The Torch - May 23, 2018

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Activities

Water Rating Index Added to 2018 National Green Building Standard Draft

The Consensus Committee developing the next version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) approved the Water Rating Index (WRI), as recommended by the Water Task Group. The WRI will go out for public comment as part of the draft NGBS. If approved, the National Green Building Standard will include the WRI methodology as an appendix and will use the WRI as one option for meeting the water efficiency requirements of the NGBS.

“The zero to 100 rating system, patterned after the Energy Rating Index (ERI) already in code, is a simple metric that consumers and water planners can understand and something builders will use to differentiate themselves from competition. It will drive greater efficiency in water conservation just as the ERI has for energy conservation”, said Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. 

“In many areas, water is becoming the new energy,” said Craig Conner, founder of Building Quality. “The WRI is a single number representing the water efficiency of a home, including both the inside and outside water use. I expect the WRI to be used where water availability is limiting construction. The WRI can also be used to compare the costs of achieving water efficiency in homes with the cost of expanding the water supply infrastructure. In many cases, new-home water efficiency will be much less expensive than expanding the water supply and treatment infrastructure.”

The WRI proposal passed overwhelmingly, receiving a 90% majority approval from the Committee. It calls for the creation of an alternative compliance path, whereby builders receive credit for four levels of achievement in the water efficiency chapter depending on the outcome of their water rating. On a scale of 0-100, where lower is better, the following table was approved:

WRI 

NGBS Level 

70

Bronze

60

Silver

50

Gold

40

Emerald

“This is great news for both water-efficient builders and water-conscious communities,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition and Chair of the WERS Development Group. “Builders who utilize the NGBS would be able to get the credit they deserve for their water-efficient practices, and municipalities that need to ensure their water future would have an ANSI standard to employ.”


Flow-Know® Becomes Third Company to Join WERS - Manufacturer Program

Gray Line Systems, maker of the Flow-Know® brand of irrigation controllers and flow sensors, is the latest manufacturer to join the WERS – Manufacturer Program.

Flow-Know logoFlow-Know® will offer a 20% discount on all the products in their online store. “Compared to indoor water use, irrigation is the larger consumer of water,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “Now that property owners can see exactly how much water is being used, they can make efficiency adjustments much sooner.”

The Flow-Know® sprinkler controller is programmed with an iPhone over the Internet. The controller is compatible with all sprinkler systems that utilize 24VAC valves. With support for 2 flow sensors, the Flow-Know® allows a property or building owner to use their iPhone to track both household/business water usage, as well as the landscape water usage, before a surprisingly high water bill arrives.

Joe Bangs, the developer of the Flow-Know® technology, is frequently heard saying, “Our water utilities do a great job delivering water to our homes and businesses, but as consumers, we need on-demand, real-time consumption data to effectively manage (and improve) our water use habits. Our phones are an integral part of our lives, so it just makes sense to access our data with just a few taps in the Flow-Know® app.”

Discussions with other manufacturers are ongoing, with agreements and corresponding announcements anticipated in the near future. The Coalition continues to seek additional manufacturer partners. To join the program, please contact Mike Collignon.

About Flow-Know®
Gray Line Systems is a technology development and manufacturing company based in San Antonio, Texas. The goal of the Flow-Know® product family is to produce water usage data that helps consumers conserve water and save money. To learn more, please contact Joe Bangs.


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