NC-2009 WEp1: Water Use Reduction—20% Reduction

  • NC CS Schools CI WEp1 Action Steps Diagram
  • The bar has been raised

    You will not earn this prerequisite using standard fixtures that only comply with the federal EPAct 1992. This prerequisite, first introduced in LEED 2009, raises the bar significantly. All projects must now reduce water use by at least 20% as a prerequisite, whereas earlier versions of LEED awarded a point for a 20% reduction. The baseline against which water savings are measured has also become more demanding. The LEED 2009 baseline for commercial lavatory faucets is 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm), whereas the previous baseline was 2.5 gpm. Note that this prerequisite addresses interior water use only, but can be coupled with other water credits addressing outdoor water use.

    Plan on focusing on efficiency with ultra-low-flow or waterless fixtures, as well as overall conservation with strategies like rainwater capture and graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. reuse (these strategies are documented as an alternative compliance path in LEED Online). Careful attention to fixture selection and flow rates can help projects achieve 20% or greater interior water savings  at minimal cost and without compromising comfort.

    Follow these key steps

    1. Determine Full Time Equivalent (FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.) occupancy and Fixture Usage Groups.
    2. Determine the Baseline Case Water Use Budget for Indoor Water Use.
    3. Choose fixtures and water reduction or reuse strategies. 
    4. Estimate the project’s water usage by creating a Design Case Water Use Budget. 
    5. Use the LEED Online credit form to compare the baseline and design case water budgets to determine the water reduction percentage for the project. 
    6. Complete the LEED Online credit form and upload water fixture cut sheets.

    Sample water use reduction chart for a commercial building.

    In the example illustrated in this bar chart, 21% savings is achieved by looking for savings in the fixtures that use the most volume of water: toilets, urinals, and showers. This example assumes 1.28 gpf toilets, 0.5 gpf urinals, and 2.0 gpm showers. Sinks are a less likely target because baseline use is already very low in many cases.

    Only some water uses are under the LEED scope

    Project teams often assume that if a water fixture or process on their project uses water, then it must fall under the scope of this credit. However, only specific "regulated" fixtures fall under the scope. The following uses, among others, are not within the credit scope. Following efficient practices is a great idea for these uses, but it's simply not covered under the scope here.

    • "Process" water
    • Pot- or bucket-filling sinks
    • Bidets
    • Laboratory sinks
    • Dishwashers and other appliances

    Key guidance from USGBC

    Since LEED 2009 was launched, USGBC has developed and updated a key guidance document for WEp1 calculations: Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance. It provides indispensable guidance for fixture groups, total daily uses calculation, dual flush toilet flow rates, public metering faucet flow rate conversion, non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. use alternative compliance path and gender ratio guidance.

    For example, this document provides key guidance on when a non-default male-female gender ratio is appropriate—essentially, modifications to the 50:50 ratio must be shown to apply for the life of the building, with specific exceptions allowed.

  • A question of scope

    As of an addenda issued in May 2011, USGBC has clarified the scope of this prerequisite for addition projects. For additions to existing buildings, only the fixtures within the project scope must be counted for WEp1. To earn points under WEc3, all fixtures necessary to meet the needs of occupants using the addition must be included, including those located within the preexisting building.

  • FAQs for Water Use Reduction

    Will the reviewers accept a spreadsheet as a plumbing fixture schedule in lieu of the plans from the Construction Documents?

    A copy of the plumbing fixture schedule from the project's construction documents, outlining detailed information for each flush and flow fixture specified (including fixture manufacturer, model number and flow rate) helps the review team verify that those fixtures are part of the construction contract. In the absence of such documentation, a copy of project-specific specifications and details or a project-specific contractor’s submittal with manufacturer’s cut sheets highlighting flush and flow rates for each fixture specified can be provided.

    In LEED review comments I've been referred to the Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance document. I didn't know this was a required reference document.

    USGBC originally created this guidance document to address common questions project teams encountered when documenting WE credits. The calculations in these forms are fairly complex and are generally not addressed in the reference guide. The guidance document is intended to guide the user through the process of filling out the form, but is not intended to create any new requirements.

    Should I include bar sinks? What about mop sinks or janitor sinks? Swimming pools? Safety showers? Bidets? Tub spouts?

    If the bar sinks installed have a similar usage pattern and are similar fixture type as for those in kitchens then these should be included.

    Mop sinks, janitor sinks, swimming pools, bidets, and safety showers are considered process waterProcess water is used for industrial processes and building systems such as cooling towers, boilers, and chillers. It can also refer to water used in operational processes, such as dishwashing, clothes washing, and ice making. and are not included. Consider only the showerhead and not the tub spout.

    Additionally, commercial kitchen sinks and bar sinks including pot sinks, prep sinks, wash down, and cleaning sinks are considered process water and are not included.

    However, pre-rise spay valves must be considered. If your project is registered after the 11/1/2011 addenda release then the pre-rinse spray valve flow rate must be 1.6 gpm or less in order to comply with the prerequisite. If your project has a pre-rinse spray valve that has a higher flow rate than 1.6 gpm, then the project is not in compliance and the pre-rinse spray valve would need to be revised in order to be eligible for LEED certification.

    We provided showers to comply with the alternative transportation credit. Should they be considered in WEp1 calculations?

    Yes. Once you enter the project occupancy the WEp1 form calculates the default daily FTE shower uses.

    If those fixtures are outside the LEED Project Boundary, they should only be included if your project is LEED-CI, however.

    Can you explain the 12-second duration for metering faucets?

    This duration is intended to prevent LEED projects from claiming credit for reducing the duration below 12 seconds; durations less than 12 seconds are not permitted for LEED calculations as shorter intervals are insufficient for typical hand washing

    Can I use a nonpotable water source to contribute to WEp1 compliance?

    Yes. Although the focus is water efficiency of the installed fixtures, onsite sources of nonpotable water such as captured rainwater, graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area., air conditioner condensate, cooling tower bleed off water, etc., can be applied via an alternative compliance path. Refer to the Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance document for further information.

    Our project does not have any eligible water fixtures in the project boundary. Can we comply with WEp1?

    Yes, per LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. #10214: "A project without eligible water fixtures in the LEED-NC project boundary is exempt from WEp1. Should such a project wish to pursue points under WE Credit 3, they may do so by evaluating WEc3 performance based upon all of the fixtures that are necessary to meet the needs of the project occupants, even if they are located outside the project boundary."

    We are having trouble finding EPAct-compliant fixtures. Is that a problem?

    Not for individual fixtures. You only have to meet the LEED requirements for your fixtures as a group.

    Where can I find a clear meaning of "public" and "private" as relevant to lavatory faucets?

    Private usePrivate use applies to plumbing fixtures in residences, apartments, and dormitories, to private (non-public) bathrooms in transient lodging facilities (hotels and motels), and to private bathrooms in hospitals and nursing facilities. applies to plumbing fixtures in residences, apartments, and dormitories, to private (non-public) bathrooms in transient lodgingLodging are facilities that provide overnight accommodations to customers or guests, including hotels, motels, inns and resorts. facilities (hotels and motels), and to private bathrooms in hospitals and nursing facilities. Any fixtures that are not in one of those more residential-focused situations are considered to be public fixtures.

    Our project is a factory with historically a 95% male workforce. The restroom design accounts for this. Can I argue that the male/female gender ratio is different than 50/50?

    LEEDuser has seen numerous comments on our forums suggesting that reviewers are providing little leeway for situations like this, even in a case just like you describe. Even a 10% bump toward women to account for possible future trends was not deemed sufficient. At this point (February 2013), LEEDuser is not aware of clear guidance on when a nonstandard gender ratio would be accepted, nor are there any applicable LEED Interpretations for LEED 2009 projects. If you have any relevant experience on this, please let us know!

    Are shower duration controls an acceptable water-saving strategy?

    LEED assumes a baseline of 300 seconds for a shower, and LEEDuser has heard of review comments rejecting controls that would shorten this duration for the design case. A CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide or LEED Interpretation would likely be needed to make a case.

    Can I include process water savings in order to earn an Exemplary Performance point?

    Yes—refer to LEED Interpretation #5819, issued 8/31/2004 and modified 4/1/13 to apply to NC-v2.2 and NC-v2009 projects. Quoting the relevant text from LI #5819: “A whole building approach to process water must be used (including washing machines, dish washers, drinking fountains, cooling towers, etc.) The project must demonstrate a process water savings that is equal to or greater than 10% of the regulated water usage as calculated in WEc3. The project should obtain information on the average amount of water use for each type of equipment to determine an appropriate baseline and demonstrate that the increased efficiency compared to the baseline exceeds the 10% WEc3 threshold. Required submittals for this innovation would include: 1) A narrative explaining what strategies were used and how the baseline was developed. 2) Calculations demonstrating performance compared to the baseline. 3) Cut sheets showing water usage of equipment used.”

    NC projects have also had success using Schools WEc4 as an ID credit. Also see LEED Interpretations #808 (issued 7/8/2004) and #5752 (issued 5/13/2005) for some history on this issue. You can also earn an EP point for 45% savings under the Water Use Reduction credit, but it appears, based on the most recent ruling, that the 45% savings should be based on regulated (non-process) fixtures alone.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Check local codes and incentives for water-saving opportunities and restrictions. Rebates are common, as are plumbing codes restricting some water-savings technologies such as waterless urinals, graywater reuse, on-site wastewater treatment and reuse, rainwater harvesting, composting toilets, and other strategies.


  • Graywater and rainwater collection systems may offer the potential for non-potable water to be used in interior applications, helping to achieve this prerequisite, and the additional water-reduction credit.


  • Perform a Water Balance Study for the entire project to make informed decisions about where to focus water savings efforts. Look for all water sources on the site, such as stormwater, graywater, and onsite water, and note opportunities for using that water for interior water use and or irrigation. 


  • Calculating outdoor water use is not required for this prerequisite . However, understanding how indoor water use compares to outdoor water use can help you gauge where to focus reduction efforts for the greatest benefit. Some water saving strategies address both indoor and outdoor water needs holistically. For example, graywater from interior sink fixtures can be collected for landscape irrigation.


  • Graywater used for landscaping cannot be calculated for this prerequisite, but can be counted in WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping.


  • Are composting toilets an option? While not common, composting toilets can go a long way toward achieving this prerequisite. They affect programming and layout, so consider them early.


  • Consider setting water-reduction goals higher than the 20% reduction required by this prerequisite. Many projects are able to achieve 30%–40% savings with little or no impact on cost. First-time costs for water savings above 20% can be minimal since project teams will already be integrating water-saving techniques for this prerequisite.

Schematic Design

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  • Estimate the project’s baseline water needs and determine the baseline water use budget for indoor water use. This helps determine where the most effective water-saving technologies can be applied.


  • Establish goals for water use reduction and include these goals in the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning. Consider aiming higher than a 20% reduction. Many of the same strategies used for this prerequisite will also apply to WEc2: Innovative Wastewater Technologies and WEc3: Water Use Reduction.


  • Determine the numbers and types of occupants in the building. The water use calculation is based on occupant use and the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) occupants, including employees and visitors, not the number of water fixtures installed.



  • Determine user groups for the various fixtures as not all occupants may be using all the fixtures; for example, employee restrooms and customer toilets in a retail store will have different use patterns.


  • The baseline for commercial lavatory faucets has been changed in LEED 2009 to 0.5 gpm.  The previous baseline for commercial lavatory faucets was 2.5 gpm. Take note of this more stringent requirement compared with earlier versions of LEED.


  • This prerequisite only includes core water uses—bathroom lavatories, water closets, urinals, showers, kitchen faucets and pre-rinse sprays. Janitors’ sinks, pot fillers, and tub faucets can be left out as they are used to fill containers with a fixed water volume regardless of the flow rate. "Kitchen sinks" includes all sinks in public or private buildings that are used with patterns and purposes similar to a sink in a residential kitchen. Break room sinks would be included; commercial kitchen sinks are not included. Lavatory faucets refer to hand-washing sinks, regardless of location, but lab or healthcare sinks with regulated flow rates are excluded. Pot-filling sinks can be excluded.


  • Appliance and process water uses such as clothes washers, dishwashers, cooling tower make-up, and others, do not need to be included in the LEED water reduction calculations.  However, teams do have the option of earning an additional point for reduced appliance and process water as part of an exemplary performance point, building on the 30%–40% water-use reduction for WEc3: Water Use Reduction.


  • Well water and pond water are not considered “reused” water for the purposes of this credit and must count as potable water—so you don’t get credit for substituting them for conventional water sources. Water types that do count as reused are: graywater (lavatory, sink and shower water), rainwater, treated wastewater, air-conditioner condensate, reverse-osmosis reject, and sump-pump water.

Design Development

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  • Select water-efficient fixtures and strategies. Gather information on applicable fixtures including manufacturer, model number, and flush or flow rates.


  • For residential projects, showers typically use more water than any other fixtures due to the duration of use. For commercial projects, toilets and urinals typically use more water. Water-saving strategies should target the most consumptive fixtures to achieve greatest water reductions.


  • Compare the baseline and design case water use budgets to determine the water reduction percentage goals for the project. The LEED Online credit form has a built-in calculator to facilitate this calculation. Repeat this process until final selection of water fixtures and strategies have been made and the project’s water reduction goals are satisfied. 


  • Size graywater and rainwater systems to match non-potable water demand, for needs such as toilet flushing, cooling tower makeup, and irrigation.


  • Untreated rainwater, graywater, and blackwater may corrode plumbing systems, or lead to biological growth. Teams should plan for water treatment, filtration, or using corrosion-resistant materials. The use of seawater for toilet flushing, although very uncommon, can cause similar problems.


  • Plumbing piping must be doubled for interior water fixtures when graywater or rainwater is reused in addition to potable water. This is likely to add upfront costs, while potentially reducing water and sewer charges.


  • Sensors on toilets and faucets are perceived as saving water. However, several studies have shown that while they may offer some hygiene or other operational benefits, they increase water use substantially, due to “phantom flushes” and faucets running longer than needed. If you do choose lavatory sensors, look for models with adjustable flow durations. Although the LEED calculation estimates a standard 30-second use, setting the flow duration to a shorter time interval can help save water. In other words, adjusting the LEED design case calculation to a more accurate (and shorter) flow duration can help you meet the 20% reduction.


  • Aerators are very cost-effective, costing only a few dollars per fixture. Installing an aerator allows you to chose the sink fixtures that are desired and not have to worry if they are low–flow—simply purchase compatible aerators in addition to the fixtures. You can also easily retrofit existing faucets with low-flow aerators.


  • Many commercial toilets can be retrofitted with dual-flush flushometers, costing less than installing new dual-flush toilets. Check with manufacturers for retrofitting compatibility.

Construction Documents

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  • Integrate efficient water fixture specifications into construction and design development documentation.


  • Specify signage for water strategies that may require special instructions for use. This may include occupant signage for operating dual-flush toilets, indicating non-potable water, and operational signage for distinguishing pipes carrying reused water.


  • If reusing graywater or rainwater, ensure that key system components such as treatment and cisterns are not removed during value engineering.


  • Fill out the LEED Online credit form and upload water fixture cut sheets to LEED Online.


  • You must use an Alternative Compliance Path to document savings from a non-potable source in LEED Online. Adjust the design case total water use volume to account for the annual amount of non‐potable water. Then use the adjusted design case total water use to recalculate the percent reduction of water use for all fixtures. Additional documentation or calculations may include but are not limited to plumbing drawings, calculations and system capacity to support quantities provided, and any analysis to confirm the availability of the non‐potable water source.

Construction

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  • The contractor ensures that the correct fixtures have been purchased and any applicable water reuse systems or specified metering systems have been installed. 


  • Make sure supply pipes carrying non-potable water are clearly labeled and color-coded to avoid inadvertent cross-connection with potable water lines.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Apply for water-reduction incentives and rebates through municipal water authorities.


  • Provide building managers with manuals for all irrigation systems and controls, fixtures and fittings, water-reuse technologies, on-site water treatment systems, and unconventional products.


  • Consider installing permanent water metering for ongoing monitoring of the project’s water use. A sub-metering system can help operations staff detect problems early and facilitate future LEED-EBOM certification.


  • Train cleaning and operations staff to maintain atypical fixtures such as waterless urinals, water sensors and other fixtures.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    WE Prerequisite 1: Water use reduction

    Required

    Intent

    To increase water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

    Requirements

    Employ strategies that in aggregate use 20% less water than the water use baseline calculated for the building (not including irrigation).

    Calculate the baseline according to the commercial and/or residential baselines outlined below1. Calculations are based on estimated occupant usage and must include only the following fixtures and fixture fittings (as applicable to the project scope): water closets, urinals, lavatory faucets, showers, kitchen sink faucets and pre-rinse spray valves.

    Commercial Fixtures, Fittings, and Appliances Current Baseline (Imperial Units) Current Baseline (Metric units)
    Commercial Toilets 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf)*

    Except blow-out fixtures: 3.5 (gpf)
    6 liters per flush (lpf)

    Except blow-out fixtures: 13 lpf
    Commercial Urinals 1.0 (gpf) 4 lpf
    Commercial Lavatory (Restroom) Faucets 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) at 60 pounds per

    square inch (psi), private applications only (hotel

    or motel guest rooms, hospital patient rooms)

    0.5 (gpm) at 60 (psi)** all others except private

    applications

    0.25 gallons per cycle for metering faucets




    8.5 liters per minute (lpm) at 4 bar (58 psi),

    private applications only (hotel or motel guest

    rooms, hospital patient rooms)

    2.0 lpm at 4 bar (58 psi), all others except

    private applications

    1 liter per cycle for metering faucets




    Showerheads 2.5 (gpm) at 80 (psi) per shower stall **** 9.5 lpm at 5 bar (58 psi)
    For projects with commercial pre-rinse spray valves, the flow rate must comply with the asME a112.18.1 standard of 1.6 gpm or less.


    Residential fixtures, fittings, and appliances Current baseline (imperial units) Current baseline (metric units)
    Residential toilets 1.6 (gpf)*** 6 liters per flush (lpf)

    Except blow-out fixtures: 13 lpf
    Residential lavatory (bathroom) faucets 2.2 (gpm) at 60 psi 4 lpm

    8.5 lpm at 4 bar (58 psi), private applications only

    (hotel or motel guest rooms, hospital patient rooms)

    2.0 lpm at 4 bar (58 psi), all others except private

    applications

    1 liter per cycle for metering faucets




    Residential kitchen faucet
    Residential showerheads 2.5 (gpm) at 80 (psi) per shower stall**** flow rate ≤ 6.1 lpm

    (no pressure specified; no performance requirement)
    * EPAct1992 standard for toilets applies to both commercial and residential models.

    ** in addition to Epact requirements, the american society of Mechanical Engineers standard for public lavatory faucets is 0.5 gpm at 60 psi (2.0 lpm at 4 bar (58 psi)) (asME a112.18.1-2005). this maximum has been incorporated into the national uniform plumbing Code and the international plumbing Code.

    *** EPAct 1992 standard for toilets applies to both commercial and residential models.

    **** residential shower compartment (stall) in dwelling units: the total allowable flow rate from all flowing showerheads at any given time, including rain systems, waterfalls, bodysprays, bodyspas and jets, must be limited to the allowable showerhead flow rate as specified above (2.5 gpm) per shower compartment, where the floor area of the shower compartment is less than 2,500 square inches (1.5 square meters). for each increment of 2,500 square inches (1.5 square meters) of floor area thereafter or part thereof, an additional showerhead with total allowable flow rate from all flowing devices equal to or less than the allowable flow rate as specified above must be allowed. Exception: showers that emit recirculated nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents. originating from within the shower compartment while operating are allowed to exceed the maximum as long as the total potable water flow does not exceed the flow rate as specified above.




    The following fixtures, fittings and appliances are outside the scope of the water use reduction calculation:

    • Commercial Steam Cookers
    • Commercial Dishwashers
    • Automatic Commercial Ice Makers
    • Commercial (family-sized) Clothes Washers
    • Residential Clothes Washers
    • Standard and Compact Residential Dishwashers

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    WaterSense-certified fixtures and fixture fittings should be used where available. Use high-efficiency fixtures (e.g., water closets and urinals) and dry fixtures, such as toilets attached to composting systems, to reduce water demand. Consider using alternative on-site sources of water (e.g., rainwater, stormwater, and air conditioner condensate) and graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. for nonpotable applications such as custodial uses and toilet and urinal flushing. The quality of any alternative source of water used must be taken into consideration based on its application or use.

Technical Guides

Energy Policy Act of 1992 and amendments

Pages 62-69 of this legislation set federal standards for plumbing fixtures.


Energy Policy Act of 2005

The Energy Policy Act (EPA) addresses energy production in the United States. One example, the Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use innovative technologies that avoid the by-production of greenhouse gases.


LEED 2009 Water Use Reduction: Additional Guidance

This document from USGBC offers guidelines to help you properly set up fixture usage groups in the LEED Online credit form, avoiding common mistakes associated with the water-efficiency prerequisite and credit.

Web Tools

WATERGY version 3.0

WATERGY is a spreadsheet model that uses water/energy relationship assumptions to analyze the potential of water savings and associated energy savings.


EPA Water Information links

This website offers links to state and regional water information.


Water Studies

This site provides a number of studies related to water.

Organizations

Alliance For Water Efficiency

AWE advocates for water-efficient products and programs and provides information related to water conservation.


EPA Office of Water

The Office of Water coordinates EPA's efforts to protect drinking water, oceans, watersheds and other aquatic ecosystems.


American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

This organization promotes rainwater catchment in the U.S.


Oasis Grey Water Policy Center

Oasis Design, a maker of graywaterGraywater is untreated household waste water which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater typically includes used water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, and water from clothes-washer and laundry tubs, though definitions may vary. Some states and local authorities also allow kitchen sink wastewater to be included in graywater. Project teams should comply with the graywater definition established by the authority having jurisdiction in the project area. systems, maintains this compilation of graywater laws and other resources on the regulation of graywater use.

WEp1 LEED Online Form

This sample form for WEp1 is from a real project whose name was changed on the form. (Note that WEp1 was achieved for this project even though this sample displays that the form was not completed.)

Product Cut Sheets

Carefully research products and examine cut sheets to find fixtures and fittings meeting the credit requirements, as shown in these examples.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 WE

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 WE credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictions on these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Design Submittal

PencilDocumentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.

544 Comments

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability Manens-Tifs s.p.a.
Apr 19 2014
LEEDuser Member
181 Thumbs Up

Rainwater

Hi,

I'm now working on a project under LEED certification according to NC v2009.

We collect rainwater to provide non-potable waterPotable water meets or exceeds EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. to wc.

May we consider this water in WEp1 and WEc3 calculation?

If the answer is yes, since this form does not allow to account it as WEc2, may we click on one of the two option related to "ADDITIONAL DETAILS" in order to upload a dedicated spreadsheet to justify it?

Thanks!

Post a Reply
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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability Manens-Tifs s.p.a.
Mar 31 2014
LEEDuser Member
181 Thumbs Up

WC for disables

Hi,

we are working on an office building under LEED NC 2009 certification.

We have a question about WC dedicated to disables.

If a corporate policy specifies that WC for disables are used ONLY by disables and whatever use by other people is not allowed, may we exclude these WC from calculations about Water Efficiency?

Many thanks!

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Mar 31 2014 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

Hi Fabio,
My guess would be no, you cannot exclude them. When we have projects with ADA (disabled) fixtures, we use a separate fixture group and assign 5% of our FTEs to those fixtures. If you know the number of users for sure and you could prove it with backup, you could use that number.

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FABIO VIERO Head of Sustainability, Manens-Tifs s.p.a. Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 181 Thumbs Up

Michelle,
Thank you!

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Noriko Yasuhara CSR Design & Landscape Co., Ltd. Apr 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 1157 Thumbs Up

I have a follow up question related to ADA fixture groups.

In "A" building there are only water closets and no urinals available on the disabled toilets.
If the users cannot use urinals it seems fair to me to consider the disabled fixture group composed of 100% females and compare water closets against water closets. I know that USGBC guides for a 50/50 ratio of male/female users. How do you submit your documentation?

Thanks in advance.

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Michelle Robinson Re:Vision Architecture Apr 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 549 Thumbs Up

Yes, if there are no urinals in the restrooms, you'll compare WC usage to WC usage. You can still assume the 50/50 ratio, but both male and female FTEs (for this fixture group) will be assumed to use the WC three times a day. If they are dual flush toliets, one of the flushes would be large and two would be small flushes for each person. Since there are no urinals, you would have zero daily uses for a urinal in both the baseline and designed/installed cases.

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Melissa Merryweather Director, Green Consult-Asia Apr 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 1706 Thumbs Up

Yes, we had a similar case where one small group of people (tellers) used a separate w.c. with no urinal. On the submittal form you have to click the non-standard use box, put in your calculated uses, and submit a separate word doc or PDF in the uploads explaining why there is a non-standard number of uses for that fixture. Sounds complicated but is't really.

Post a Reply
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Sheryl Swartzle LEED administration TLC Engineering for Architecture
Mar 21 2014
LEEDuser Member
537 Thumbs Up

Cruise Terminal FTE and Visitor/Transient count

Our cruise terminal has a season from October 1 to April 15 when the FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. will be 155 and visitor/transient will be 2,000 per day for 3 or 4 days per week (the other 3-4 days per week it would drop to 3 or 4 FTEs with 1 visitor/transient). From mid-April to end of September this drops to 2 to 3 FTEs and 1 visitor/transient per day. I think we should we use an average of daily FTE and visitor/transients for the year but would like to confirm. Your thoughts?

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Melissa Wrolstad Senior Project Manager, CodeGreen Solutions Mar 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 1677 Thumbs Up

If I were in your shoes - I'd run the calculator for both situations separately and see if you end up in the same credit threshold. If you do - include a narrative to let the reviewer know you ran both cases and either way you end up in the same threshold.

If you don't (which you may not given the very different ratio of FTEs/transients in the two different scenarios), either go with the more conservative results and provide a narrative explaining that you have been conservative, or see if you can get in touch with a GBCI representative - present a case to them for something you think is reasonable and get in writing that they approve (which hopefully they will!)

Best of luck,
Melissa

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Michelle Robinson Re:Vision Architecture Mar 25 2014 LEEDuser Member 549 Thumbs Up

You can always use a separate calculator for each of the different cases and then sum total it all up to show what the annual usage will be.

Download the WEp1 Sample LEED form, then fill it out and save it once for each of the usage patterns (being sure to cover the full year). Then create an excel spreadsheet as a summary -- enter one line for each usage pattern and a column each for flush fixture and flow fixture water use annual volume for both the baseline case and the performance case. (And maybe add a column at the beginning to explain what the usage pattern is.) Then have a totals section and calculate the percent reduction of water use. Basically you'll summarize all the gray rows on the LEED form in your excel spreadsheet.)

You will have to click the special circumstances box on the bottom of the LEED form and then upload all the sample forms and the excel summary sheet. (Include a brief narrative explaining your various usage groups and that you calculated them all separately and summarized it on the excel spreadsheet.) If you do all that in a clear manner, you shouldn't get questioned.

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Sheryl Swartzle LEED administration, TLC Engineering for Architecture Mar 26 2014 LEEDuser Member 537 Thumbs Up

Thanks to you both!

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Mar 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2148 Thumbs Up

In the form Table WEp1-2 Fixture Groups Definition, consider creating separate fixture groups for the following scenarios you described, and include a narrative explaining your rationale:

- Fixture Group 1: 155 FTEs and 2,000 visitors - indicate the Annual Days of Operation based on 4 days per week between Oct.1 – April 15

- Fixture Group 2: 4 FTEs and 1 visitor - indicate the Annual Days of Operation based on 3 days per week between Oct. 1 – April 15

- Fixture Group 3: 3 FTEs and 1 visitor - indicate the Annual Days of Operation based on 7 days per week between April 15 – end of September

Hope helpful!

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Lisa Marshall Ecological Building Strategies
Mar 14 2014
Guest
2 Thumbs Up

ADA showerhead

Our project has 2 out of 10 shower stalls that are considered ADA shower stalls. They consist of having a fixed 1.0 gpm shower head and a diverter valve to switch to the 1.125 gpm hand held shower. How do we account for the difference in gpm on the WEp1 form for these two ADA showers?

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Mar 16 2014 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

Hi Lisa,
We generally set up a separate fixture group for the ADA showers and assign a default 5% of the FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. population to them.

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Michelle Robinson Re:Vision Architecture Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 549 Thumbs Up

And if the shower stall can be switched between two flow rates, the LEED Reviewers will likely require you to assume worst-case scenario for water usage -- so assume they'll be using the higher flow rate all the time for these two shower stalls.

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E H Sustainability Architect Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 2267 Thumbs Up

I would set up two fixture groups, one for the ADA shower & one for the regular shower. If the ADA showers are accessible to the whole building population, you should assign a percentage of the population to each shower fixture group based on the ratio of ADA showers to regular showers.

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Lisa Marshall Ecological Building Strategies Mar 17 2014 Guest 2 Thumbs Up

Thanks so much for your help with this, one final clarification. The plan is to create two user groups - 1)Non-ADA showers - use the base building user FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. count. 2) ADA shower stalls - Use the ADA user group at 5% of FTE at the higher gpm use. Correct? If this is the case, my only question would be that in most cases, non-ADA building users do tend to use the ADA showers and it would appear that this use would not be accounted for in the above strategy. (maybe this is ok??)

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Michelle Robinson Re:Vision Architecture Mar 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 549 Thumbs Up

I think it really depends -- in some buildings the ADA showers basically NEVER get used. In other buildings there is enough demand for showers that they may need to get used frequently. It also depends on what the difference is between the ADA showers and the standard showers and whether or not people will shy away from using them for that reason. Therefore it really depends on the specific installation.

What is the flow rate for the shower heads in the standard showers? If the standard showers have the lower flow rate it could look like you're gaming it.
The most conservative option assuming the ADA showers use more water than the standard showers would be to run it like E.H. suggested above with "a percentage of the population to each shower fixture group based on the ratio of ADA showers to regular showers."
However, depending on the design and how you think the showers will be used, Michelle Rosenberger's approach could be argued as well.

Oh, and the first User Group will be for less than 100% of the FTEs -- part of them will be assigned to the ADA user group. So it may end up with 95% FTEs in User Group 1 and 5% in User Group 2 or it could be 80% and 20% or whatever seems realistic in your situation.

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Jens Apel
Feb 21 2014
LEEDuser Member
702 Thumbs Up

Daily uses public vs. private in hotel

I am working on a hotel NC certification. It is clear that the guests count as residents with 5 uses per day for toilets and faucets. But there is a public toilet block next to the breakfast room. Has anyone ever tried to split the 5 daily guest uses between hotel room and public toilet?
It is difficult to tell an exact number, but at least some of the guests will use the toilet at the breakfast room instead of their guest room toilet.
Any ideas?

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LEEDme STRATEGIE D'IMPRESA Feb 21 2014 LEEDuser Member 10 Thumbs Up

For a hotel (just NC certified) I used for guests 5 uses per day (residential use), for employers 3 uses (FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. use). Guests that will use the toilet at the breakfast room will not use their guest room toilet, the total uses amount is the same.

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Jens Apel Feb 24 2014 LEEDuser Member 702 Thumbs Up

Yes, this would be my approach too. But as there may be urinals and autocontrol faucetsAutocontrol faucets have automatic fixture sensors or metering controls. in the public restroom it may be easier to save water here instead of e.g. with the guest room showers (comfort issue). But then the split of guest uses between hotel room and public restroom is important.
Does anyone have a standard approach or hints for splitting residential / hotel use in private and public?

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Michelle Robinson Re:Vision Architecture Feb 24 2014 LEEDuser Member 549 Thumbs Up

I don't know about a standard approach, but I think it would be less than half the hotel guests using the breakfast room toilet instead of their hotel room toilet for one use per day.

Keep in mind that the breakfast room toilet will be a public lavatory with a much lower max. flow rate and much lower overall water use compared to the showers. So you might want to run some calcs both ways to see if it's even worth pursuing this route (start with simply 4.5 uses in the hotel room and 0.5 uses in the breakfast room restroom, which would be more public restroom uses than would realistically be used) to see if it's even worth breaking it down to the public restroom. The 2.2 gpm residential lav faucet can easily be reduced to 1.5 gpm (or even 1.0 gpm with the right type of aerator), and the run time will be twice as long as the 0.5 gpm max flow rate for the public lav faucet. The total gallons of water for the public lav likely won't even really make a dent compared to the showers and other residential water usage...

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LEEDme STRATEGIE D'IMPRESA
Feb 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
10 Thumbs Up

temporized faucet

The water use reduction additional guidance says: the flow rate is determined using the flow rate in gallons per minute (gpm) and the duration setting (in seconds) for the metering faucet. When using metering sensor faucet or in default 12 second duration of flow representing the total of all run times during the hand washing process should be used.
If I have a temporized faucet (clicle 6sec duration - 2.5 Liters / clicle), which is the value to be inserted into the template?

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Feb 14 2014 LEEDuser Member 7143 Thumbs Up

Although this is the subject of some debate, currently a time less than 12 seconds is not allowed. The logic is that this is the time water needs to run on your hands for hygienic handwashing. The amount of times the object cycles to effect this is irrelevant.

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CT G
Feb 03 2014
LEEDuser Member
17 Thumbs Up

Users for Bank Branch

We are working on a bank branch with toilet facilities only available for FTEs, not for visitors. Therefore, is it possible to base the calculations only on the number of FTEs, or do we have to include the average daily visitors and categorize them as retail visitors?
Thanks for any insight!

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Feb 03 2014 LEEDuser Expert 2148 Thumbs Up

If the visitors will not have access to the restrooms then it is reasonable to exclude them. In the form Table WEp1-2 Fixture Groups Definition, only list the FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. employees as a fixture group. Include a narrative explaining why the visitors have not been included.

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Valerie Molinski Director of Sustainability, Vocon Feb 12 2014 LEEDuser Member 917 Thumbs Up

I've had the same thing come up while doing branch banks. The short answer is that you have to include the visitors in the calcs, even though they technically do not have access to the restrooms, which are usually behind secure doors and only for the employees.

I've tried this line of reasoning on a dozen branches and I only got the three early ones through. The review teams would not let me exclude the visitors from the calcs as they are classified as 'public restrooms.' According to the credit, you can only classify 'private bathrooms' as those that are in hotel, dorm or hospital rooms. So....At that point you must include the visitor count. Sorry.

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Edgar Rodriguez Arq. LEED AP BD+C CEMEX
Jan 06 2014
Guest
39 Thumbs Up

Food service building in Colombia - FTE's

We are starting a project (food service building) taht will serve to the users of other individual buildings of the same company, all of them are within the propoerty of the company and are not LEED certified.

How do we should calculate the total FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. for the project?

- Only the FTE of our new building or we have to consider every body working at the facilites (because all of them will be users, but working in other buildings).

Hope you can help me.

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Jan 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

Hi Edgar,
We have a couple of cafe projects that are similar to what you are describing accept they are tenant improvements inside existing buildings so they are CI projects.

We generally show the FTEs that are associated with the scope of work only. But then we include other staff that will use the facilities as retail customers (not transients) and derive the average daily use (and peak for other credits) based on the meals per day served. Hope that helps.

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Edgar Rodriguez Arq. LEED AP BD+C, CEMEX Jan 07 2014 Guest 39 Thumbs Up

Thank you for your answer Michelle. It helps.
Regards!

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Nena Elise
Dec 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
2730 Thumbs Up

Adjustable shower head

We received a reviewer comment saying since we had an adjustable shower head we would have to assume the highest gpm setting. We'd like to appeal the credit and ask that the gpm of the 3 shower head setting be averaged to determine the gpm as is done with the dual flush toilettes. It seems a bit rash to assume that everyone will re-adjust the shower head to the highest setting. It would be like assuming that everyone uses the higher flush option on the dual flush toilets.

Has anyone had any issues with adjustable shower heads?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Nena, I would have to agree with the reviewer. With a toilet someone feels virtuous using the low-flush option. There is no pleasure in using more water. However, with a shower, they may be quite likely to indulge. What is the adjustment mechanism? Does it default back to low flow, or would it stay on the most recently used setting? If the latter, that could be a problem.

What is the justification for using an adjustable shower head? There are very satisfying showers available with low-flow fixtures.

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Jukka Akselin Business Unit Director Energiakolmio Oy
Dec 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
26 Thumbs Up

Tenant submetered water use in CS scope?

In our shopping mall CS project the all water fixtures in tenant spaces are controlled by tenants (shops + restaurants) and the owner has no control over the fixtures. Water use is submetered and tenants pay according to usage. Are these fixtures within the CS scope?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Jukka, are you familiar with CS Appendix 4 from the LEED Reference Guide? This is the place to answer your question.

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Courtney Royal, LEED AP BD+C Sr. Sustainability Consultant Taitem Engineering
Dec 10 2013
LEEDuser Member
680 Thumbs Up

multi-use residential building, usage groups?

The project is a residential building, but also has a small recreation space in cellar and a small retail space and gym on ground floor, how should the usage groups be defined? More specifically, if I am going to create a usage group for the resident apartments, then don't i also need to allocate some of that occupancy for the recreation spaces restrooms, etc.? This seems like such an amateur question, but does each fixture group value per each category (FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories., transient, etc.) need to equal the Daily Occupancy values defined in one of the PI forms?

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Dec 20 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2148 Thumbs Up

Hi Courtney,

Yes, creating separate user groups within the form Table WEp1-2: Fixture Groups Definition for these recreation space restrooms is a reasonable approach to account for the occupant usage of these fixtures. This separately defined fixture group does not need to equal the daily occupancy values defined in PIf3. Provide a narrative within the form explaining the rationale for the total uses provided.

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E H Sustainability Architect
Dec 06 2013
LEEDuser Member
2267 Thumbs Up

Interior renovation

We are working on an interior rennovation of a multi-level office building with one owner/tenant. We are not touching the core, shell or landscape. As the core is where the restrooms are located, can the project be exlcuded the restrooms from WEp1?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 06 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

E H, the NC rating system covers the whole building scope. You cannot exclude fixtures not in the construction scope. You could do this for a CI project.

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Laura Charlier LEED Services Director, Group14 Engineering Dec 06 2013 LEEDuser Member 263 Thumbs Up

EH and Tristan - There was an addenda to address this issue for NC.
From the May 9, 2011 Addenda:
For additions to existing buildings, only the fixtures within the project scope must be counted for the prerequisite. To earn points under WE credit 3, all fixtures necessary to meet the needs of the addition occupants must be included, even if they are located within the existing building.
You are ok on the prerequisite but you can't get any points "all fixtures necessary to meet the needs of occupants using the addition must be included, including those located within the preexisting building." to get points under WEc3

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E H Sustainability Architect Dec 06 2013 LEEDuser Member 2267 Thumbs Up

The project is not an addition . . . So, I don't think it will qualify for the addenda. And, as the building has one owner/tenant with all floors interiors being renovated, I'm not sure it will fall under LEED CI . . .

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Todd Bundren Associate Lawrence Group
Nov 28 2013
LEEDuser Member
767 Thumbs Up

Residential vs public

Are the fixtures in a shared dormitory community bathroom considered residential or public? The bathrooms (including showers, toilets, and lavs) are for the residents/students, one per floor. Thanks.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 06 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Todd, this sounds like a residential application to me.

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Karina Kuan
Nov 25 2013
Guest
7 Thumbs Up

What is the baseline flow rate for Jacuzzi?

Hi!!
My project is planning to use Jacuzzi as one of the sanitary fitting in the master room.
I got a question about what is the baseline flow rate for Jacuzzi in calculation and which guideline should I refer to? Should I use the residential showerheads with 2.5 gpm as listed in LEED guideline?
Thanks.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Nov 26 2013 LEEDuser Member 7143 Thumbs Up

is not regulated...does not go into WEp calcs...for energy modelling the baseline = proposed for water and equipment usages pertaining to it.

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Pedro Ribeiro Director of Sustainability Edifícios Saudáveis Consultores
Nov 21 2013
LEEDuser Member
497 Thumbs Up

Default fixture usage - showers in a swimming pool facility

In a swimming pool facility it is very likely that almost all users do take a shower before leave. However, the default fixture use for showers defined in LEED implies that only about 10% of all users (converted in FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.) will take a shower. My question is if anyone has already faced some similar situation and can advise me on how to solve this issue.

Thanks in advance!

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Nov 21 2013 LEEDuser Member 7143 Thumbs Up

LOL! Perhaps it should be considered a process waterProcess water is used for industrial processes and building systems such as cooling towers, boilers, and chillers. It can also refer to water used in operational processes, such as dishwashing, clothes washing, and ice making. usage...As for the staff, the figure will fit, but for visitors, 10% is clearly wrong as you say. Ask USGBC how you should do this with the available LEEDonline system. I don't think it is possible.

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Rita Haberman Brightworks Jan 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 56 Thumbs Up

I am experiencing the same challenge. Have you discovered any answers to this question yet? Thanks!

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

the weird thing is that if you just follow the water use reduction guidelines they don't critique your methodology... even if it's obvious that some variable was not accounted for. I had a stadium where people weren't showering much... according to my WEp1 template. Pretty frustrating. I am experiencing a similar situation now with an office building with water closets in the gym area. They will be used by FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. but will probably only be used for one of the FTE's 3 daily visits to the loo. If the fixtures were the same as elsewhere in the building it would be a non-issue but alas the water closets are unique in the gym area.

if you stick with the default uses it will probably fly with the reviewers because it follows the published guidance. If you're trying to document it more accurately then I'd suggest you write a very compelling narrative with good calculations! I've even gone so far as to record an explanation of how to read my excel spreadsheet (using screen-cast-o-matic)

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jan 07 2014 LEEDuser Expert 12113 Thumbs Up

I've had to change the default rates in many of my projects and as long as the narrative covers the deviation honestly, you should be okay. It isn't a big deal. Seems to me that the OP has an obvious case to change the showering rate. He may want to try and get better data from his clients and also see if they can confirm the duration of the showers.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

are pool showers EPAct fixtures just like traditional showers? I know emergency eye wash stations aren't.... just a thought. Otherwise you're going to have to calculate a lot of non-default daily uses to get an accurate calculation.

*edit* this question may be relevant to the type of showers on the pool deck that people use before swimming but doesn't appear to relate to your project.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Jan 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 7143 Thumbs Up

It may be the case that pool showers are not indended in the EPAct fixtures to be covered as "shower" fixtures, but it would be extremely contra the intent of LEED to caviat out these high usage fixtures where great potential environmental impact reduction exists. I also opt for Susan's comment. In some cases a project specific non-statistical usage assumtion is better than none, but try and find published pool shower usage figures.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

I see your point. For LEEDv3 I was just re-reading the reference guide and it says that EPAct covered fixtures should be included. So I thought maybe non-EPAct fixtures could be justifiably excluded. Also LEEDv3 doesn't have a whole water approach.

Reflecting on it a bit more, I guess showers on a pool deck are very similar to showers you would use for bathing and are not similar to emergency eye wash stations.

Susan, did you increase the number of daily shower uses to be more than the number in the reference guide? I have no experience using a mathematically/logically sound but not written-in-the-rules number of daily shower uses. I didn't know that could be approved without a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide.

I haven't seen any LEED Interpretations for places like gyms where the visitors are showering more than the reference guide numbers would suggest. Has anyone else?

With the scrutinous reviews I tend to stick to the water use reduction additional guidance 100%. However, maybe I was doing something wrong and should increase my daily shower uses for gyms/pool facilities if that's allowed? It just seems like an issue with everyone coming up with their own methodology since this is supposed to be a "standard." It would be nice if there was a published figure for the number of showers visitors to gyms or pools are expected to take.

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Susan Walter Sr Project Architect, Wilmot/Sanz Jan 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 12113 Thumbs Up

The last project I had to change usage rates on we decreased the shower use and increased the toilet use for our 24 hour occupants. The project was an inpatient hospital with ICU use (thus the shower decrease) and inpatient treatments where the side effects are increase fluid production (thus the increased toilet use).

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jan 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 1423 Thumbs Up

good to know, thank you for this helpful information!

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Rita Haberman Brightworks Jan 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 56 Thumbs Up

My inclination is that these fixtures will be used differently than bathing showers, but with some frequency during pool months (in Chicago - 3 months out of the year). I plan on calculating a daily usage rate during those months, and extrapolating a yearly usage average to include this in the WEp1 calculator. Unfortunately the fixture selected is at 2.5 gpm whereas the bathing fixtures are 1.75 gpm. Thank you all for your thoughts!

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Pedro Ribeiro Director of Sustainability, Edifícios Saudáveis Consultores Jan 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 497 Thumbs Up

Regarding the default fixture usage, this was the USGBC feedback:

"If the project has special circumstances where showers are expected to be used more than the default assumptions given the pool facility use, then the project team should provide a brief narrative and any relevant supporting calculations explaining the special circumstances and how the shower usage has been determined. Shower usage by the project occupants would not be considered process waterProcess water is used for industrial processes and building systems such as cooling towers, boilers, and chillers. It can also refer to water used in operational processes, such as dishwashing, clothes washing, and ice making. use".

I conclude that, as said before, since properly justified it is possible to consider different usage patterns for these equipments.

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Charlotte Page Sage and Coombe Architects
Nov 12 2013
LEEDuser Member
10 Thumbs Up

Faucet Aerator Inserts

Does anyone know if the inserts to reduce flow in faucets is recognized by the USGBC? The sink currently submitted to us comes stock with a 2.2 GPM aerator, but there are inserts available to knock it down to .5 GPM. Will the USGBC recognize the sink as .5 GPM with the insert, even though it is easily removable?

Thanks for the help,
Mark

Update: I have learned that they do count.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 06 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Mark, thanks for the update. Had I gotten to your question earlier that would have been my guess. In practice I think the less removable the better, but I haven't seen USGBC splitting hairs over this.

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HOUCINE TLEMSANI Mechanical Designer, MEP Engineering Solutions, Inc Jan 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 193 Thumbs Up

yes the insert is acceptable if the faucet does not come with the 0.5 gpm flow rate. all that is good for lavatories not for kitchen sink.
the kitchen sink minimum flow I believe is 1.8gpm. the reason is that if you need to fill a bottle of water you going to be there as long as it takes.
note that you will have to provide the insert cut sheet from the same manufacturer or a letter from the manufacturer saying that the insert is compatible with the faucets.

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J Douglas Dietrich
Nov 07 2013
LEEDuser Member
386 Thumbs Up

Faucets with Sensors

If we are installing low-flow faucets with vandal-proof aerators and sensors such that the water flow stops when a user's hands are not near the faucet, how should we account for that in the LEED template? Shouldn't we see savings from having elected to install the aerators and the sensors?

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serge sidoroff Penicaud Green Building Nov 14 2013 Guest 58 Thumbs Up

Hi Douglas,

You will find the answer page 4 chapter "Public Metering/Autocontrol Lavatory Faucet – Gallons per Cycle Conversion" of the "Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance" quoted in the above LeedUser "bird's eye view". The link toward this doc in the above mentioned text is wrong. The correct link is http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/Archive/General/Docs6493.pdf

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Brittany Eldredge
Nov 06 2013
LEEDuser Member
146 Thumbs Up

Homeless Shelter patrons FTE vs Residential classification

We are running preliminary water calculations to verify that we meet the WEp1 requirements.

The project will have 2 usage groups, the homeless patrons and the staff. The homeless residents will have 2 bathrooms that they will use, which will include stainless steel penal fixtures, and the staff will have a separate bathroom they will use.

The homeless shelter will be open for the homeless from 3pm to 8am. At no time will anyone other than the staff be in the shelter between 8am and 3pm.

Our question is what designation do we need to consider the non-staff, would we count them as residents or an FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.?
Thanks!

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Michelle Robinson Re:Vision Architecture Nov 06 2013 LEEDuser Member 549 Thumbs Up

I would expect the non-staff would be "residents" since I imagine they'll be showering there and everything as if that were their home.

I think you could make an argument for lower toilet uses, though, since there won't be any "residents" there for 7/24ths of the day (residents only present for less than 3/4 of the day but more than 2/3 of the day...) Of course in a "typical" residence, there's no one home for 8+ hours/day while they're off at work or at school... So perhaps there's no difference...

You could always run the calcs both ways (full "resident" usage vs. 3/4 resident usage). As long as you meet your water savings goal both ways, make a note on the LEED form as to what you assumed, why you assumed it, and that you ran the calcs the other way as well and what the water savings would be then. That would be your safest approach I think.

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Noriko Yasuhara CSR Design & Landscape Co., Ltd.
Nov 04 2013
LEEDuser Member
1157 Thumbs Up

fitness shower

Hi,

Our project is pursuing NC certification, but it includes a tenant portion which is uncontrolable by the owner. Fitness gym with shower facility is included in the tenant portion. It is difficult to force the tenant to use low flow shower.

Our questions are followings;

1. Is it OK to calculate water useage in the tenant area as neutral as the baseline, although the project is pursuing NC certification?

2. We have a problem in calculating shower useage at the fitness gym. Is it OK to use 0.1 times per a user per a day, which is the same as FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories. occupant ? The transient occupants are assumed to use shower 0 times per a day.

Any comments would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Chris Miller Owner Miller Consulting Group, LLC
Oct 30 2013
LEEDuser Member
88 Thumbs Up

RE: Wellness Room in Office Building

My office project has a "Wellness" room whcih includes a lav faucet & toilet. However, the intent of the space is for sick or injured (on the job) employees so on average (based on the companys use of the room in other facilities) the fixtures are used once or twice a week. How do i include them in the WEp1 calculations since they will not get the use of a typical fixture?

My thoughts were to create a separate fixture group but that requires a number of FTEFull-time equivalent (FTE) represents a regular building occupant who spends 8 hours a day (40 hours a week) in the project building. Part-time or overtime occupants have FTE values based on their hours per day divided by 8 (or hours per week divided by 40). Transient Occupants can be reported as either daily totals or as part of the FTE. Residential occupancy should be estimated based on the number and size of units. Core and Shell projects should refer to the default occupancy table in the Reference Guide appendix. All occupant assumptions must be consistent across all credits in all categories.'s to calculate daily useage.

Thanks in advance

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Oct 30 2013 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

Hi Chris,
This does sound like a separate fixture group scenario. I've done many for various purposes though not this particular issue. Yes, you will have to assign a percentage of users to these fixtures. You will have to extrapolate the company use in other facilities into a number of users/injuries rather than once or twice a week. And don't forget that if there is no urinal you will have to account for that differential by using a non-default calculation on the toilet use.

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Chris Miller Owner, Miller Consulting Group, LLC Oct 31 2013 LEEDuser Member 88 Thumbs Up

Michelle, thanks for the response and info. But I have more questions.

So I identify a number of users and uncheck default since it is a uni-sex bathroom. However, the daily uses is where I am stuck.

If I have 20 employees and througout the course of the year, lets say all 20 visit the wellness center once. So my number of users would be 20...but the daily use would be less than 1. And the template does not allow for me to use a number less than 1....what am I missing here?

Thanks again for the insight

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Oct 31 2013 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

Hi Chris,
Very tough scenario. And you are right you can't use less than one for either use or FTEs. I would suggest that you are not using the full FTE count with one use per year. Rather you are converting the total uses per year into a specific subset of users - the percentage who get sick or injured.

So you need a rationale you can explain like X occurrences/260 working days yields some percentage that you could multiply by your 20 FTEs. Then once you have a subset (likely 1) that you can explain. I would use 1 use only for lav and toilet indicating they are only there one time rather than typical.

You are going to take a hit but if your fixtures are low enough it might be tolerable. Here's hoping you have a 0.5 gpm metered lav. That's my best shot I'm afraid. You might check CIRs to see if there is another route given your scenario.

In some sense, it's expensive to install plumbing fixtures that no one really uses. It may be that these rooms are used more than you think for privacy or other reasons because they're there. Good luck.

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Carlie Bullock-Jones, LEED Fellow Principal, Ecoworks Studio Oct 31 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2148 Thumbs Up

Hi Chris,

In the form Table WEp1-2 Fixture Groups Definition, list these 20 employees as a separate fixture group, and indicate the Annual Days of Operation for this fixture group as 20 (with each flush/flow fixture used once daily). Include a narrative explaining your rationale.

Hope helpful!

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Michelle Rosenberger Partner, ArchEcology, LLC Oct 31 2013 LEEDuser Member 3802 Thumbs Up

That sounds a lot simpler. I had no idea you can manipulate ADO this way. I have always thought that referred to the facility operations. Good to know.

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