Bio - Retention

Rainwater Collection

Stormwater Mitigation  

Recharge Basin


Take your pick, it’s all about making an ASSET out of what we used to call “WasteWater”


How on earth did humanity manage to make it as far as we have turning everything, including sparkling clean rainwater into a waste product to be disposed of rather than utilized?


Sustainability is of course what using waste as a resource is all about. Ending our use once and dispose mindset.  Closing our production cycles, using our “wastes” to provide for our “needs”.


Green Building earns it’s name when it comes to  rainwater re-use!  Obviously, the BEST use of rainwater is to water your site’s and building’s GREENERY.


The simplest storm water mitigation is the good ‘ole recharge basin.  The intersticial spaces in our highway network are often recharge basins.  I’ve seen a few that has turned into seasonal wetlands where small forests have taken root. 


Now that’s SYNERGY, using our highway system to recreate our natural environment. 


Bio – Retention is a storm water recharge basin that instead of going native naturally, and accidentally, is designed for plantings that will thrive in a basin full of runoff while the rain water gradually soaks into the earth, recharging local aquifers.  Sometimes Bio – Retension basins are designed and plantings choosen to clean contaminants from the storm water run off. 


Rainwater collection allows for it’s re-use to offset utility or well provided water.  It is annoyingly difficult to create an inexpensive and self maintaining rainwater collection and re-use system.  A LARGE and not inexpensive rainwater storage tank or cistern is needed.  Access is needed to clean the tank, as sediment will build up no matter how clean you keep the inflow grates and screens.  It needs to also be sized, designed, protected and or treated so organic run off and the life it will breed will not turn your stored water into a stagnant pool of algae and worse.   The more stormwater runoff, and frequency, along with a smaller tank is the easiest way to ensure the stored water remains fresh, but then re-use is marginalized, more utility and well water is used, and  you will have to find another use for most of the rain water, via Bio – Retention or the classic Re-Charge Basin. 


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Green Building Design:

Oil Embargos 


een Building Design


I started my career in alternative energy, the only component of Green Building, Green Architecture, or Green Anything that existed at the time.  Even organic food was just emerging to challenge better living through chemistry!


When the world dropped the energy ball big time, I spent my years helping maintain and grow public sector buildings, government, health and educational.  I may not have been helping solve the worlds biggest problem, energy use, but, I was still helping people, while helping myself.


Now photovoltaic, wind generators, co-generation, conservation, super - insulation, recycling, re-use, life cycle costing, daylight, embedded energy, embedded carbon, carbon  credits, water retainage, grey water recycling, VOC's, and even  air filtration are just a small part of  Green Building Design.

The world is now ready to go Green! 


I've been using the down time imposed by this economic downturn to brush up my skills.  I found the most comprehensive Green education available short of returning to university full time, which is the Green Building Certificate program at Cooper Union in New York City.