water or even potable water. Australia had a many year drought in the late 1990’s & early 2000’s. Their industries innovated many proprietary systems that reclaim black water. http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/5590fe3c-1a60-4558-9d14-381b98ee80d1/files/hs44radcliffe-water-recycling-australia.pdf Many of these companies have been marketing in the USA for years now. Even Us cities are doing it http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/01/world/from-toilet-to-tap-water/ . Various jurisdictions have approved permits for installing their systems. See one of those companies, Advantex, http://www.orenco.com/systems/advantex_wastewater_treatment.cfm , http://www.waterworld.com/articles/print/volume-24/issue-3/feature/mbr-systems-provide-wastewater-reclamation-in-rural-australia.html , http://www.waterworld.com/articles/2014/08/world-s-largest-wastewater-recycling-plant-coming-to-sydney-australia.html .
Fixtures & Appliances using water should be specified that are the most water efficient.
Look for many other Blue A La Carte water strategies in my blogs & articles.
Blue Smart Building Monitoring Controls include: rain detectors that turn off irrigation, commercial faucets that have motion & occupancy detectors to dispense both soap then rinse water, temperature sensors in both water heaters and water chillers, humidity monitoring, pump performance, pressure management, leak detection, temperature anomalies, unusual demand patterns, audits, well monitoring, soil sensors to improve agriculture, flood & drought planning, floor detection, depth, water quality, chemical leakage, radiation detection, find savings, and event detection, all to integrate building systems into a common network to share information & functionality to improve building operations .
“Net Zero Water Building” means a building that is designed, constructed, or renovated and operated to greatly reduce total water consumption, use non-potable sources as much as possible, and recycle and reuse water in order to return the equivalent amount of water as was withdrawn from all sources, including municipal : https://www4.eere.energy.gov/femp/requirements/laws_and_requirements/definition_net_zero_water_building_designed_0 ,
https://www4.eere.ener…Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The term Net Zero Water began in 2006 with the 2030 Living Building Challenge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Building_Challenge , http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/secure/documents/pdf/aiap031971.pdf .
The Water-Energy Nexus , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water-energy_nexus , is a term coined by writers & academics several years ago to point out the relationship in civic , grid, large scale water & power services . It requires power to distribute water (known as embodied energy) . It requires water to produce and distribute power (known as embodied water) . Projects located Off-Grid with independent utilities, or located close to water supply ,reservoirs & sewage processing plants use less power per site occupant & activity than do buildings that that obtain their water , sewage, power from long distances because of the power needed for pumps .
The Water, Energy And Food Security Nexus means that the three sectors — water security, energy security and food security — are inextricably linked and that actions in one area more often than not have impacts in one or both of the others . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water,_energy_and_food_security_nexus .
Embodied energy in food, refers to the transportation energy to move food grown a distance away to the population who will eat it , http://www.ggyr.org/excerpt-from-usda-report-on-embodied-energy-in-food/ , http://www.ggyr.org/the-embodied-energy-of-food/ , http://www.cnbc.com/id/42572375 . Site grown produce uses the reclaimed water on site . Water and energy are inextricably linked and mutually dependent, with each affecting the other’s availability. Water is needed for energy development and generation, and energy is required to supply, use, and treat drinking water and wastewater.
Blue Codes & Building Rating Matrix Systems & Protocols: LEED has a few minimum requirements about water http://www.usgbc.org/resources/green-building-water-efficiency-strategies-analysis-leed-nc22-project-data .
The Net Zero Water definitions: https://www4.eere.energy.gov/femp/requirements/laws_and_requirements/definition_net_zero_water_building_designed_0 ,US Army Definition http://army-energy.hqda.pentagon.mil/programs/netzero.asp
GSA https://sftool.gov/plan/420/net-energy , Architecture 2030 , http://architecture2030.org/2030_challenges/2030-challenge/ ,
Non Potable Water Guidelines: http://sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=686
New Positive Water is the new media label . Net Zero Water has been declared passé https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/02/12/net-positive-add-water-buildings meaning occupant operations are conducted under a water budget that the site can support creating a surplus , which ideally would go to recharge the aquifer & watershed. It is much more complicated to manage water than carbon and deserves more effort than simply transferring the same metrics http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/net-positive-feasible-water .
Water Links- The Net Zero Water Project has a conversation about capturing precipitation and treating wastewater produced on site, so occupants of a household will close the loop of their water system, thus leading to water independence: http://netzerowater.com/blog/tag/net-zero-water/