University of Adelaide’s innovative water usage


The University of Adelaide’s new Ingkarni Wardli building recently became the first in Australia to receive the coveted ‘6 Star Green Star Education’ building rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The award-winning building incorporates a variety of innovative environmental features designed to save energy, use renewable resources and keep students comfortable year around.

One of the major design challenges in the nine-story building was where to locate the 500,000-liter rainwater storage tank that supports the extensive rainwater harvesting system. Typically, header tanks are placed on the roof so gravity delivers water throughout the building. However, placing a 500,000-liter tank on top of the building would require adjusting the building structure to accommodate the weight of the tank. It would also detract from the sleek design of the building.

Variable Speed PackageSolution:

With the help of the Xylem team, it was decided the header tank would be placed in the basement of the building so changes wouldn’t have to be made to the structure’s design. Using Lowara pumps and Flygt controls, the system can now deliver rainwater throughout the building much more effectively and efficiently.

The 500,000-liter rainwater storage tank housed underground collects water from the building’s roof and other surrounding buildings, and provides water for cooling towers, toilet flushing, irrigation and other non-potable water supplies within the building. The pumps also support the potable water that is utilized for drinking and shower water.


The award wining building saves the university significant energy costs while gaining wide-spread recognition for it its technologically advanced design. The building also aids the university in attracting and retaining students pursuing education in engineering, math and computer science due to its state-of-the-art teaching and research facility. In addition to winning the coveted ‘6 Star Rating,’ the building has also won:

  • Australian Institute of Architects 2011 SA Architecture Awards – Sustainable Architecture Award
  • Australian Institute of Architects 2011 SA Architecture Awards – Public Architecture Commendation
  • UNAA World Environment Day Awards 2012 – Green Building Award

Since the installation, Mark Chambers, building services manager at University of Adelaide explains, “since installing the innovative pumps, they have been very reliable and we haven’t had any issues.”

University of Adelaide Becomes Master of Innovative and Sustainable Water Usage with Lowara Pumps 2:42