How to put a building on a water diet in 2017
As building owners and managers prepare for the new year, they might consider committing their buildings to the same resolution as millions of American men and women: a diet.
Every year, millions of gallons of water is wasted through undetected leaks, over irrigation and faulty equipment, according to WaterSignal, a green technology company focused on water conservation. Since most building managers and owners only check usage when the bill comes, water usage is likely to make their wallets pretty lean as rates rise around the country.
It’s time to get their buildings into shape. Implementing a proactive program with the latest technologies and proven processes can help reduce consumption, save money and make the planet a better place.
As part of a building manager/owner’s New Year’s resolution, here are some tips to conserve water in 2017:
1. How can you manage what you don’t measure? Like you do with energy, make conserving water a priority by viewing water bills on a monthly basis and comparing to previous months or even years.
2. Check for leaks. On a day when no one is in the building, turn off the water and read the meter. After 15 minutes, read it again. If the meter moved, you may have a leak that’s costing you money.
3. Incorporate technology that reads the pulse of the water meter in real time and sends you alerts 24/7 when consumption surpasses a certain benchmark or when a major leak has occurred. This technology collects data and sends it wirelessly to a website portal where managers and owners can view a property’s water consumption by month, day or hour.
4. Inspect restroom fixtures on a regular basis. Toilets can account for more than one-third of the water you use inside the building. A faulty flapper in one toilet can cost you 200 gallons per hour. Replace high-flow fixtures with low-flow. Consider metered valve, self-closing and infrared sensor fixtures and waterless urinals.
5. Manage your cooling tower. Inspect for leaks and malfunctions and install flow meters on the make-up and bleed-off lines. This allows you to verify the volume of water being used versus what is lost due to evaporation, drift and leaks.
6. Tour the entire property on a monthly basis. Look for wet spots and alligatored paving clues to underground leaks.
7. Look for products bearing the EPA WaterSense label for conservation and performance.
Topics: Architectural Firms, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, Water Saving Strategies and Devices