The EPA’s WaterSense has refined its draft labeling specification (initially released in May 2008) for single-family new homes based on comments received from the public and additional research. The revised specification will ensure that future WaterSense-labeled homes still use 20% less water than similar new homes, while reducing the burden and cost to the builders.
The EPA’s WaterSense has
refined its draft labeling specification (initially released in May 2008) for
single-family new homes based on comments received from the public and
additional research. The revised
specification addresses efficient plumbing fixtures, hot water delivery
systems, appliances, landscape design and irrigation.
The revised specification
will ensure that future WaterSense labeled homes still use 20% less water than
similar new homes, while reducing the burden and cost to the builders. The
modifications to the previous draft specification have built in some additional
flexibility; the changes include:
*Hot water delivery systems- New performance standards no
longer require specific types of hot water delivery systems or insulation of
hot water pipes.
*Landscaping- The revised landscaping criteria allow for a
wider variety of landscaping options.
* Irrigation systems –
Additional requirements for minimum distribution uniformity values and rain
shutoff devices increase the efficiency of newly installed irrigation systems.
*Water budget tool–
An improved resource, the water budget tool, better reflects growing seasons
and plant water requirements.
*Inspection guidelines- An optional sampling protocol adds
flexibility and streamlines the inspection process for production builders.
Once the specification is
finalized, homes built and inspected to the specification will bear the
WaterSense label. Homeowners who invest in WaterSense-labeled homes will not
only save water, but also money on utility bills. WaterSense-labeled new homes
should be achievable by builders and affordable to consumers without
compromising water savings.
The WaterSense new homes
specification will also align with existing green building programs to ease the
cost and obstacles to achieving other green labels.
The updated specification
for single-family new homes will be available for public comment through July
7, 2009. EPA anticipates releasing the final Water-Efficient Single-Family New
Home Specification in late 2009.
EPA welcomes input on the
revisions made to the specification, and encourages all interested parties to
view the most recent documents and provide comments. In addition, EPA plans to hold at least one public meeting on the
revisions in June 2009.
For details on the
specification, upcoming public meetings, and other program information visitwww.epa.gov/watersense,
contact the WaterSense Helpline at (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) or email:email@example.com.