Putting the Green in Greenhouse Revision

Putting the Green in Greenhouse Revision


Amount Awarded:
 $34,635
Funding Received:
 2015-2016
Project Status:
In progress, accepting volunteers

Executive Summary

This is a student initiated project to decrease the use of Seattle City water in the UW greenhouse for single pass irrigation purposes. Fertilized and clear irrigation water in the existing 14,000 sq ft greenhouse exceeds 127,000 gpy. Estimates of water use for the new greenhouse will be similar or greater than the current greenhouse.The design utilizes redirection of the new Life Sciences Lab building (LSB) RO/DI system reject water for use in the greenhouse plant irrigation system.The RO/DI reject water would otherwise pass directly to drain (20% of supply).The RO/DI system reject water was demonstrated to be acceptable for irrigation of the greenhouse plants; and therefore, suitable as a source to decrease demand from the greenhouse irrigation use.There are quite a number of lab buildings on the UW campuses with similar RO/DI systems which could have the reject water redirected for other purposes.

The greenhouse hosts thousands of K-12 students and their teachers annually for tours of the plant collections.Similarly, 40% of all UW incoming students pass through Biology courses and tour the greenhouse as part of their course work.Our intent is to include this water saving feature as part of the greenhouse tours to illustrate and encourage others to think of water conservation via multiple use approaches.  The project will involve continuing student involvement since tours are led by Biology undergraduate and graduate students who will explain the water reuse project during tours.The LSB media wall in the 1st floor lobby will also include illustrations and information on the sustainability features of the new building and greenhouse, and student input toward making the most impactful presentation will be very helpful.Similarly, the LSB design and construction team welcomes student involvement toward internship-like participation with professionals for design, construction, commissioning, and operation of the new system.  UW Urban Infrastructure Lab (UIL) and UW Civil and Environmental Engineering are interested in participation of their students as well as the UW College of Built Environments Integrated Design Lab (IDL).

Primary Contact:
Roert Goff
rwgoff5@uw.edu