The rate of uptake of rainwater harvesting (RWH) in the UK has been slow to date, but is expected to gain momentum in the near future. The designs of two different new-build rainwater harvesting systems, based on simple methods, are evaluated using three different design methods, including a continuous simulation modelling approach. The RWH systems are shown to fulfill 36% and 46% of WC demand. Financial analyses reveal that RWH systems within large commercial buildings maybe more financially viable than smaller domestic systems. It is identified that design methods based on simple approaches generate tank sizes substantially larger than the continuous simulation. Comparison of the actual tank sizes and those calculated using continuous simulation established that the tanks installed are oversized for their associated demand level and catchment size. Oversizing tanks can lead to excessive system capital costs, which currently hinders the uptake of systems. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the catchment area size is often overlooked when designing UK-based RWH systems. With respect to these findings, a recommendation for a transition from the use of simple tools to continuous simulation models is made.

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