Posts Tagged ‘Green Water Infrastructure’

Brave New World: Trends in Landscape Irrigation Presentation

Plainfield, Indiana

February 16, 2011

I presented my talk, “Brave New World: Trends in the Landscape Industry” at the Indiana Irrigation Contractor Council’s 2011 Winter Education Session.

We had a great turnout and great presentations for the 2011 Winter Educational Session. From the state of the industry to new ways to grow your business.

The program had it all.

I am look forward to my next speaking engagement on February 24th on Permeable Paving at the Chicago Center for Green Technology.

In case you missed it, below is a copy of the presentation:

Brave New World: Trends in the Landscape Irrigation IICC (02-115-2-2011)

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

Key Learnings

  • The business is rapidly changing
  • Opportunities exist in areas unavailable five years ago
  • Customers have different needs and require a new approach
  • Companies investing in marketing are growing

Green Water Infrastructure Founder to Elected to the Board of Directors for the Hoosier Environmental Council

Tom Barrett, owner of Westfield, Indiana-based Green Water Infrastructure, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC).

“I am pleased to be a part of an organization dedicated to make Indiana a better place to live and do business.,” said Barrett. “The environmental challenges we need to tackle will inspire others to incorporate such practices into their environments and everyday lives.”

About Tom Barrett:

Tom Barrett is an accomplished corporate growth and change agent with over thirty years of landscape industry experience.   Tom’s personal and executive level leadership experience, promotes corporate revenue growth through change and innovation for business start-ups, corporate expansions, and divisional turnarounds.

As a nationally recognized speaker, Tom Barrett has been delivering energetic, dynamic presentations and training for over twenty years.  His presentations empower people to become masters of change by developing tools for transformational thinking.

“Tom’s been a leader with smart water technologies, green roofs, rainwater harvesting and other emerging technologies well before they became buzzwords at water conferences. It’s impressive to work with Tom because he knows his stuff from the ground up.” – Jeff Carowitz, Principal, Strategic Force, Inc.

About Green Water Infrastructure:

Green Water Infrastructure is a consulting company that integrates water resources for sustainable site development. Their goal is to utilize one hundred percent of the on-site water resources on site. Green Water saves communities money by combining green infrastructure with gray infrastructure and new technology with existing technology to create sustainable growth — environmentally and socially.

About the Hoosier Environmental Council:

The Hoosier Environmental Council, founded in 1983, is Indiana’s largest state-wide environmental organization.  Over our more than twenty-five years, the Hoosier Environmental Council has succeeded in translating educational and advocacy efforts into environmental gains, with forest, groundwater and lake protection as part of their legacy.

Sustainability Starts with Your Home

I recently wrote a guest blog  on Sustainability Starts with Your Landscape for Stefan Lubike the owner of SiteLine Design.

Recognizing sustainability as merely reducing energy waste, recycling, or conserving water is a common misconception. In truth, the greatest impact on the environment you can make is right in your own backyard.

Check out the post

Also check out the great work being done by Stefan and his gang at SiteLine Design.

Rain Gardens & Bioswales – An Overview

Brownsburg, Indiana

January 20, 2011

Rain Gardens and bioswales are some of our most effective tools in implementing sustainable water practices.

In this presentation, Barrett will discusses how rain gardens and bioswales protect, restore, and mimic the natural water cycle. Additionally, Tom explains how rain gardens and bioswales can help develop a natural solution for water efficiency, and relieve storm water management issues. Rain Gardens and bioswales create natural filters through which our rainwater can flow. We are in essence helping to remove the contaminants, while reducing the speed and volume in which the water runs to the storm drains. By choosing to create a rain garden or other environmentally responsible landscape solution, we can reduce the contaminants that collect in the sewer systems, and make a significant improvement for a cleaner and healthier environment.

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

Sustainable Landscapes Presentation from the Indiana Green Expo

Indianapolis, IndianaPlant Trees

January 18, 2011

Developing Sustainable Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

Recognizing sustainability as merely reducing energy waste, recycling, or conserving water is a common misconception. In truth, the greatest impact on the environment you can make is right in your own backyard.

The landscape industry was “green” before green became fashionable. The focus of this presentation is how the landscape transcends beauty into functionality. The landscape is one of the only site improvement that can be made that enhances and remediates our environment.

Most aspects of environmental consciousness focuses on how we minimize human impact. We save energy. We save heat. We reduce trash. We reuse. A well designed landscape will truly in improve our environment.

Trees and plants cleanse the air, sequester carbon, and can reduce a building’s heating and cooling needs by 20%. A well designed landscape makes for a healthier, happy environment.

In “Sustainable Landscapes” you will learn that by combining green technology with existing gray technology, combining new technology with old technology, we can create a healthier, more satisfying environment.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States.
  • Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.
  • Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

The wastewater facts are eye opening. Thanks for a very informative presentation!”

—Jacob O’Neal

The speaker, Tom Barrett, is motivational and knowledgeable.”

—Kristi J. Clark Snyder

A positive message for change. THANKS!”

—Abigail Surles

Sustainability Starts with Your Landscape – Upcoming Presentation

Tuesday, January 18th; 1:30 − 2:30 P.M. at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Coming up shortly, I’ll be giving my presentation, Sustainability Starts with Your Landscape on January 18th at the Indiana Green Expo.

Integrating nature’s resources for a sustainable site saves money and improves our environment. Rather than minimizing impact, the landscape is one of the few activities that improves the environment. Landscapes filter our air and water, sequesters carbon, creates oxygen and reduces our our heating and cooling needs.

Recognizing sustainability as merely reducing energy waste, recycling, or conserving water is a common misconception. In truth, the greatest impact on the environment you can make is right in your own backyard. In this session, discover how to grow and prosper in the rapidly developing field of sustainable site development.

“Through the increase use of landscapes we can actually improve our environment,” said Barrett. “and through increased awareness of landscapes as a functional part of our community, we can improve our water systems, cleanse our air, and create a better environment for plants, animals and people.” In his presentation, Barrett will explain just how essential some of these tools are to efficiently utilizing and managing resources.

Learning Objectives

• Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States

• Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.

• Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

Rain Gardens & Bioswales Presentation from the National Green Centre

National Green Centre Presentation

Saint Louis, MissouriRain Garden

January 10, 2011

Rain Gardens and bioswales are some of our most effective tools in implementing sustainable water practices. In the presentation, Barrett will discuss how rain gardens and bioswales protect, restore, and mimic the natural water cycle. Additionally, Tom will explain how rain gardens and bioswales can help develop a natural solution for water efficiency, and relieve storm water management issues. Rain Gardens and bioswales create natural filters through which our rainwater can flow. We are in essence helping to remove the contaminants, while reducing the speed and volume in which the water runs to the storm drains. By choosing to create a rain garden or other environmentally responsible landscape solution, we can reduce the contaminants that collect in the sewer systems, and make a significant improvement for a cleaner and healthier environment.

“The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the United States’ water systems a grade of ‘D-,’ the lowest of any America infrastructure,” said Barrett. “Through increased use of rain gardens and bioswales, we can improve our water systems and create a better environment for plants, animals and people. “In his presentation, Barrett will explain just how essential some of these tools are to efficiently utilizing and managing water sources.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States
  • Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.
  • Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

I throughly enjoyed the whole presentation! The topic was great, easy to understand.  I would like another presentation that is more in-depth.  The visuals were on-topic and easy to understand.”

– Emily Placke

Your presentation was really great.  The subject matter, of course, was very relevant.  Beyond that, though, I have to say your ability to explain and transition from point to point was great.   You have a very special way of addressing the topic simply, clearly, without bias, and with common sense that’s hard to refute

Thanks for a great presentation!”

– Stephanie Krull

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

Tom Barrett Announces New Speaking Engagement

Tom Barrett has recently announced upcoming speaking engagements for January 9-10, 2011. Please see the video below for more information.

For more information or to register, please go to www.nationalgreencenter.org.

Sustainable Environments

Sustainable Environments from Accent On Business on Vimeo.

2010 Water Conference Report

How Can the Irrigation Industry Take a Leadership Role in Addressing our Water Challenges?

A report from the Irrigation Association’s 2010 Water Conference

By MaryLou Smith

““Rainwater is beautiful water. Why aren’’t we using it?”” Tom Barrett asked. He then proposed justification and techniques for keeping rainwater on site so that it can be used to help fulfill water needs.

Designing impermeable surfaces to capture rainwater is key, he said, and that requires being able to hold water from when it falls to when we need it. He cited the example of Chicago, which receives average rainfall, where a three-acre commercial lot could capture and utilize almost three million gallons a year. Alternatively, Barrett posed, that water becomes stormwater, which is considered our number one source of water pollution and which costs a considerable amount of money to manage.

How can we effectively use that rainwater and keep it from becoming stormwater? Barrett suggested a variety of solutions, including:

  • Size the landscape to absorb anticipated rainwater, including roof and hardscape runoff
  • Use the harvested rainwater within 30 hours. . .
  • Create a concave landscape. . .
  • Collect runoff, filter it, apply it to the landscape and create habitats

Though rainwater barrels have received much publicity recently, Barrett pointed out that they can be unattractive, the water must be used soon, and the barrel must have a sealed lid to keep out mosquitoes. Alternatively, both above and below-ground cisterns are available, which can be set up to provide water for all kinds of non-potable uses and can even be fitted with automatic sensors which switch to the use of city water when the cistern is out of water.

Another point made by Barrett is that landscape architects need to begin incorporating more permeable surfaces into their designs so that rainwater that does escape our immediate or on-site stored use can be absorbed underground, reducing flooding and stormwater pollution.