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Field Evaluation: Rancho San Marcos

Project Summary

Final Report (PDF) October 2004

This PATH Field Evaluation project was initiated by Mike Chapman to demonstrate innovative technologies in a new home constructed in Rancho San Marcos for Santa Fe’s Hacienda 2000 Parade of Homes, which was held in August 2000. The home, located southeast of downtown Santa Fe, is a single-family detached, 2300 sq. ft. ranch style home, constructed on a slab-on-ground, with 24″ deep stem walls. The house is framed with 2×6 wall studs @ 24″ on center, and finished on the outside in typical stucco adobe style common in the area.

Due to water shortages in this area of the country, the main technologies that were selected focused on water conservation. A graywater reuse system was installed, as well as a rainwater collection system, both used for irrigation of planting areas.

The greywater system that was chosen is a packaged unit that includes a 55-gallon storage tank connected to a centrifugal pump, and a sand filter with self-cleaning capabilities. Because of possible contamination, this greywater system only uses drain water from bathroom sinks, showers and tubs, and not from kitchen sink, dishwasher, or clothes washer. Once water is collected and filtered, it is pumped to a mulched garden area.

Rainwater from the “Pro-Panel” metal roof is collected in gutters and downspouts and diverted into a 600-gallon underground storage tank, where it is stored until water is needed. At that time, the water is pumped out to front and rear yard planting areas, which are separate from the greywater discharge area.

By using both the greywater and rainwater collection, Chapman Homes is able to plant gardens and trees, which usually are not used due to the restriction on watering plants and grass in the area. The use of the greywater system also allowed Chapman to reduce the septic system size.

The following PATH Technologies are being evaluated:

Graywater reuseand irrigation system,
Rainwater collection and irrigation system,
Air Admittance Valves (AAVs),
The primary goal of this PATH Field Evaluation is to gather relevant design data, installation techniques, cost information, and performance data on the above technologies. NAHB Research Center staff is providing technical assistance, and evaluating material and installation costs.

Future monitoring will include taking soil and water samples to measure possible pollutants, and collecting energy and water usage data. The final report will include suggestions to facilitate technology acceptance and promote mainstream usage.

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