Tokyo currently has a greater population of 38,305,000 people. Having recently visited the city, it was easy to see how they managed their population and space; high rise buildings, underground networks of infrastructure and a lift that transports your car into a tight parking space. You are probably wondering why I am talking about Tokyo. Why was I not enjoying the excess plastic usage and the neon flashing lights? For the most part I was, however, I guess like most of the decathletes I had a thought that would creep up on me every so often. With such an overcrowded population the need for sustainability should be at the forefront of everybody’s mind. Although it did not seem like it was. It then hit me how unequivocally important the Solar Decathlon is.
My name is Anna Sands and I am doing my thesis on the grey water system for the Desert Rose home as part of the Building Services Team. I have been working alongside Dan Simpson (Simo) with the assistance of our supervisor Sivakumar Muttucumaru (Siva). Growing up in a country town on level 5 water restrictions; I have always found the need for water conservation to be such an important aspect of everyday life. It is my life desire that everyone in the world has access to safe drinking water. Seeing recently that Cape Town has gone through such a drastic drought that water was being sold on the black market has made it even more prevalent today.
The grey water system for the desert rose home is going to be a Recycle Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland of size 1m2. It is going to incorporate a substrate from recycled building products made up of mostly sand and gravel components. For the plants used in the system; we will be using the common wetland plant native to Australia, phragmites australis. As we want the system to be incorporated in Dubai, I looked for plants on the SDME rules list that were also commonly used in Australia and could withstand hot and humid conditions. Agapanthus Africanus is one such plant in the rules, commonly used in Australia and flowers when exposed to wastewater and hot and humid conditions. This plant is aesthetically pleasing, has a pleasant smell and is a common link between Dubai and Wollongong.
I am excited for the year to come and the push for sustainability to become prevalent on a global platform through such initiatives like the Solar Decathlon.