Different Roof Drainage

Most of us are used to the traditional Australian roof drainage connecting to down pipes . . . . but this isn’t how everyone sees it.

The Hawaii Solution

Travelling around Hawaii I was quite surprised to see how many houses completely dispensed with any form of roof drainage like this photo.

No Gutters and no downpipes.

OK as long as you aren’t building on Reactive Clay

Not a problem in Hawaii where it is mainly volcanic sands or rock.

The Frank LLoyd Wright Solution


I recently talked about visiting some Frank Lloyd Wright ‘Prairie Houses’ in America.

With the ‘Prairie House; style there was an emphasis on horizontal lines.

To avoid the strong vertical lines of the downpipes Frank just got rid of them.

To collect the rain below each discharge point he positioned a pit like this one.

The only problem is that in the slightest breeze there is going to be a lot of spray.

The Japanese Solution

This system of a chain of cups is a fairly common Japanese alternative to a down pipe.

For small flows the water drains through each cup to the one below it.

With heavier rain the flow runs on the outside of the cups where it is held to the cup by surface tension.

If you can’t get hold of the Japanese cups a simple chain can work just as well.

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