Despite the sunshine, a cloud hung over the Salone del Mobile this year — an artificial cloud, that is, built by Budapest-based, designer concrete manufacturer Ivanka to launch its new rain filtration system. For more than a decade, the company has come up with various unexpected uses for the material, from fashion handbags to the interior of BMW concept cars, and this year, the company showed off its potential to create a passive rooftop filtration system for drinking water.
Rainhouse, as the system is called, “is the missing link in ecological housing,” Ivanka co-founder Katalin Ivanka told Architizer during the fair. “We don’t need to limit greywater to flushing the toilets or watering our gardens. People don’t know this, but rain is the purest source in the freshwater cycle, and it’s a resource that isn’t used enough.”
Over the course of two years, Ivanka developed a rainwater filtration system using what it calls bio-concrete, a material that orients water pH levels to its own neutral level. As demonstrated at the fair with the fake cloud hanging over a scale concrete home, rain flows from rooftop concrete tiles into a bio-concrete-lined storage tank.
“After an additional physical fine-filtering, you get a naturally soft water,” Ivanka continued. In addition to its extremely low ecological footprint compared to that of extracting mineral water from underground, the system also boasts a high level of purity. “The mineral content is about 30 mg per liter. Evian has about 100.”