LEED Gold- How did we do it? Part 3 of 9

Part 3: Water Use Reduction

“Reducing potable water use in buildings for urinals, toilets, shower heads, and faucets decreases the total amount withdrawn from rivers, streams, underground aquifers, and other water bodies. These strategies protect the natural water cycle and save water resources for future generations. In addition, water use reductions, in aggregate, allow municipalities to reduce or defer the capital investment needed for water supply and waste water treatment infrastructure.

Conserving municipally supplied potable water also reduces chemical inputs at the water treatment works, as well as reduces energy use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions from treatment and distribution. Because water heating in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 15% of building energy use, conservation measures will also reduce end-use energy and energy-related pollution.”

-US Green Building Council

By choosing water-efficient fixtures for our space- including dual flush toilets and low flow lavatories and shower heads- we have been able to reduce our water use by 34.8%, saving 12,376 gallons of potable water per year!

In addition to use low-flow plumbing fixtures, we also have no landscaping to maintain (except our window planters, which mostly survive on rain water). If we did have landscaping, we could avoid excess water use by choosing native, drought tolerant plant species that are able to survive on rain water alone.

Native, drought tolerant “landscaping” (photo by Tinah Utsman)


Next stop: Part 4: Energy Performance and Commissioning