Net Zero Water for Buildings and Sites


Instructor: Jeffrey Bruce

Subjects: Green Building: Green Roofing, Green Building: Sustainable Building, Green Building: Water

Length: 8 modules

Student Rating

Rating: 7.4/10 (view ratings)
32 students have taken this course


This is a cutting-edge professional development opportunity for those who are serious about pushing the boundaries of green buildings and sustainable water use. Net Zero Water for Buildings and Sites provides detailed technical information on water management systems that allow designers to engineer buildings with the goal of achieving independence from municipal infrastructure, through a combination of rainfall harvesting, aggressive conservation, onsite treatment, storage and water recycling. The result of over 5 years of research and development, the course curriculum addresses the next frontier in green building and resilience. Very few buildings around the world have managed to achieve net zero water use, yet it remains a critical response to growing water scarcity in many regions, and a basic requirement of the Living Building Challenge.

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Course Development Sponsors

The development of this course was sponsored by Jeffery L. Bruce and Company, Hunter Industries, and Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply.

Self Paced Online Course

This online course is self-paced. You can begin instantly upon enrollment.

Access Information And Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn A Certificate Of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Self Report with Certificate: 12 AIA LU/HSW Credits, 12 LA CES Professional Development Hours, 10.25 APLD Continuing Education Units

We have supported this educational program since its inception because we believe that it’s the best educational program to provide detailed training and knowledge in this field. The course manuals are top notch.

- Warren Gorowitz, Vice President of Sustainability, Ewing Irrigation

Water is the key to everything green, and quite frankly, everything.

- Steven W. Peck, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

I have learned a great deal about efficient water usage. The transformation toward net zero water for all of our communities seems overwhelming, but this class lays the foundations for beginning this journey. It lays out the challenges, some current solutions, as well as processes and practices for water usage. Great class.

- Rebecca Armstrong

I would recommend this course for those interested in rainwater harvesting for landscape irrigation purposes.

- David Whittaker, Human Nature, Inc.

This was a very in-depth course that provided a comprehensive understanding of water harvesting and conservation principles, with many resources for use in future applications.

- Richard Hammond, Cornerstone Architecture

+ Read more student ratings and reviews for this course


Jeff bruce.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Jeffrey Bruce

FASLA, LEED, ASIC, GRP, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company

Jeffrey Bruce, FASLA, LEED, ASIC, GRP, is owner of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company (JBC), a national landscape architectural firm. Founded in 1986, JBC provides highly specialized technical support to many of the nation’s leading architectural and landscape architectural firms on a wide variety of project profiles including engineered soils, green roof technologies, urban...[more]

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (1 minute) (Video) preview
  • Important: Shipping Address for Manuals (Text)
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
Module 1 - Introduction to Net Zero Water and the Integrated Water Cycle

Water Scarcity & Increasing Consumption, Deterioration of Water Infrastructure, Interrelationship of Water and Energy, the Integrated Water Cycle.

  • The Promise of Integrated Water Management (33 mins) (Video)
  • The Net Zero Water Concept (23 mins) (Video)
  • Harvesting Opportunities (40 mins) (Video)
  • Measuring Needs and Outcomes (9 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 1 (Quiz)
Module 2 - Water Harvesting and Treatment Approaches

Alternative Sources for Water Harvesting, Water Quality Considerations for Harvested Water, Determining Storage Capacity, Water Quality Guidelines and Treatment Options, Filtration, Disinfection, Biological Treatment, Biofilms, Catchments.

  • Introduction to Water Quality and Treatment Approaches (29 mins) (Video)
  • Introduction to Water Harvesting System Components (24 mins) (Video)
  • High-Efficiency Uses of Harvested Water (9 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 2 (Quiz)
Module 3 - Water Harvesting System Design and Installation

Passive versus Active Water Harvesting, Types of Storage Tanks and Cisterns, Determining Water Demand, Legal and Regulatory Requirements, Cistern or Tank Openings and Overflow, Ecology of Water Tanks, Level Measurement and Control, Collapsible Tanks, Hydrostatic Lift – Ballast Calculations, Public Water System Protection, Backflow Control Methods and Devices.

  • Cisterns and Tanks (37 mins) (Video)
  • Determining Water Demand (23 mins) (Video)
  • Water Harvesting System Design and Installation (28 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 3 (Quiz)
Module 4 - Pre-Treatment and Cistern System Maintenance

Point of Entry Treatments (POE), Leaf Screens and Guards, First Flush Diverters, Downspout Filters, Vortex and In-Ground Filters, Sand Filters, In-Tank Processing, Cistern System Maintenance, Winter Operation, Water Testing.

  • Case Study: Kansas City Performing Arts Center Garage (23 mins) (Video)
  • Pre-Treatment Approaches (23 mins) (Video)
  • Cistern System Maintenance (16 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 4 (Quiz)
Module 5 - Water Quality and Treatment Approaches – Part 1

Microbiological Contaminants, Inorganic and Organic Contaminants, Inorganic Chemicals, Organic Chemicals, Selecting Water Treatment Approaches: Basic Wastewater Treatment Processes, Styles of Water Treatment Devices, Filtration Equipment.

  • Sources of Contaminants in Reuse Water - Part 1 (21 mins) (Video)
  • Sources of Contaminants in Reuse Water - Part 2 (8 mins) (Video)
  • Selecting Water Treatment Approaches (20 mins) (Video)
  • Filtration Equipment (28 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 5 (Quiz)
Module 6 - Water Quality and Treatment Approaches – Part 2

Membrane Filtration Processes, Membrane Materials, Membrane Fouling, Membrane Cleaning, Ultraviolet Disinfection, Chemical Disinfection.

  • Membrane Filtration (23 mins) (Video)
  • UV Disinfection (23 mins) (Video)
  • Chemical Disinfection (25 mins) (Video)
  • Alternative Disinfection Methods (16 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 6 (Quiz)
Module 7 - High-Efficiency Distribution and End-Use – Part 1

System Monitoring and Control, Determining Appropriate System Complexity, Meeting Building Codes and Ordinances, Accessibility for Maintenance, Repair and Safety, Planning for Operator Skill Level and Project Security, Cost and Budget Tradeoffs.

  • Basic Hydraulics (20 mins) (Video)
  • Pumps - Part 1 (8 mins) (Video)
  • Pumps - Part 2 (23 mins) (Video)
  • Pumps - Part 3 (8 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 7 (Quiz)
Module 8 - High-Efficiency Distribution and End-Use – Part 2

Potable Water Uses, Indoor Non-potable Water Uses, Landscape/Outdoor Uses of Harvested Water, Reallocation of Water, Decentralization of Water Distribution and Treatment, Regulatory Barriers, the Next Utility: Integrated Green Infrastructure.

  • Landscape Water Management - Part 1 (15 mins) (Video)
  • Landscape Water Management - Part 2 (14 mins) (Video)
  • Landscape Water Management - Part 3 (20 mins) (Video)
  • Landscape Water Management - Part 4 (21 mins) (Video)
  • Landscape Water Management - Part 5 (10 mins) (Video)
  • Strategies for Water Conservation (25 mins) (Video)
  • QUIZ: Week 8 (Quiz)
After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a Founding Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)

Free Courses on Green Building, Green Roofing, Sustainable Building

Introduction to Net Zero Water for Buildings and Sites

This lecture examines the core concepts that comprise the Net Zero Water approach to system design – a critical component of the move towards truly sustainable buildings.

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