As we welcome the winter rains, there is no doubt that the topic of water (and its conservation) remains firmly in our minds. During the previous severe drought we designed a house that utilised filtered rainwater for hot water using a solar-powered system. This water was then recycled to greywater and fed the toilet cisterns.

The greywater recycling plant was made by Hansgrohe at the time which has unfortunately since been discontinued and we are eagerly looking out for the new alternative.

There are many interesting design solutions when it comes to lowering our water consumption. One could be wide walls being used to store water while another possibility is to strap flat rainwater tanks to parts of the building which is then covered in a lightweight cladding. The options are there and it is our responsibility as architects and designers to keep innovating – no matter how much rain the winter in Cape Town brings. Water remains a global issue.

See some TED talks below on innovative filtration: