Water conservation is primary design criteria for green buildings. Obtaining, cleaning, treating, delivering and processing wastewater is expensive and energy intensive. In many areas of the world, maintaining adequate supplies potable water is becoming a serious environmental and public health problem. Green building designers focus on minimizing water consumption while maintaining quality of life.
The three primary ways that water consumption is reduced in green buildings are through the use of water saving fixtures and appliances, occupant use patterns and rainwater collection and reuse. Most manufacturers offer low-flow faucets, showerheads and aerators. Toilets are typically the largest consumer of water in residences. Low flush toilets (1.28/GPF or less) and dual flush toilets (.8/1.6 etc.) are readily available, and can reduce total water consumption significantly. Appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers are available in models with greatly reduced water consumption requirements.
Many people take the availability of fresh water for granted and often use more water for various tasks than is actually required. Minor changes in water use behavior can greatly reduce total water consumption. Such things as taking shorter showers, not letting water run unnecessarily, and reducing irrigation, etc. are a few examples of behavioral changes that can help reduce total water consumption.
What Makes Plumbing Green?
6 Considerations for Consumers: