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September 2, 2009


Moss Point, MS – The brand new Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve headquarters in Moss Point, MS, may soon achieve one of the highest ratings for green construction available thanks in part to its rainwater harvesting system supplied by BRAE Complete Rainwater Solutions.

Working with the coastal vernacular design from the Atlanta office of Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration with Studio South Architects of Pascagoula, the BRAE system allows the new research and education facility’s design to use 40 percent less purified water for flushing and boat washing than it would without the BRAE rainwater harvesting design. The recently completed complex hopes to receive LEED Gold certification, confirming its commitment to the highest principles of environmentally sensitive design, construction and operation.

The 18,000-acre Grand Bay Reserve provides research and training to decision-makers about sensitive ecosystem management. The reserve contains several rare plant and animal species in an essential nursery habitat for coastal fish species. Its new headquarters will serve as a center for scientists and students to test, observe and document the environment of this sensitive southeastern Mississippi nature preserve. The Reserve is operated by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

Jim Nicolow, the director of sustainability for Lord, Aeck & Sargent, said the firm, which has worked with BRAE on other projects, collaborated with the company to achieve design goals that would demonstrate the potential of sustainable construction.

With a leadership team combining 75 years of experience, BRAE offers an effective alternative to the piecemeal approach typical of many efforts to capture rainwater for landscape irrigation and other non-potable end uses like toilet flushing. By manufacturing and distributing proven systems from the rain gutter to the point of discharge, BRAE ensures full system integration with building demands to provide efficient collection and delivery with the greatest environmental protection.

BRAE’s complete rainwater harvesting systems can be found throughout the Southeast in such prominent projects as the Home Depot Smart Home at Duke University in Durham, NC; the Cherokee Mainstream Green Home in Raleigh, NC; the North Carolina Botanical Garden; P. Allen Smith’s Cottage Home Retreat in Little Rock, AR and the Old Civil Engineering building on the campus of Georgia Tech.

“The installation of this system demonstrates BRAE’s potential for water conservation and environmental protection in even the most challenging locations,” said G. Edward Vangiesen III, BRAE’s policy coordinator. “We are proud to be part of this important research facility.”

David Ruple, manager of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, said the installation of the rain harvesting units created great anticipation among the facility’s staff.

“In an effort to reflect our environmental philosophy, I feel that it is not only important to do good conservation work, but also to demonstrate how we can build and live more sustainably,” Ruple said. “I believe that the design and materials incorporated into our new facility will reflect that philosophy. We first had the idea of a green building in 2001 as we developed the master plan for the reserve. We were fortunate to receive the support and funding needed to build it as we envisioned. While we live in a very rainy part of the country, we feel it is important to demonstrate good water conservation practices, capturing and using that abundant rainfall on site.”

For more information on residential, institutional or commercial rainwater harvesting systems, visit http://www.braewater.com.

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