Water Conservation Is Becoming More Important As The Availability Of Potable Water Becomes More Expensive.
If you think you have no reason to value water conservation I would like to point something out that you may not otherwise think about:
One Gallon Unleaded Gasoline
One 16oz Bottle Of Water $1.09
It would take eight 16 oz. bottles of water to fill a one gallon container. That means the going rate for water at the gas station is $8.72 a gallon. Imagine how you’d feel if you saw gasoline going for $8.72 a gallon.
Water Is A Commodity!
Water conservation is important during different aspects of design, materials, and post construction in a LEED project. Some considerations for water efficiency are:
All the toilets in the building are dual-flush, using either 0.6 or 1.2 gallons per flush as needed. Conventional toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush.
Waterless, odor-free urinals contribute to the building’s water efficiency and are more hygienic than standard models.
All the sinks and showers can be equipped with low-flow aerators to reduce water consumption.
Appropriate piping contributes to highest efficiency movement of water around a facility. They can also reduce the loss of heat.
Landscaping and Irrigation:
The building’s landscaping can include drought-tolerant plants. This Xeriscape is watered with a drip system that emits measured amounts of water through small tubes to each plant’s root ball.The system is far more efficient than sprinkler use, which typically causes up to 60 percent of water sprayed to evaporate without ever reaching roots. Bamboo plants can be watered with a high efficiency subterranean system. The system allows the plants to absorb water only when needed through capillary action. It dramatically reduces evaporation and is 30 percent more efficient than a drip system.
The gravel and sidewalks used around a building’s exterior should be Porous Paving, made of 100 percent recycled materials. The gravel filters pollutants and lets rainwater enter the groundwater. The standard hard-surface paving causes polluted water to run off into storm drains and waterways.
Every aspect of a building, inside and out, should be considered for water conservation. Whether the water be from man made pipelines or from the sky we need to consider how we are using and protecting our water.
Points for Water Conservation
- Prereq 1 – Water Use Reduction, 20% Reduction
- Credit 1.1 – Water Efficient Landscaping, Reduce by 50%
- Credit 1.2 – Water Efficient Landscaping, No Potable Use or No Irrigation
- Credit 2 – Innovative Wastewater Technologies
- Credit 3.1 – Water Use Reduction, 30% Reduction
- Credit 3.2 – Water Use Reduction, 40% Reduction
For more articles on specific LEED Categories click the links below.