Water efficiency proposed for green building standard

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An existing green building standard could include measures to improve water efficiency, an at-risk resource in the energy industry.

The ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011 provides a design standard for high-performance buildings and covers site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.  The proposal suggests changes for water conservation, including faucet capacities, the use of municipal reclaimed water for irrigation and limiting toilet flushing volumes.

"It is unreasonable to allow the unfettered use of reclaimed water, considered a precious resource, as a means to save energy when there are more viable alternatives," Thomas Pape, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. "Therefore, the use of municipal reclaimed water would be prohibited for roof-cooling applications and for permanent irrigation of vegetated roofs using either in-ground or above-ground irrigation systems. There are many other alternative water sources that can be used for this purpose, including gray water, condensate recovery, rain water and cooling tower discharge."

For more:
- see the draft proposal

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