The easiest and most cost-effective time to install a rainwater harvesting system in a property is while it is being built. This cuts out all the disruption involved in retro-fit installation, and greatly reduces the costs. For this reason, many of our domestic customers are not individual homeowners, but property developers engaged in building one or more houses.
By installing a high quality rainwater harvesting system in a number of properties at the design phase, you can gain environmental benefits and take advantage of an innovative feature with a growing market value among buyers.
In this article we’ll explain the main benefits to property developers and why you should give a rainwater harvesting system some serious consideration.
Reduced Water Costs
The benefits for developers come directly from the potential savings to end users. Simply put, a rainwater harvesting system can save homeowners money by significantly reducing the amount of water they need to purchase from the water utility company. The actual amount varies widely from one system to another – with the size of the system depending on the type of building, location, occupancy and projected water usage. However, even a small rainwater harvesting system can result in decreased quarterly water bills.
Let’s look at this in a bit more detail. In an average household, almost a third of its water — around 30% – is used to flush toilets. This is enormously wasteful, especially considering the extensive purification process mains water undergoes before it reaches a residential property.
A rainwater harvesting system can very easily be set up to provide enough water to flush toilets, giving a significant saving straightaway. As this water is not intended for washing or human use, it does not require purification. It simply needs to be clean and free from particles.
With sufficient storage and the efficient filtration in place, a rainwater harvesting system can also supply water for washing machines, garden irrigation and car washing. In a property equipped with a rainwater harvesting system, homeowners can realistically expect to save between 40% and 50% on their water bills.
Increased Property Value
As a developer, think of the value and appeal this lends to your properties. With water bills rising all the time, any long-term reduction in cost will be welcomed by prospective buyers. Furthermore, a well designed rainwater harvesting system can be extremely energy efficient, so will cost very little in electricity to run.
With the property market changing all the time, it is hard to put a precise figure on how much additional value a rainwater harvesting system will add to your property, but the popularity of sustainable homes is increasing all the time. Properties that incorporate eco-friendly features, such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, heat pumps, efficient insulation etc. are making up an ever-growing proportion of newly built houses, and frequently command a higher market price than properties of a similar size in the same area.
When developing new sites, it can sometimes be necessary to provide some form of stormwater attenuation. It is now a planning requirement that any new project must not increase the pre-development downstream flood risk. There are various solutions to this, including balancing ponds and other SuDS techniques where space permits. Attenuation is an excellent way of dealing with the site run-off but does nothing to reduce on-site water usage, and has zero benefit during spells of dry weather. Rainwater harvesting contributes on both fronts; providing a degree of attenuation and also providing a reserve of water in periods of no rainfall.
Value For Developers, Value For End-Users
Rainwater harvesting systems are an attractive feature for homeowners that will help set your property development apart from its competitors. A professionally installed rainwater harvesting system has the joint benefits of long-term savings on water bills and an improved environmental profile. Whether installed on its own or in conjunction with other environmentally sound features, rainwater harvesting is sure to increase the desirability and value of your development.
Find out more by chatting to one of our team on 01452 772000, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about rainwater harvesting systems, including design considerations, capacity and cost, can be found in our guide Everything You Need To Know About Choosing A Rainwater Harvesting System. Access a free download today by clicking here.