Recycled Water Street-Cleaning

From Scotsman.com, an overview of Edinburgh’s new council headquarters, which will incorporate green features like rainwater collection that will be used in city street cleaners.

Recycling rainwater is just one of several ways the council plans to make its base one of the most innovative and eco-friendly buildings in Edinburgh.

Maureen Child, the city’s sustainability and finance leader, said: “We are very serious about becoming the most sustainable city region in Northern Europe by 2015 and we’ve set ourselves the highest standards at the council’s new HQ in order to achieve this goal. Water collected will be used for street cleaning in the area.

“Recycling rainwater is an innovative approach to sustainability and just one of the many environmentally friendly approaches we have taken.”

Other “green” aspects of the design include environmentally sound solar panels on the roof of the building at the east end of the New Street car park.

Building materials from sustainable sources, including local stone and timber, will be used in the development. Waterless urinals will be installed, while a turfed roof will cut flooding by soaking up rainwater instead of sending it into sewers.

The HQ’s open plan design and widespread use of glass will provide high levels of natural daylight. And a ventilation system which stabilises the building’s internal temperature will function through vents that can be opened at night to allow its exposed beams to cool. On hot summer days, solar window shading on the windows will minimise heat.

The building will save the council money not only on energy, but also on the purchase of “expensive purified water.” Let’s hope this building becomes a model for other public facilities.

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