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Learn & Plan Topics

  • Water Efficiency

    Buildings are significant users of the Earth’s freshwater supply. The goal of a responsible building operator should be to encourage a sma...

  • Executive Order 13834: Efficient Federal Operations

    EO 13834 was issued on May 17, 2018.
  • Energy & Atmosphere

    Buildings and facilities rely on the operation of mechanical systems and electrical systems to maintain a high level of indoor environmental qual...

  • Sustainable Sites

    Choosing a building's site and managing that site during construction are important to ensure a project’s sustainability. Environmentally r...

Potable water

Potable water is drinkable water.  It flows from faucets and showerheads and is used in dishwashers, all of which require clean water for sanitary purposes.  Potable water is also used to flush toilets and irrigate landscapes – both are functions that could easily use greywater (recycled water) without compromising efficiency.  Where feasible, greywater should be used for these functions.

Whole Building Systems

  • Water - Green Tips

    Use alternate non-potable water sources such as gray water, rainwater, air handling unit condensate, cooling tower blow-down or discharge from other...

  • Water - LEED BD+C: New Construction (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) addresses components of a sustainable water system ...

  • Water - Water Harvesting (Water Catchment Systems)

    Harvesting systems capture alternate water sources, provide adequate treatment typically for non-potable applications to offset the consumption of p...

  • Water - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) dedicates certification credits to reducing the b...

  • Water - Plumbing Engineer

    The plumbing engineer takes on the responsibility of ensuring that water, whether potable or non-potable, provides its intended benefit throughout t...

  • Water - Example Water-specific Questions from Green Globes New Construction

    Is there a commitment to minimize the demand for potable water in the building and on-site?

  • Water - Greywater Reuse

    Greywater is the water stemming from processes such as showers, hand basins, or kitchen sinks but does not contain any human waste. Reusing greywate...

  • Water - Behavior Change

    An educational campaign stressing the importance and best practices of water conservation can quickly pay for itself. Employees should be encouraged...

  • Water - O&M

    An environmentally conscious water upgrade can reduce potable water, wastewater discharge, and energy bills by lowering resource consumption. These ...

  • Water - System Overview

    Typical Federal Office Building Potable Water UseA typical Federal office building with 200 employees uses about 3,000 gallons of water in one day...

  • Water - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    Install water meters. Use water efficient products. Reduce indoor potable water use by 20% compared to the specific building’s water use ...

  • Water - Case11

    Finding: 18% reduction in total potable water consumption, resulting in $160,000 savings annually.Scope: Sandia National Laboratories – BMP 13...

  • Water - Single Pass Cooling Equipment

    Single-pass (or once-through) cooling equipment uses water for only one cycle before subsequently discharging it. Examples of this equipment include...

  • Water - Landscape Architect

    An aesthetically pleasing landscape is important in creating a pleasant environment for occupants and guests alike. The landscape architect is respo...

  • Water - Executive Order 13834

    Executive Order (EO) 13834, "Efficient Federal Operations", directed Federal agencies to "reduce potable and non-potable water consumption". The EO ...

  • Water - Health

    Leaks in the water system, if left unidentified and untreated, can serve as a catalyst for mold growth within the building space. Prolonged exposure...

  • Water - Water and Energy Consumption

    Water and energy go hand-in-hand in a relationship often referred to as the "water-energy nexus." Financial cost savings are achieved through not on...

  • Water - Plumbing Fixtures

    High efficiency plumbing fixtures (toilets, urinals, faucets, and showers) can lead to significant water savings. FEMP BMP #6 gives some guidance on...

  • Submetering - Executive Order 13834

    Executive Order (EO) 13834, "Efficient Federal Operations", directed Federal agencies to pursue "reductions in building energy use and implement ene...

  • Water - Alternate Water Sources

    Alternate water sources are not from freshwater such as surface or groundwater. Alternate water is typically collected and stored on-site and then ...

  • IEQ - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: New Construction and Modernization

    Adhere to ASHRAE Standard 55 and either 62.1 or 62.2 Control moisture to minimize mold contamination and building damage. Maximize daylighting,...

Materials

  • Pasta Cooker

    Pasta cookers use a large vat of boiling water to cook individual portions of pasta in small metal baskets. These units use ener...
  • Food Washing Station

    Food preparation stations usually require access to clean water. Select faucets that carry a Water Sense label for water efficie...
  • Kitchen Appliances

    Kitchen equipment, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and water coolers, can be energy and water intensive; its important to seek out ene...