Rainwater Harvesting at the NAU ARD Building


The ARD Team

Porject Description

Design Process

Site Location

Precipitation Analysis

Water Consumption

Rooftop Analysis

Sizing and Location

Water Distribution

Applicable Regulations



Design Process

A significant amount of time went into doing background research for this project.  Before the actual design of the rainwater collection system could begin the group had to figure out how much water could be collected and how much water would be needed.  Once these volumes were determined it was necessary to determine the best way to distribute this water to the gardening area.  The breakdown of the different tasks includes:

·        A Precipitation study to determine precipitation rates for Flagstaff, AZ

·        An analysis of the garden to determine how much water would be needed

·        A hydraulic analysis of the roof and downspouts at the ARD building

·        Sizing and determining the optimum location of the water tank

·        Designing a pipe-flow system to transport the water to the garden

·        Dealing with regulation issued that might affect rainwater collection and the gardening plans for the ARD building

Information was gathered through research using the resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as through interviews with several members of the community that either had a stake in this project or that could provide valuable information on the ARD building.  There were several important milestones throughout the progression of the project:

·        30% completion – this was roughly the half way mark for the project

·        Gaining access to the ARD building plans

·        60% completion – at this point most of the work was completed

·        100% completion – a finished product was delivered to the client

A major problem that affected the success of this project was gaining access to design plans for the ARD building.  The building houses laboratories associated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (T-Gen), where research is being conducted in order to map the genetic strains of deadly microorganisms.  This obstacle was overcome by communication with both members of faculty and students that led to an opportunity to view the building plans and acquire information vital to the completion of this project.