Just Some Research

So we have really buckled down to make our design a reality! I have been tasked with looking at the rainwater harvesting feature of our vertical garden. With this task comes a lot of research! I have looked at all kinds of websites about rainbarrels and cisterns and downspouts…the only thing missing is some really good precedents of some creative and unique ways of catching the rainwater. Unfortunately, I came up short. The only artistic license I found with these rainwater harvesters was the rain chain.

 A Rain Chain at Work.
Rain Chains can help channel water in a more artistic way to a storage tank below. While the system is an open one, ours will need to be closed.
Most people try to hide their rainwater catching systems so what I like about these rain chains is that they really draw more attention to the rainwater harvesting process. I envisioned this water feature being an educational element for the vertical wall. I wanted the water to have different levels of that it would fall down before it finally reached its holding tank which will need to be a closed system in order to keep bugs and other contaminants out.

Another uniqe example of rainwater harvesters I
came across that provide more interest that your
traditional downspout
Some other watering systems I found include aquaponics. This process usually includes fish that provide fertilizer for the plants but I imagine it can be used without fish as well in order to save and recycle water
 Aquaponics on a small scale. This example actually is a vertical vegetable wall.
I also looked at the sizing requirements of the barrel or cistern that will be required. This all depends on how far down the building that we intend on catching water, or if we plan on catching from both sides of the roof. Either way, this equation will be used to determine our storage sizing in the next few days.
 
Equation 1.    V = A2 x R x 0.90 x 7.5 gals.ft.3        where:
    V = volume of rain barrel (gallons)
    A2 = surface area roof (square feet)
    R = rainfall (feet)
    0.90 = losses to system (no units)
    7.5 = conversion factor (gallons per cubic foot)
And there you have it!
An example of a traditional cistern and downspout rainwater harvesting system. This cistern is raised to make possible a gravity system.

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