Water Use and Conservation in Your Buildings

by ‐ Tags: building science

 

Where Should My Buildings Be Performing?

Water Use Benchmarks

Here at WegoWise we track a lot of water data and we like to occasionally dig into the numbers and let people know what we're seeing. To assess water performance in a building in a simple, quantifiable way, our preferred metric is number of gallons a building uses per bedroom per day. Ideally, we would like to look at water use per person but we have found that number of people is a tough number to keep track of for building managers so number of bedrooms is a good proxy and stays fixed over time.

Here is a quick and dirty breakdown of what we've found in our water data. One caveat: these benchmarks are only for indoor water use and do not include potable water use in irrigation systems. We're still working on benchmarks for irrigation meters. 

Water Usage Benchmarks
High Performing Building < 60 gal/bedroom/day
Average Building 60 - 120 gal/bedroom/day
Poorly Performing Building 120 - 200+ gal/bedroom/day

How Much Money Can I Save by Investing in Water Conservation?

The short answer is a ton. Of all the ways to save money in a building, water upgrades have some of the lowest first costs and a simple payback as short as a few months. 

We have seen more than a few projects cut their water bills by 50-60% by replacing leaking toilets with better performing, water conserving toilets, and installing low-flow shower heads and faucets. 

If you do a quick calculation and find your building falls in the "poorly performing" category from the above table you should start looking into getting a water audit and making some upgrades right away. Water conservation is the "no-brainer" of green upgrades in any poorly performing building.

Some quick links: 

Water Conservation Calculator:

A friend of WegoWise is installing this toilet in her home soon and we'll post a review in a few weeks about her experience with it. At .8 gallons per flush, it's supposed to be the lowest flow toilet you can buy.