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Buildings' Water Use


Water use in commercial and institutional facilities, such as office buildings and hospitals, account for 17% of publicly-supplied water use in the U.S.

Source: EPA WaterSense


Related Topics


Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings are a set of sustainable principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, materials, and climate change adaptation aimed at helping Federal agencies and organizations:

  • Reduce the total ownership cost of facilities
  • Improve energy efficiency and water conservation
  • Provide safe, healthy, and productive built environments
  • Promote sustainable environmental stewardship

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions

Determining Compliance with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings

Water Consumption Intensity

Total water consumption per square foot of building space (e.g., kgal/sq-ft)

WaterSense

WaterSense, a partnership program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seeks to help consumers make smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance.  Independent, third-party licensed certifying bodies certify that products meet EPA criteria for water-efficiency and performance by following testing and certification protocols specific to each product category.  Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20% more efficient without sacrificing performance.

Buying WaterSense products?  View sample solicitation/contract language.

Visit Program Site: WaterSense

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Did You Know?

Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled. However, in that same period, public demand for water more than tripled. Americans now use an average of 100 gallons of water each day—enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses. Source: EPA WaterSense


Case Study

Sense of Place

Skylight and Sculpture

What makes a workplace special? What fosters a sense of attachment, engagement and identity? These are the kinds of questions that underlie the sense of place. The workplace is increasingly seen as a “brand” that conveys not only a place, but also the mission and values of the organization. The GSA workplace program combines branding and sense of place with sustainable approaches to create special places imbued with meaning and purpose.

View Case Study

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