Posts Tagged ‘waste water

Teague, Gardens, and Fun

10, نوفمبر 2010

Team Will

Will McCollum, Linda Ortiz, Victoria Acevedo, Georgia Wang


Teague: Give Water

How much water can TEAGUE help us conserve?

Showers, washing cars, tending golf courses, washing hands… Americans waste a lot of water doing everyday chores and activities. Utility bills do not isolate specific activities like washing dishes or brushing teeth, so there is no way to pinpoint where water is being overused and where it could be conserved. Even Georgia Tech, a school that ranks number two on the list of the most sustainable universities in the nation, wastes water in the dining halls, residential buildings, football stadium, and class buildings. The possible reason? The lack of awareness. Water, a resource often conveyed as free, is not without price and consequence if we still choose to carelessly use. Enter case study.

This case study recognizes the mostly American problem of wasting water and finding new, innovative ways to show awareness of people’s actions. It involves a group of Teague designers conducting an experiment and wanting to find out if people would consciously conserve water if they knew how much was flowing down the drain as they used the sink. The group created an Arduino water meter (DIY blog can be found on this site) attached to a facet that would take water measurements at the start of facet use at real time. This would allow people using the sink to see how much water they are using at the time. On average, gallons of water were conserved for everyday activities, netting a 75% water savings!  While people used the sink, they consciously turned off the tap when they did not use it. An experiment success! Not only did this experiment altered the way people used water, made them conserve, and spread awareness, they had a surplus of water which they teamed up with and donated to those who needed the fresh water through My Charity: Water.

TEAGUE Give Water


•    The swap of ignorance and knowledge
•    The want to conserve and the unregulated use of water
•    The interaction of those who waste water and those who need

We chose this case study because it clearly shows a problem and a way to approach the resolution of the problem in a small scale setting. There are also many ways to continue on from Teague’s experiment!



Atlanta City Hall Pilot Green Roof

Who knew a roof could be green? Ok, truth be told, we have all probably heard of Green roofs sometime in our lives. These little miracles are not much of a surprise, but don’t let their popularity draw you away from their importance in our environment. We decided to choose these unique rooftops as one of our case studies because not only are green roofs apart of the Atlanta community, but they will soon become a part of our very own Georgia Tech community, at the new CULC building, come Fall 2011. We will get the opportunity to experience the quality of these roofs firsthand and become engulfed in their natural design and innovative structure.

The Atlanta City Hall Pilot Green Roof is the first city-owned green roof in the Southeast. This ecological design stands as a prerequisite for other green roofs that have spread across the states. Green roofs are highly beneficial for urban areas that are physically unable to incorporate long, lust fields of vegetation with the abundance of buildings.  Not only do they enhance the air we breathe and create peaceful environments to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, these green delights reduce extremely hot summer temperatures and lessen the storm water load on our sewer system.


Effort of production vs. Final outcome

Investment in equipment vs. Ecological Revenue

Natural vulnerability vs. Strength in numbers



The Fun Theory

We make choices everyday. Whether the decision is about ourselves, others, or the environment, each is important. Often we choose the option that is most harmful simply because it requires the least amount of energy and contains the least amount of resistance. The Volkswagen company launched a contest in which change is inspired by fun, calling their project the Fun Theory.

Hoping to inspire innovative ideas, Volkswagen carried out three projects of their own. In the first, a generally unused glass bottle recycling collector was converted into a arcade-like game, allowing the users to stack up points for each bottle collected and put into the correct slot. The results are surprising.

Bottle Arcade

The second aimed to change the lazy habits of routine 21st century society. Though the invention of escalators definitely aided in the design of buildings and has altered the way people travel through large buildings, it has created some very lazy tendencies. Many people will wait in line to ride up an escalator, even if the stairs located right next to the escalator are open. By turning seemingly ordinary stairs into a piano, the Volkswagen company hoped to encourage more widespread use of the stairs.

Musical Stairs

Their last example targeted the problem of making sure trash is placed in the trashcan, and not on the ground next to it. When people miss the trashcan when throwing their garbage away, they often simply leave it on the ground. By adding a motion sensor and sound effects to the trashcan, Volkswagen believed that people would enjoy throwing trash away. It worked.

Deep Trash Can

By creating these examples, Volkswagen encouraged creative responses to its Fun Theory contest. After many submissions, an entry that displayed innovation, a light-hearted spirit, and change was chosen. The Speed Camera Lottery was a system created to encourage safe driving by following the speed limit. When the correct speed is recorded on this system, a picture is taken of the person and their registration number. This data is automatically entered into a lottery, whose pot is financed by the money collected from speeding tickets. This incentive-based system proved extremely effective.

Speed Limit Lottery


Incentive and social change

Out-of-the-ordinary and fascination

Routine and change

Laughter and world issues