Water sensitive design is an urban planning process that looks to reduce the impact of urbanisation on the water cycle. In a traditional urban environment, trees and vegetation are replaced with roads and buildings allowing less water and nutrients to be absorbed into the ground.

With not much room to manoeuvre, specialists are incorporating environmental design solutions to the exterior of buildings; designing a new urban jungle.

Green-building design is a step in the right direction, catering to several environmental challenges. However, its development is yet to provide a clean water management solution. Until now.

Still, under development, WSP has designed a clean water management tool that can be adapted to green building designs.

The hanging rain garden was designed by WSP’s stormwater team. Unlike current tools, the unit can treat water at its source due to its specialized compost solution.

The compost utilises enhanced microorganisms which captures and break down heavy metals and hydrocarbons, effectively filtering the water onsite. The compost used is a lighter weight alternative to soil, meaning it can be added to buildings by mass yet not add substantial weight to the structure.

There is currently no other water treatment device that can treat water suspended. This development is new to the field and opens a completely new method of treating water in urban developments.

While there are many devices that can treat stormwater, the hanging rain garden is far more customisable than other technologies, offering a comparative cost per square meter and a similar level of filtration than other technologies on the market.


More on this subject