Hydro-Lodge-ical Design

Hydro-Lodge-ical design is a model of sustainable on-site water-use management that promotes balance in the local ecology.  By modeling the local historic hydrologic cycle in our development plans we have the best opportunity to create the least disturbance in the local water balance model that the native ecosystem depends on.

This model integrates: building design, landscape architectural design, rain water catchment, and wastewater treatment using engineered vegetated systems followed by drip irrigation. The resulting oasis nourishes the spirit of those using the buildings by enhancing and connecting us to the natural environment . Every building a temple.

Sky to soil, water use management systems strive to maximize the use of rainwater for all uses and to infiltrate as much water as possible into the local on-site soils. Human contaminants having been removed, the water sinks to enhance the ground water, capillaries to the surface to evaporate, or is uptaken by plants and trees to transpire and humidify the surrounding air.

A thorough hydrological profiling assessment is ideally conducted before structural and landscape design begins. This looks at both above and sub-surface topography as well as available soils for local infiltration of all used and overflow water. Siting of water storage systems is such a way as to flow with gravity for catchment, use, treatment, and dispersal. The building structures and vegetated architectural wastewater treatment features are then integrated into the local topography and water drainage areas so as to maximize the integration of these 3 systems.

In a natural system all organic matter decomposes on site to feed and build the soil. For humans to integrate more fully into the model of the local natural system all of our organic residues would be composted and fed into the local soils whether this be tree trimmings, food scraps, or fecal matter. By using a composting toilet we add to our soil resource base and reduce water consumption by 20%– 35%. Designs exist that are effective and non-offensive. Purchase of or site specific custom design of a composting toilet is very different and very specific for each building. Designs in area and height requirements, capacity, energy consumption, and costs, vary widely and so must be considered in the integrated design at the start of the project.

Climate change and the resultant unpredictability of the intensifying of weather disruptions may have a significant effect on water availability, the nature of which is not easy to predict. Climate change is and will continue to effect us and we also effect climate change, largely by our land use practices. By increasing the vegetation in our immediate environment we gain significant ecological benefit.

More vegetation means more humidity in the air around the nearest building. Local humidity serves to reduce temperature. The moisture is used to transport heat, which is the principle of perspiration. In a building that is air conditioned, having humidity around the building doing the same work will reduce the run time and energy consumption to run the machine. Air conditioners are a huge demand on the electrical grid and are pumping green house gases as fast as they pump cool air. By recycling the water to support local vegetative growth we reduce our energy demand and also pull Carbon Dioxide out  of the atmosphere that is used to build the plants structure. This is a greenhouse gas credit. The more houses practicing vegetated water management the more credit regionally, nationally, and ultimately, internationally. For this to work we must each share the responsibility as well as the blame.

Decreasing vegetation is the status quo. In B.C., in big cities, small towns, and rural well users, stories in the media concerning water availability and rationing is becoming the norm. Outdoor watering restrictions are always the first signs and are recurring more and more often. This is having the effect of desertifing our surroundings.

Impervious surfaces and ditches or pipes create stormwater runoff. By changing our landscaping design practices we can infiltrate rainwater and surface runoff water into the local soils thus helping to keep the water table flowing during times of low rainfall.

Consult with Aquarian Systems Inc. for design and site management services. From simple rainwater garden to multi-unit site planning/team building integrated aquatic design.

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