Renovation with Green, Efficiency and budget in mind
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Rainwater Collection For Reuse In The Landscape

LAI has designed an affordable solution for collection and reuse of rainwater in cold climates to essentially eliminate the need for potable water to be used in the irrigation of the landscape. This can be done with both new construction and renovation projects. As shown in the image below we are demonstrating one of many ways to effectively disconnect your irrigation system from either a well source or city water source as a means to conserve the valuable resource and save money! 

Rain Water Cistern detail

Rain Water Cistern detail

Landscape Architecture, Inc. Residential Rainwater Collection Cistern Detail

This section drawing shown is from a project we designed in Edina, MN.  This project collects all the water from the downspouts of the roof and discharges them directly and via overland flow to the rain garden shown above the cistern.  Once 6 inches or more of storm water pools in the rain garden it then is captured by the inlet shown and enters the cistern where it is stored for another day.

Cistern Installation at Eco Builders Site

This project is currently enrolled in two green certification programs and is on track to achieve both (MN Greenstar and LEED for Homes accreditation).  In this project we were able to collect enough water from the roof of the house and landscape areas utilizing this 2,500 gallon cistern (which is locally manufactured) to irrigate the entire greenspace on the property and operate the water feature represented in section without the use of potable water.  As for this project and any other project where you are proposing to install a cistern on-site consult with your local building official during design and complete the permit process prior to installation if required.

With increased awareness in the both the residential and commercial markets we are finding that the use of both natural water impoundments and cisterns are becoming a norm on most of our projects as a way to conserve this valuable resource.  Also, as we all learn more about best management practices with stormwater it has been found that these practices will help prevent flooding down stream in spring snow melts and large stormwater events by storing this extra water on-site for a not-so-rainy day.

If you are considering this or any other type of rainwater storage technique, please contact us. –we would be excited to share our passion and experience to ensure success on your project!

Stephen Mastey, ASLA, CLARB, LEED AP

Landscape Architecture, Inc.
856 Raymond Avenue, Suite C
St. Paul, MN 55114
651.646.1020 office
651.246.1151 mobile

[email protected]


1 Lesley LEED AP { 03.15.10 at 10:16 am }

I haven’t really heard much about MN Greenstar, but doesn’t it take more than rainwater collection to achieve LEED Homes? There must be more to this project…right? I’m guessing the rainwater collection is one component of the certification. It will definitely help you. Good luck achieving both certifications!

2 Stephen Mastey { 03.16.10 at 8:34 pm }

Thanks for the comment! You are absolutely correct – this is just a component ( all be it a large component of the landscape / site portion ) of what needs to take place to gain certification for both LEED and MN GreenStar. You can learn more about Mn GreenStar at thanks, Stephen