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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1659;

A Simulation of Rainwater Harvesting Design and Demand-Side Controls for Large Hospitals

Department of Health Administration, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Inpatient health buildings in the United States are the most intensive users of water among large commercial buildings. Large facilities (greater than 1 million square feet) consume an average of 90 million gallons per building per year. The distribution and treatment of water imposes a significant electrical power demand, which may be the single largest energy requirement for various states. Supply and demand-side solutions are needed, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions where water is scarce. This study uses continuous simulations based on 71 years of historical data to estimate how rainwater harvesting systems and demand-side interventions (e.g., low-flow devices, xeriscaping) would offset the demand for externally-provided water sources in a semi-arid region. Simulations from time series models are used to generate alternative rainfall models to account for potential non-stationarity and volatility. Results demonstrate that hospital external water consumption might be reduced by approximately 25% using conservative assumptions and depending on the design of experiment parameters associated with rainfall capture area, building size, holding tank specifications, and conservation efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; rainwater; RWH; hospitals sustainability; rainwater; RWH; hospitals

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fulton, L.V. A Simulation of Rainwater Harvesting Design and Demand-Side Controls for Large Hospitals. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1659.

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