LEED for Homes Point by Point – Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency :: 13 points achieved out of 15 points available::

Water efficiency is all about the way your home and landscaping use water. Achieving 13 points in this category was by no means an easy feat, in fact, our landscaping and rainwater harvesting system cost nearly as much as our entire HVAC system and accounted for 10% of our overall budget.

We installed a rainwater water harvesting tank that holds up to 5000 gallons of rainwater, we designed our system to collect rain from more than 80% of our 3866 sq/ft roof. We are collecting from nearly 100% off the roof or 2319 gallons from a 1” rainfall (this formula is based on a collection of 600 gallons for every 1000 sq ft of roof space. RI has an average rainfall of 47.98 inches and July has an average of 3.2 inches). Our irrigation system is not connected to any municipal water sources; the system is designed so that if there has not been enough rain and the tank needs water for irrigation, it calls to our geothermal well for filling. This rainwater system achieved three points but the additional no municipal water design was our own doing because water is a precious resource and not to be wasted. Our design is a constant renewable resource of use as necessary, filter through the earth, replenish from the rain. All totaled between our landscape and irrigation design, our system uses 63% less water than a similar sized and landscaped lot.

Inside we used all high efficiency fixtures and fittings in the home. Our Kohler toilets have an EPA Water Sense® rated flow rate of just 1.0 gpf (gallons per flush) per toilet. Having just traveled across the country and back, I can’t tell you how much of savings this is. The LAX airport has toilets that have an average flow rate of 3.5 gpf and handles millions of passengers every single day. Annually this change will save 93,000 gallons of water in our home when compared to homes without high performance plumbing fixtures. All of our bathroom faucets have a 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) flow rate and each of our showerheads also have a flow rate of 1.75 gpm.

In an era where scientists and resource specialists say freshwater scarcity, even in unexpected places, threatens farms, homes and growth as well as increases business expenses and drains local treasuries, I am glad that our family was able to contribute to keeping our local water supply the best we can.

Posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

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2 Responses

  1. 1″ rain / 1000 square ft of rook, not 100

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