Sunset Green Home’s bathrooms will be beautiful. Each bath will feature Duravit’s Vero bath furniture series, which was awarded a 2014 Iconic Award from the German Design Council. Axor/Hansgrohe, the manufacturer of Sunset Green Home’s faucets and shower products, took home the “Best of the Best” 2014 Interior Innovation Award. But in a home that hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification, beautiful baths are nice to have, but that’s not the point.
Sunset Green Home hopes to earn five out of six available points for Indoor Water Use in the LEED for Homes rating system’s Water Efficiency category. And that’s where both Duravit and Axor/Hansgrohe will make real measurable contributions.
To earn two points for water efficiency, a project’s toilets must have a flow rate of less than 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf). According to the LEED for Homes Reference Guide, high efficiency toilets (HETs) achieve their flow targets “by employing improved hydraulic designs, improved technologies, better valving, and in some cases smaller tanks.” Not all low flush products can deliver high performance, so the US EPA has created the WaterSense program to certify products that deliver at least 20% greater efficiency without sacrificing performance.
Sunset Green Home has chosen Duravit’s WaterSense dual flush Durastyle toilet. A high efficiency toilet, the Durastyle toilet uses 0.8 gpf for liquid waste and 1.6 gpf for solid waste. Using the LEED green building program’s weighted average flow rate calculations, the Durastyle HET toilet comes in at 1.07 gpf – which will allow Sunset Green Home to capture the maximum Water Efficiency: Indoor Water Use points available for the project’s toilets.
Faucets and showers are measured by their flow rates in gallons per minute (gpm). According to the US EPA, “If every home in the United States replaced existing faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models, we could save nearly $1.2 billion in water and energy costs and 64 billion gallons of water across the country annually - equivalent to the annual household water needs of more than 680,000 American homes.”
To earn two points for faucets, Sunset Green Home must install faucets with flow rates no greater than 1.5 gpm. All of Axor and Hansgrohe faucets include the company’s EcoRight technology, which limits their flows rates to 1.5 gpm, without any sacrifice in performance, and allows them to earn the EPA’s WaterSense label. Using Axor and Hansgrohe's design-forward faucets not only contributes to beautiful bathrooms, but permits Sunset Green Home to capture the maximum two points available in the Water Efficiency: Indoor Water Use category for faucets.
The final Water Efficiency: Indoor Water Use category addresses the flow rate of showers, which must be less than or equal to 2.0 gpm per stall to earn one point and 1.75 gpm per stall to earn the maximum of two points. Sunset Green Home has selected a variety of showerheads and hand showers with flow rates of 2.0 gpm and 1.75 gpm. With these WaterSense shower fittings, Sunset Green Home will earn one of two possible points in the shower category.
Most people who visit Sunset Green Home (sign up for our newsletter to learn when we will be offering house tours) will remark on the aesthetics of the home’s bathrooms. After all, they will be outfitted with furniture, sanitary ceramics, fixtures and fittings that have won a host of design awards.
But we know what really matters is that the bathrooms are saving water with each gorgeous rinse and flush!