Most everyone is aware there is a global need to conserve our natural resources. One of the most precious of these, WATER - clean, potable water, is rapidly becoming a scarce and depleting resource, and one location where this concern is on the verge of becoming a major crisis is Central Florida. Water conservation has reached a point of criticality in Central Florida, to the point that counties have already passed strict ordinances which ban the use of potable water for irrigation.
Because of the booming population growth taking place in Central Florida, the potable water draw on Florida's aquifer is only years away from reaching its maximum load. Water experts say the Florida aquifer will not be able to provide all the needed water by 2025 without causing significant environmental damage to lakes, swamps, and streams. Alternative sources of water (e.g. St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers) are being sought but will cost in excess of $460 million to create infrastructure capable of delivering water from these alternative sources. The St. Johns River Water Management District, which is responsible for managing ground and surface water supplies in Central Florida, has already stated it could stop issuing new groundwater permits in the next six years to avoid serious environmental damage from growing withdrawals from the aquifer. To quote our friend Ron Jones of Green Builder Magazine...."If you think people are upset now about rising gas prices, just wait and see how upset they'll be when water supplies run dry!"
Water conservation and reclamation is a MAJOR priority in the design and construction of Green Builder VISION House Orlando 2008. The water crisis confronting Central Florida is too important for our team to ignore in the construction of VISION House Orlando. Therefore, we've assembled a team of highly talented and respected consultants and sponsors who will help us demonstrate a comprehensive approach for protecting the Florida aquifer.
VISION House Orlando will employ a five pronged approach to demonstrate water conservation principles. The first strategy is to install low-flow shower heads and fixtures in accordance with the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines and the Florida Green Building Coalition's Green Standards. Second, we will install water efficient appliances (washing machine, dish washer, toilets, etc.) that utilize substantially less water than their conventional counterparts. Third, we will install a Hoot aerobic treatment system which captures and treats water from the showers, faucets, and washing machine, and subsequently re-uses this water for irrigation. Fourth, we will install cistern tanks capable of capturing and storing 7,000 gallons of rain water to be used later for irrigation. Fifth, we will employ the principles outlined in the University of Florida's Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program to ensure the VISION House Orlando landscaping is designed and installed in such a manner that minimizes the need for irrigation. This five pronged approach will certainly demonstrate water conservation and reclamation principles that everyone in Central Florida should take note of. In fact, the total water reclamation we expect to achieve from the cisterns and the Hoot system alone amount to over 300,000 gallons of re-used water per year. Imagine how much water we can avoid drawing from the Florida aquifer if these principles were implemented in a larger scale by several builders in Central Florida!
The Green Builder VISION House Orlando team is extremely proud and pleased to welcome the following sponsors to our team who will make our water conservation/reclamation strategy a reality. Our fine sponsors are: The University of Florida, Averett Septic Tank Company, Inc. who will provide the Hoot system and the cistern tanks, Resource Recovery, Inc. who will provide a cistern pump and consultation services in the design of the cisterns, and Metro Environmental who will provide installation support for the Hoot system.
Please visit these fine sponsors at the following websites: