Raleigh Green Home is Designed to Turn Rainwater into Water for General Household Use

Raleigh, N.C. – BRAE (www.braewater.com), an Oakboro, NC-based company that designs and supplies complete rainwater harvesting systems nationally, recently installed its unique water  catchment system in Cherokee’s National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHomeTM in Raleigh, N.C.  The system will be used to turn roof-channeled rain water into usable water for toilets, laundry and irrigation.

In keeping with the overall goals of construction to reduce its impact on the environment, the home will use 65 percent less water than a similar home, yet have the comforts and appearance of a typical home. The GreenHome will be the first of its kind known to be built in a traditional suburban neighborhood using National Association of Homebuilder Green Home Building Guidelines.  This will also be the first time the City of Raleigh has approved the use of recycled and treated rainwater inside a home.

“BRAE is proud to be part of the Mainstream GreenHomeTM project,” said Shawn Hatley, President of BRAE. “The BRAE CompleteTM Rainwater Harvesting system being integrated into the Mainstream GreenHomeTM will play a significant role in achieving the goal of retaining 95% of stormwater onsite for reuse. This demonstration home is a great opportunity for all homebuilders to see and understand how rainwater harvesting manages onsite stormwater while achieving water efficiency goals through landscape irrigation and non-potable household uses.”

BRAE is providing a BRAE CompleteTM Home Rainwater Harvesting system that will collect, filter, store, and supply rainwater to the Mainstream GreenHome landscape irrigation system and other non-potable uses such as toilets, laundry, and hose bibs. 

The system collects rainwater from the roof which is then transported through gutters and downspouts to the storage tank,.  The water is then filtered to remove large debris and is collected in a BRAE storage tank.  The water enters the tank through an unagitated inlet that prevents the sediments from mixing at the base of the tank.  A distribution pump, activated by water demand, takes the cleanest water from a floating suction filter and sends it to the BRAE Rain manager, which pressurizes the water supply for use by the homeowner. 

Additionally, a stormwater retention piece will be installed, a system that collects stormwater runoff from the driveway and other impermeable surfaces, and stores it in cistern.  Swales along the sidewalks and driveway facilitate groundwater infiltration, diverting runoff into a series of interlocking crate-like underground storage tanks where the water gradually percolates into the ground.  This technique filters contaminates naturally onsite while greatly minimizing runoff to the city stormwater system

“By integrating systems like BRAE’s rainwater catchment we are creating a truly sustainable home and site with features that can be intelligently integrated into larger scale design,” said Jonathan Philips, Senior Director of Cherokee Investment Partners.  “We are hoping that builders and homeowners alike will see what logical sense it makes to take rainwater and use it in such a productive way.  Water is a precious resource that needs to be conserved as much as the energy we use to power our homes, or the fuel we use to power our automobiles.  We are proud to be able o partner with BRAE to implement such a forward-thinking green product.”

The Mainstream GreenHomeTM showcases a number of innovative, environmentally friendly features, while looking and functioning as a traditional home.  It is intended to help reverse the negative stigma sometimes associated with green building and show that environmentally-focused construction is compatible with conventional building and better living.

Environmental factors are taken into account in every aspect of the home, from landscaping using edible and/or drought tolerant plants to rainwater catchment and reuse systems.  The home utilizes a range of technological innovations to minimize impact on the environment without sacrificing comfort. 

“With Cherokee’s impact as the nation’s leading brownfield redeveloper and its commitment to sustainability, the GreenHome is the perfect project to spotlight how green building can be integrated into conventional architecture, in conventional subdivisions, on ordinary lots and in homes that are appealing to a wide range of homebuyers and homebuilders,” said Hatley.    

Cherokee’s GreenHomeTM is the first home in the nation known to be built in a typical subdivision under the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Model Green Home Building Guidelines and is just one of three green homes in the nation known to meet such guidelines. The others are non-subdivision homes.  In addition, the home will be certified with the Environmental Protection Agency/ US Department of Energy (EPA/DOE) Energy Star Program and the North Carolina Solar Center’s Healthy Built Homes state program, among others. 

“The GreenHomeTM represents a new milestone in mainstream green construction,” according to global sustainability guru, author and architect William McDonough, chairman of the architecture and community design firm, William McDonough + Partners.  “This demonstration home provides the average homebuilder with a model for making a typical American home green.”

For more information about the Mainstream GreenHomeTM please visit www.MainstreamGreenHome.com.

For more information about BRAE Complete Rainwater Harvesting Systems and related technologies visit www.braewater.com.