Don’t forget to chime in - the public comment period for WaterSense’s draft revised specification for new homes closes Monday May 7th!
Continuing to build on the success of the WaterSense program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering minor modifications to its specification that establishes the criteria for new homes to earn the WaterSense label.
Based on the increase in WaterSense labeled products now available, the widespread adoption of EPA’s Water Budget Tool for landscape design, and the opportunity to easily expand the program to multi-family homes, EPA has proposed several revisions to its WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification. The proposed changes include the following highlights:
• New units in multi-family buildings would now be eligible to earn the WaterSense label. Individual units in new facilities could earn the label, as long as the common areas of these residential buildings also meet EPA’s indoor and outdoor criteria.
• Landscaping requirements would be simplified to focus solely on regionally appropriate landscapes through the use of EPA’s Water Budget Tool. This change would remove the option to landscape front yards with 40 percent turfgrass or less and reflects the fact that most builders are using the Water Budget Tool to calculate outdoor landscaping requirements. The Water Budget Tool is easier to access now that WaterSense has developed an interactive online version.
• Additional WaterSense labeled products would be required. With the addition of new product categories eligible to earn the WaterSense label since the original specification was released, this update will require additional products installed indoors and outdoors to be WaterSense labeled, where available.
As with all WaterSense specifications, EPA consulted with builders, manufacturers, utilities, and other stakeholders to develop these revisions and continues to accept comments on the draft. The draft revised specification is posted on the WaterSense website, and the public is invited to comment by May 7, 2012.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills. WaterSense has labeled new homes that help consumers save as much as 50,000 gallons of water each year and reduce their utility costs by as much as $600 annually.
You can learn more about WaterSense and why adding water-efficient building practices to your next project during the WaterSense “breakout session” hosted by GreenExpo365.com on May 9th.