As of August 28th, Austin has officially set a new record of consecutive days over 100 degrees in one year. With the temperatures continuing to rise, and water in short supply, the City of Austin will implement additional water usage restrictions on September 6th. This second phase of water restrictions will further limit the use of water for landscape. The restrictions will also extend to restaurants, who will not serve water unless requested, and the washing of sidewalks and other paved areas.
Water conservation can be achieved by a variety of means ranging from consumption reduction to recycling water for reuse. The developers of The Austonian incorporated water conservation plans into the design of the 56-story building, which occupies just one-third of a city block and provides 166 residences on less than three-quarters of an acre.
The Austonian incorporates low-water plants in its 10th-floor green roof terrace and irrigates the plans with reclaimed water from the building’s cooling system. As a result, The Austonian uses a very limited amount of public water for street-level irrigation and no water for irrigation of the 10th-floor green roof terrace. By comparison, a suburban community with 166 homes uses an estimated 33.2 million gallons of water per year for landscape watering. Additionally, The Austonian has incorporated low-flow toilets, lavatories and showerheads which reduce the use of potable water by at least 30 percent over typical fixtures.
For more information about The Austonian and the sustainability of the building, visit www.theaustonian.com.
(Photo credit Thomas McConnell)