Water efficiency will become increasingly important to green building efforts in the U.S. during the next five years, according to the newly released “Water Use in Buildings: Achieving Business Performance Benefits through Efficiency,” a SmartMarket Report sponsored by Chicago Faucets.

The report, which examines the significance of water use in commercial buildings, indicates that a greater emphasis will be placed on water sustainability and the products that help promote it.

Following are some of the study's major findings:

*42% of building owners report that three-quarters of their projects include water-efficient practices in their designs.

*85% of commercial building industry players say that water efficiency will be a very important part of green building in the year 2013, up from 69% in 2008.

*50% of building owners expect they will incorporate water-efficient practices into at least 50% of their building projects.

The findings indicate that companies planning to utilize water-efficient technology will experience a 15% reduction in water use, a 10-11% decrease in energy use and operating cost reductions of 11-12% on average.

Commercial building industry players, including architecture/engineering firms and contractors, also stated that water-saving sinks were among the product categories they most closely associated with water efficiency. About 43% of industry players said they most frequently thought of water-saving bathroom sink faucets.

“The SmartMarket Report provides insight into the increasing importance of sustainability,” said John Fitzgerald, director of marketing for Chicago Faucets. “We understood that sustainability would continue to be significant, but now we see that our efforts are even more vital to the building industry and its future.”