From the laboratory to the dormitory, Georgia Tech makes a conscious effort to study and implement methods to conserve water. We were an early adopter of water sustainability practices, including capturing rainwater and condensate water through cisterns, rain gardens, and xeriscaping – a method of landscaping that emphasizes water conservation through the use of drought-resistant plants.
We are currently striving to reduce our stormwater footprint to that of 1950. To do this, we have implemented cisterns, infiltration systems, rain gardens, and green roofs. Currently, we have 28 cisterns to store and manage stormwater runoff for reuse in smart irrigation and toilet flushing.
Within the most recent Landscape Master Plan update is the Eco-Commons project. The project consists of a series of green spaces that replicate historic, buried streams. These spaces will help increase tree canopy coverage to mitigate storm water runoff.
The construction of Klaus building in 2007 resulted in the installation of the first significant rain garden on Georgia Tech Campus. This project also included reforestation as part of the sustainability initiatives. Other rain garden locations are behind Boggs Chemistry, behind Laser Lab, EBB/Eco Common, and at the Carbon Neutral Building.
33 percent of our water use for irrigation is from cisterns and wells and we have set a goal to increase that number to 50% on all new construction projects. We utilize an irrigation management technology called Calsense. This irrigation system can be remotely controlled when needed.