Smart solutions needed when every drop counts |

Smart solutions needed when every drop counts

Water is the lifeblood of our planet, a precious resource that faces unprecedented threats due to climate change and rapid urbanization. Its responsible management and conservation are crucial not only for human survival but also for the health and vitality of ecosystems worldwide.

In this article we take a journey through innovation and practical applications that underline the significance of water conservation in the built environment. However, it's more than just an inventory of projects; it's a testament to possibilities.


The story starts with a droplet – as all good water stories do. Imagine this droplet coursing through the veins of our cities – in buildings like Georgia Tech’s Kendeda Building where it might be caught by a 50,000-gallon (190,000 liter) cistern rather than flowing into sewer systems. Or picture it as part of New York's Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant's operations, where technology transforms waste into energy.


These scenarios use real-world solutions that we have delivered across the United States. Each project embodies an understanding that every drop counts and underscores how thoughtful design can make a difference in addressing global water challenges.


As we navigate towards a future where water scarcity is becoming a stark reality for many, these innovative approaches demonstrate that with foresight and commitment to sustainable practices in the built environment, we can ensure water – our most precious resource – remains accessible for generations to come.

1. The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design


Located in Georgia, this pioneering project is the state's first to earn Living Building Challenge certification. A 50,000-gallon (190,000-liter) cistern captures stormwater for irrigation and toilet flushing, reducing dependence on municipal water. A constructed wetland treats greywater, while innovative water-efficient toilets and urinals set a new standard for sustainable building design. 

2. Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant


Situated in the Bronx, New York, this project enhances the city's wastewater management. With the addition of four silo digesters and support facilities, the plant uses anaerobic digestion technology, reducing operational costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental impact, all while meeting stringent regulatory standards. 

3. LaGuardia Airport Terminal B


In Queens, New York, this project reduced potable water consumption during construction by reusing treated wastewater from an onsite water treatment facility. By diverting treated water into a holding tank, the project reduced reliance on municipal water supplies and minimized wastewater entering Flushing Bay. 

4. Civic Park at Hemisfair


This USD 27 million project in San Antonio, Texas, showcases water self-sufficiency. An underground cistern collects 40,608 gallons of excess water, which is then used for irrigation and park features, such as fountains. Filtration and disinfection technologies ensure water quality, reducing strain on municipal water resources. 

5. North Coast Corridor


In San Diego, California, this project includes USD 200 million for coastal habitat preservation and enhancement. Modern bridges improve tidal flow and water quality in coastal lagoons, benefiting the environment and creating hundreds of acres of protected coastal habitat

6. I-405/Brickyard to SR 527


In Bothell, Washington State, this project improves fish passages for salmon and steelhead, creating new channels for spawning and rearing. Through controlled demolition and innovative design, it minimizes environmental impact and reduces the project's footprint. 

These projects reflect our ongoing dedication to sustainable water management, delivering innovative solutions that benefit both communities and the environment. 

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability. 

Article based on a post by Holly Alfino, from Constructive Thinking, a blog from Skanska USA, Seven Skanska projects that highlight the importance of sustainable water management