3 Considerations For LEED Certified Plumbing in TX
Recently we have been looking at the LEED certified building and how plumbing is an integral part of any LEED building project. Here we dive into 3 considerations for LEED certified plumbing in TX. Even if your not working to have a LEED citified home there are many parts we can take from the program that can add increased efficiencies for the general homeowner.
Water heating systems
Texas’ sunny, dry climate is good news, for solar water heating. Nationwide, heating water uses up approximately 18 percent of energy used in homes and 4 percent in commercial buildings. An alternative is a solar water heating system, which uses the sun’s energy rather than electricity or gas to heat water. Such systems have been shown to provide up to 80 percent of the hot water needs. Newer systems are being developed that use bio-diesel fuels and wind.
On demand systems can also help meet requirements for reduction in water use through the installation of hot water recirculation systems that reduce the amount of water wasted down the drain while you are waiting for hot water to reach the fixture.
Building sustainability and indoor environmental quality equate to 45 percent of LEED credits. Epoxy pipelining may well qualify as the case can be made that its technology adds life (as much as 50 years) to an existing pipe system, reduces landfill debris, increases the sustainability of the building and improves water quality.
Based on research developed by the U.S. Department of Defense epoxy pipelining has entered the mainstream. Using an advanced mixture of polymers (or large molecules) that form a product that is harder than most metal when combined, epoxy adheres to surfaces and bonds in such a way that it keeps contaminants from building up and breaking through the protective barrier it forms. As such, pipe leaks are fixed and future corrosion stopped.
Conserving other energies with green plumbing
There are ways plumbing can contribute to the overall efficiency of green buildings by using water to conserve energy in other areas. The most common is designing a plumbing system for green roofs. In Texas, such irrigation systems are critical in the early stages of growth or if you aren’t going to use drought-resistant plants. Design options help keep water on the roof through restricted drain systems or utilize grey water or purple pipe systems for irrigation, as a couple of examples. In turn, green roofs help conserve energy as well as reduce storm water runoff and the urban heat island effect.
We consume some $4 billion a year in energy costs associated with pumping, treating, delivering, collecting and cleaning water. Doesn’t it make sense to slow down our use? Widespread adoption may mean that next year we can continue to water our lawns through the summer!
Green plumbing systems help to preserve, protect and respect our environment.