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Water Saving - water efficiency for new dwellings... the regs

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Simple measures can easily be included in new buildings, and retrofitted to old, to help reduce householders' water usage often at little or no cost to the developer, if incorporated into the initial design. Government legislation put in place in 2010 addresses water efficiency for the first time ensuring that developers take this into consideration from the initial design through to completion of each project.

The average household in the UK uses around 330 litres each day. The new government legislation states:

  • Requires that for any new dwelling the potential wholesome water consumption by persons occupying it must not exceed 125 litres per person per day. The potential consumption must be calculated in accordance with the methodology set out in The Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings

This would require a reduction of approximately 25 litres per person per day in order to be compliant with this legislation. Whilst many people now realise that by cutting down on water usage they will also be cutting down on utility bills there is often technology that will help with this at very little cost to install.  The amended regulations now bring this technology to the forefront, making each new development as water efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

Raining water saving

Under this new legislation techniques such as rainwater harvesting are positively encouraged. If collected and stored correctly, with minimal treatment rainwater can be used not only for watering the garden, but toilet flushing and in washing machines too. If harvested rainwater was applied to all possible uses in the home It could save up to 50% of the total household water use. Industrial premises with a larger roof space can collect much more and the number of uses can also be extended to things such as vehicle washing.

The Water Efficiency Calculator for new dwellings

For developers to determine how water efficient their property will be they must first complete the water efficiency calculator. The calculation methodology requires the use of water consumption figures provided from manufacturers’ product details. Before the assessment can be carried out, figures will need to be collected from manufacturers’ product information to determine the consumption of each terminal fitting, this can then be populated in the table below.

water calculator for new dwellings

In some cases, rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling may be used as a means of reducing water consumption to achieve higher water efficiency performance levels. This may be needed where options for improving the efficiency of terminal fittings (taps, WCs etc.) have been maximised and further savings are still required. Sources of greywater include, baths, showers, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers. As greywater contains fewer pathogens than domestic wastewater, it is safer to handle and easier to treat and reuse where it was collected for things such as toilet flushing, watering the garden, and other non-potable uses.

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  • Jack Cairney
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