How to take advantage of a rainy summer?

by Jason Hyde on Aug 05, 2021

How to take advantage of a rainy summer?

Summers in Florida are not your typical sunny, beach-mood months. Yes, the sunny state is a great location for your summer vacation, that is if you also like rain.

August particularly seats at the center of the hurricane season and, generally speaking, South Florida residents get flooding and thunderstorm warnings every other week during the summer.

Well, that doesn’t sound like a fun summer getaway, you might think. But, environmentally speaking it’s a huge opportunity. An invitation to appreciate rain from a different perspective.

Some people really like rain (ask kids, for instance). Rain is a gift that comes after weeks or months of drought in some parts of the world. Think about it, we don’t have rain dances for nothing. So, if we as a species, already use so much of the earth’s resources why not also, take advantage of rain?

The architectural firm Foster Partners brought this idea front and center when designing Aventura Mall’s Apple store. At first, the project looked nothing like an F+P signature project, but this was on purpose. Breaking out of Apple's glass-box type design, the building is defined by a vaulted roof that Foster + Partners says reflects Miami’s nautical roots, though it also has some Art Deco elements and even Apple Park as an influence.

According to the firm, the building features an integrated rainwater capture system that reduces the building’s drinkable water consumption by around 170,000 gallons (650,000 liters) per year.

While architecture keeps evolving and becoming more tech-smart, the goal should be to grow the industry in the direction of sustainability, making building materials more and more eco-friendly and incorporating features that not only make life easier for the people that inhabit these spaces but also gives structure and create a goal that goes beyond the wildest dreams of last centuries architects.

That being said, how we use, distribute, collect, dispose of, and treat water is one of the most groundbreaking advances in architecture and civil engineering in recent years (think aqueducts and sewage systems), so it only makes sense that we keep moving forward and stop wasting time (and water).

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