For those of us who live in California, it is by now well known that we are in the midst of the worst drought on record. Even Lady Gaga has pitched in to help, so you know it must be dire. All Californians are being asked to conserve water and state agencies such as Caltrans has even promised not to wash their trucks that much.
Of course, we didn't see this serious drought coming when we were designing Preuss Four, but some of the choices we've made have already prepared each home for being stingy water users. Here are 4 features of each home and the project itself that minimize water use at Preuss Four:
1. Minimal Landscaping:
Most of the project site is hardscape with vegetation used solely for runoff filtration like this bio-swale filter. The plants that we did install are drought tolerant and require less water than usual.
2. Low Drip Irrigation:
Although you can't see it, we have installed drip irrigation throughout Preuss Four. The little irrigation that is required is provided via a moisture controlled, not timer controlled, device. It's the gray box mounted on the wall to the right of the sliding glass doors and above the planter. These controllers sense the moisture content of the soil and turn on off accordingly. The drip irrigation places the water right where it needs to be so there is no spillage and waste.
3. Artificial Turf:
Let's face it, we all love lawns. However, they are water hogs, not to mention the maintenance and chemicals needed to keep them looking great. The "grass" you see here is actually a high quality artificial turf that looks like the real thing. No mowing. No watering. Never turns yellow. You can also see the minimal landscaping we have installed here as well.
4. High Efficiency Toilets
High Efficiency toilets are getting more and more common these days, but we've been installing them since we did our first project, Beethoven Four back in 2010-11. These toilets are TOTO dual flush and use very little water. By the way, most city and county public agencies offer rebates if you're interested in changing the toilets you have now so check their websites.
So that's it. 4 ways Preuss Four is part of the conservation effort to save water during these and all dry years to come.