Drought Resistant Construction

GBGC Expert: Clayton Morris, DPIS Engineering, LLC 

It has long been said that “whoever controls the water, controls the land”, and we have seen this issue come up in the past with neighboring states debating over water rights and usage responsibilities. It’s actually even illegal in certain parts of the nation to harvest the rainwater off your own roof since it “belongs to someone downstream.”

Well, we will not crack that nut today, or even debate the ramifications that could come from having “your water” fall on someone else’s roof. I wouldn’t want that liability.

We here in the Gulf Coast, and most of Texas, have been experiencing a drought that rivals one from the 1950’s. In my opinion, it’s time to take matters into our own hands and begin to save water wherever we can, and to place it in areas where it is needed the most.

To me, it is most interesting that we actually end up using more water when it is needed the most. For instance, we do not have to spend $100’s and sometimes $1000’s of dollars a year watering our landscaping and foundation systems in years with a good rainfall amount; however, in these climate conditions we spend extra money trying to protect the foundation supporting one of our largest investments, and saving the landscaping that we so readily enjoy.

My boss always tells me to “work smarter, not harder” so these are words that I take to heart. Listed below are areas in which homes that are Green Built Gulf Coast Certified can earn credit for “Water Efficiency.”

1. Soaker hoses for water flower beds to prevent unwanted evaporation that more predominant in spray-heads of sprinkler systems.

2. Advanced grey-water systems for lawn maintenance, and sometimes for sewage drainage. Grey-water is water that is reclaimed from sources that produce non-potable water that is not classified as sewage (i.e. washing machine).

3. Dual flush toilets that give the proper amount of water for the task at hand. Low flow toilets are also available that are designed to function with less water.

4. Low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce waste.

5. Alternative plumbing systems that delivery hot water with less waste.

There are many other areas in which a home can save water by using it more wisely and delivering it faster to the point of use. I would encourage all to speak with their builder about how they can save water usage in their home. No home is drought proof, and even homes with well water are not immune to the drought conditions.

Choosing to buy from a builder that is Green Built Gulf Coast Certified is a way of protecting yourself from the drought conditions we are currently experiencing.