Tankworks rainwater tanks from Kingspan Water & Energy were installed in the basement of a Victorian heritage house to help achieve the objective of total independence from mains water.

The original 'Argyle' Victorian heritage house used a 2,500-litre tank for watering the vegetable garden and flushing toilets. However, to minimise the household’s dependence on mains water, S2 design chose to maximise rainwater storage capacity in the new basement.

Prior to the installation, a thorough water study was carried out to identify sufficient water requirement for a family of four, a large dog and an Australian-first 'roof farm', a new approach to sustainable inner city living and a new interpretation of permaculture.

Tankworks manufactured four made-to-measure round water tanks of 10,850 litres capacity, each measuring 2.4m in diameter and 2.4m in height to fit precisely within the constraints of the tight basement space and supply almost 45,000 litres of rainwater to the home and garden.

Key features of Tankworks’ round rainwater tanks include corrugated steel construction with flat tops allowing more water storage than alternative tank types with domed or angled tops; and galvanised surface finish of the tanks perfectly complementing the exposed galvanised finish of the building structure.

Following the installation of the rainwater tanks, the household's daily use of mains water has reduced to about 6 litres per person solely for drinking and cooking. The four rainwater tanks serve all the remaining household water needs throughout the year, which prior to occupation was estimated at 150,000 litres per annum, plus an additional 30,000 litres for irrigation. The recently completed roof farm is anticipated to decrease some rainwater capture and increase water usage, which will be monitored over the coming years. Minor adjustments may be made to the water management systems to reduce daily mains water usage to zero.

According to David Saunders of S2 design, Tankworks tanks provided the most efficient solution to the space limitations of the project. The delivery crew was especially helpful in moving the four enormous tanks down to their new home in the basement.