How Design Can Save Us: Waterhog and Groundhog
Even as Atlanta and Florida were running out of it, people still were sprinklering their lawns; that is why climate change is such a hard sell, it doesn't affect us personally and immediately yet. In Australia, they have been feeling the effects of drought for a couple years, and it has led to changes in government, attitudes and design. Architect Sally Dominguez applied her design skills to the problem and came up with two products: The Waterhog, a clever modular rainwater harvesting system that simply bolts to the wall, is very shallow to fit in sideyards against the house, and an interconnection system to make it expandable. It doesn't look like a rain barrel or a silly water butt, it is efficient, effective, logical design.
She also designed the Groundhog, a simple tank designed to go between floor joists to add thermal mass to a lightweight structure; it absorbs heat in the daytime and reduces it at night, saving on heating and cooling in climates with big temperature swings between day and night. Energy savings: Huge.