Health care facility uses water wisely

Sustainable water management allows the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity to save water and maintain lavish gardens.


Figure 2: This shows the 10th-storey combined greywater-treatment reed bed and green roof, a double use of space. Courtesy: CJ Arms and AssociatesThe Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia, brings together the city's leading biomedical scientists and public health practitioners working in infection and immunology research. It features world-class laboratory facilities in conjunction with teaching and learning facilities and a number of sustainable water-management initiatives—including low-flow fixtures and fittings, and flow controls.

Toilet and urinal flushing in the building is provided by the roofwater collection system, which saves 264,000 gallons of water each year. The facility's passive greywater treatment system saves an additional 343,000 gallons of water annually. The greywater treatment system features a vertical-flow vegetated reed bed (see Figure 2) and also provides a lush, landscaped green roof that can be viewed from the 10th-storey executive boardroom.

This building was awarded a five-star Green Star building rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, and the greywater treatment system is the first in the world to combine vertical-flow greywater treatment with a green roof.

Peter Harbour is a senior scientist at CJ Arms and Associates.


Robyn Overall is water sustainability scientist at CJ Arms and Associates.

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