Texas Tech University

Texas Tech's sustainable home, HUMS, in Junction, Texas

Texas Tech University's sustainable home (insert), with its Home Utility Management System (HUMS), is located just outside of Junction, Texas. Photo courtesy Paul Flahive/Texas Public Radio

Sustainable Living Project Awarded for Water Conservation

Texas Tech's Home Utility Management System (HUMS) in Junction Wins 2020 Rain Catcher Award.


Five Texas Tech University professors are working on a new alternative for sustainable living—in the shape of a four-bedroom prefabricated test home located in Junction, Texas.

The heart of the project is its Home Utility Management System, or HUMS for short, that harnesses the natural power of a wind turbine, solar panels and catchment tanks to capture electricity and water. HUMS then provides homeowners with data to manage and maximize the efficiency of these stored resources.

Already, HUMS is attracting attention: The home's rainwater harvesting system has received the 2020 Rain Catcher Award from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

Texas Tech atmospheric scientist Brian Ancell at the HUMS water catchment tank

TTU atmospheric scientist Brian Ancell points to the 10,000-gallon rainwater catchment tank at the HUMS (Home Utility Management System) test house. Photo courtesy Paul Flahive/Texas Public Radio

"The kind of overarching goal of the project is essentially to remove the significant vulnerabilities we have with regard to our current water supply, and power supply for that matter," said Texas Tech atmospheric scientist Brian Ancell, who leads the project, in a recent story published by ConchoValleyHomepage.com. "The test home is out there at the field station right now in Junction. [It] is completely outfitted in terms of the water side."

TTU atmospheric scientist Brian Ancell and TTU sociologist Carol LindquistVolunteers live in the home to discover first-hand what life is like using natural, and renewable, resources. They then report their experiences to Texas Tech sociologist Carol Lindquist.

Texas Tech researchers hope that, one day, the data from HUMS and its residents may make this conservation lifestyle a viable choice on a commercial scale.

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