Paz Gutierrez, Associate Professor of Architecture
Depleting energy sources and water have begun to threaten the sustainability of human life in the future. It is expected that 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will suffer from water scarcity by 2025. Nonetheless, regenerable greywater that accrues from 40%–70% of the total wastewater production in residential (e.g., bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and laundry) is still being wasted at this time.
Advanced solar optics-based systems, which can integrate solar energy storage components and solar thermal disinfection functions, offer transformative benefits for advancing the growing challenges of water, energy, and waste in buildings. In the future, these systems can enable water conservation, on-site waste processing, and energy generation fomenting healthy environments and synergies with nature. The current research looks at developing several systems that utilize solar radiation for applications of greywater reuse and solar energy storage aimed at emerging demands towards establishing NetZero waste, energy, and water buildings.
The video below describes the project and its working benefits. Also, a journal publication on the project is available here.
Transformational building design energizes water recycling--literally!
February 13, 2017
National Science Foundation bt
Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent and Kate Tobin, Science Nation Producer