Green Builder Coalition

The Torch – September 2016

The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


WERS Verifier Training to Debut in Orlando

Florida Water Star logo

The WERS Program will start its expansion eastward by holding a WERS Verifier course in Maitland, FL. Hosted at the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Service Center, the class will begin at 9am on Wednesday, November 2nd. The exams will conclude by 5pm on Friday, November 4th.

Deirdre Irwin, Water Conservation Coordinator for SJRWMD, stated, “SJRWMD is excited to be the first to offer the WERS Verifier course in Florida. I feel this program is very complementary to our well-established Florida Water StarSM program, and our current Water Star certifiers will find WERS a welcome addition to their service offerings.”

“I don’t think too many people identify Florida as a place with a water supply problem, but in the central portion of the State, that is very true,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “Combined with the exhaustion of the aquifer, there are some real challenges facing Florida’s water supply. I believe WERS can help the State find solutions through the assessment of current usage and projection of future usage.”

Information and registration for this course is now available here. All questions should be directed to The Coalition.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a building permit. The first WERS Verifier training course was held at Santa Fe Community College in March 2016.

About Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)
WERS is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water efficiency and water resource management. The WERS is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste, and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater and greywater catchment are also calculated. Applicable for both new and existing single-family and multifamily residential properties, it uses a scoring scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desirable and 100 representing the baseline home. For more information, please visit

Protect Your Groundwater Day is September 6th

Protect Your Groundwater DayAs people who are in areas of drought or groundwater contamination know, groundwater is a resource worth protecting—and according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), there’s no better time to begin than Protect Your Groundwater Day on Tuesday, September 6th.

This is particularly important for those who own a well to provide water for their family. While they’re largely seen in rural settings, wells can be found in suburban and urban communities. Protecting groundwater from contamination, caused by fertilizers, pesticides, spills, improperly maintained storage systems, etc., will help reduce risks to the entire water supply. Another way to mitigate risks is to conserve water, whether that’s through the use of a TSV, purchasing WaterSense-labeled products, installing a smart irrigation controller, etc. After all, the 2nd largest user of groundwater in America (behind agricultural irrigation) is public use via public water systems or private household wells at a combined total of 18.3 billion gallons per day.

ACT — Acknowledge, Consider, Take action

On Protect Your Groundwater Day, NGWA urges everyone to ACT.

​1. Acknowledge the causes of preventable groundwater contamination

  • ​​​​​​Everyone

There are hazardous substances common to households

Most household water use occurs in just a few areas (bathroom, kitchen) around the home

  • ​If you own a water well

Wellheads should be a safe distance from potential contamination

Septic system malfunctions can pollute groundwater

Poorly constructed or maintained wells can facilitate contamination

Improperly abandoned wells can lead to groundwater contamination.

2.​ Consider which apply to you

  • Everyone

What specific hazardous substances are in and around your home?

Where do you and your family use the most water?

  • If you own a water well

Is your wellhead a safe distance from possible contamination?

Is your well/septic system due for an inspection?

Are there any abandoned wells on your property?

3. Take action to prevent groundwater contamination

  • Everyone

When it comes to hazardous household substances:

Store them properly in a secure place

Use them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations

Dispose of them safely.

When it comes to water conservation:

Get a WERS verification for a thorough assessment of the water usage on your property

Based on the WERS Report, modify your water use

Install a water-saving device.

  • If you own a water well

Move possible contamination sources a safe distance from the wellhead

Get your septic system inspected and cleaned

Get your annual water well system inspection

Properly decommission any abandoned wells using a professional.

For a complete list of hints, tips and recommendations, please visit the official page for Protect Your Groundwater Day.

Vote for Coalition Sessions at RESNET

2017 RESNET Conference logoThe voting for conference sessions for the 2017 RESNET Building Performance Conference closes on September 8th, and we’d like your support for sessions proposed by Coalition staff and/or Members. To access the online ballot, click here. Here are the sessions we feel are worthy of your vote:

EPP-15 – What Are the Goals with Energy Codes?

QA-6 – New Industry Designation & Certification

HERS-6 – Bricks, Sticks, and HERS Ratings: Mitigating Commoditization of the HERS Industry
HERS-23 – Multi-Family Certifications: In the Trenches and Out(side)

ICC-18 – What Roll Should On Site Power Production Play in Building Energy Codes?

WER-2 – The “Whole Water” Concept
WER-3 – Water Efficiency Ratings in Multifamily Buildings

Thank you for your votes!

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