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Incorporating Water Tanks in Building Design

Incorporating water tanks in building design is often one of the more challenging aspects of designing more environmentally friendly buildings. Large amounts of rainwater storage pose structural, space and aesthetic challenges. Fortunately the rainwater harvesting industry has responded with a huge range of rainwater tank solutions including bespoke tanks that can be built to suit the design and available space.Slimline Water Tank Hero for Newsletter

The golden rule for rainwater storage is that 1,000 litres of water measures 1m³ and weighs 1 tonne. So 10,000 litres of rainwater storage requires at least 10 cubic metres of space and the area where that tank is placed needs to be able to hold 10 tonnes.

Rainwater Tanks: Feature vs. Hidden

The first decision that will determine the best water tank solution for your design is whether you want to make the water tank a feature or to hide it from sight. If the water tank is going to be a feature of the design then it is most likely to be either a steel tank (most agree that steel water tanks have superior aesthetics over plastic tanks) or a tank that can be clad with an architectural finish. Examples of suitable “feature” water tanks include corrugated steel square, round and slimline tanks or any form of tank that has an external frame that allows other finishes to be applied to it.

Hidden Rainwater Tanks

If the decision is to hide the water storage then the tank can be hidden underground (poly or concrete with a tank liner), within the building structure (typically concrete with a tank liner) or somewhere outside the house where it is out of site (which can also be a tank “disguised” with the same external finish as the house).

The key steps to incorporating water storage in architectural and building designs are:Pavillion St Queenscliff

  • Calculate how much water storage is required
  • Calculate how much water can be harvested from the roof area (refer to the Australian Standards Handbook on Rainwater Tank Design and Installation (PDF) (3 Mb) for help on how to calculate these amounts)
  • Decide if the water storage will be a feature or hidden
  • Consider the optimal tank solution for your design based on the answers to the above questions. This rainwater tank selection table provides a list of hidden & feature tank solutions.
  • Determine where and what primary rainwater filtration is required (primarily first flush devices and / or filtering rain heads)
  • Determine the best rainwater pump and controller solution (if the rainwater is being used inside the house) to meet the needs of the building occupants

If you would like assistance or guidance on any of these steps, or dimensions, capacities and pricing for rainwater tanks, contact the team at Waterplex on 1300 72 66 70 and we will be happy to help!

Why Waterplex

The Waterplex Group are specialists in producing innovative solutions for storing & harvesting water without taking up all of your valuable space around the home. Waterplex are a leading provider of water tanks in Australia and we have been part of the Australian water industry for over 10 years. We have built up a reliable national network of resellers and highly experienced installers that deliver a "supply and install" solution that is second to none.

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