Greenovation+

Vol. 1 2011 – Trends to a greener tomorrow

WPD

To celebrate World Plumbing Day, Allied Technical Services Inc. (ATS) would like to send our warmest “thank-you” to engineers, manufacturers and the plumbing industry for taking the necessary action to protect and preserve our public health and safety.

In an era of constant technological advances and widespread communication, it has been recognized that poor plumbing design practices decline as knowledge of responsible plumbing alternatives increases. The advantage of understanding current water efficient solutions speaks for itself. This article features industry topics to pay attention to in 2011 and beyond.

Smart Products

OneFlow

Leading manufacturers of the plumbing industry, including American Standard, A.O. Smith, Sloan Valve Co. and Watts, have all integrated green features into their product lines. Offering lead-free, energy efficient, and 100% recyclable products are just some of the ways plumbing manufacturers are taking this topic seriously.

Start making “water sense” and consider specifying low-flow toilets, urinals and shower-heads, solar powered and dual-flush flush valves, and high-efficiency water heaters on your next project and instantly decrease the carbon footprint of your design. Manufacturers may create the products, but designers make the difference.

Above right: Watts OneFlow Anti-Scale solutions.

Water Efficiency and Conservation

In addition to including green products in specification plans, an increasing number of designers are beginning to incorporate rainwater harvesting systems and grey water practices into their building designs in an effort to decrease their carbon footprint. Not only are these systems effective at conserving water supplies, but are also becoming much more cost effective.

For example, by using harvested rainwater to flush toilets, personal comfort is maintained while reducing the strain on municipal fresh water supply and fresh ground water. Also, as stored rainwater is pH neutral and often free from pollutants as well as salts, minerals and other natural and manmade contaminants, this option is also good for irrigation. Therefore, rainwater harvesting is a viable solution to the global concern of our scarce fresh water supply.

RWH

Above: ATS Rainwater Harvesting System Schematics. For full details, log-on to www.atsspec.net.

Cerification Programs and Building Codes

With the green movement revolution, it is not surprising that both mandatory and voluntary building codes and certification programs require that building design be more environmentally friendly. With ecological, financial and societal benefits that accompany green construction, many states and provinces that currently do not mandate green building have voluntarily implemented certification programs, such as LEED and Cradle-to-Cradle, in an effort to take advantage of the benefits of green building.

“Greenifying” New and Existing Commercial Buildings

According to EL Insights, the U.S. market value of green commercial buildings is anticipated to grow by 18.1% annually; from $35.6 billion to $82.2 billion by 2015. This anticipated growth will likely be due to an increased understanding of the environmental, health, and educational benefits attached to green construction and green commercial buildings.

In addition, McGraw-Hill reports that healthcare construction is anticipated to grow its “green share” by as much as 40%! By promoting LEED Certification and green construction to new and current commercial buildings such as schools and hospitals, designers can vastly affect operational costs, environmental issues, and even health concerns. You can promote a healthier, efficient, less costly work and learning environment by “Greenifying” your designs.

Green Technology

AOS Cyclone

Building Information Modeling (BIM) promotes new levels of coordination between stakeholders by expanding on the dynamic use of 3D modeling and immediate software information. As a detailed digital simulation that provides graphical and non-graphical details of a building’s entire life cycle, it permits forecasting abilities of a building construct in future environments.

Designers that take advantage of 3D BIM are able to compare the energy and cost benefits of including such things as thermal efficient commercial gas water heaters, pint urinals, dual-flush flush valves, low-consumption toilets, solar powered faucets, and other green options. By using 3D BIM, the user can efficiently choose the best product for their application and inspire greener designs while meeting building codes and other state or provincial requirements. Equipped with this knowledge, end-users may evaluate their options and make an informed decision.

Above: This rendering features the A. O. Smith Cyclone Xi thermal efficient Commercial Gas Water Heater. (BTH-120)

Final Thoughts

Green building is no longer just a trend. In an industry where green designs, green construction and green products are becoming less of an alternative and more of the norm, consider the available green technological advances on your next specification project. Let’s make 2011 the year of green difference. Hope you all had an enjoyable World Plumbing Day!

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