Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency addresses the importance of reducing demand for potable water and reusing rainwater in order to protect limited freshwater supplies, create high-quality water for home use, and limit the need for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure.

Importance of Water Quality and Conservation

Did you know?

  • Buildings use 12% of freshwater supplies and 88% of potable water supplies.1
  • A 2,000-square-foot home in an area with 41 inches of annual rainfall has the potential to  harvest approximately 46,000 gallons of fresh water per year.2
  • By 2013, 36 states are anticipating local, regional or statewide water shortages, even under non-drought conditions.3
  • Only 1% of water on Earth is available for human consumption.4
  • The average American’s daily activities requires the consumption of about 2,000 pounds of water, that after use, is contaminated to the point where it cannot be reintroduced into our natural water systems.5

Defining Green Building Choices in This Category

  • Toilets are flushed using rainwater collected from the roof.
  • Rainwater is used for bath faucets and toilets are 20% more efficient than required by code.
  • Faucets use at least 40% less water than code.
  • Toilets use at least 20% less water than code. 
  • Showerheads use at least 30% less water than code.
  • High-efficiency irrigation systems are utilized.
  • Native plant species do not regularly require irrigation.
  • Additional drought-tolerant plants have been selected for landscaping.
  • Rainwater is collected to irrigate the yard and garden and provide water for laundry needs.
  • High-performance water filtration systems have been employed.

Water Quality and Conservation Features in the GreenHome

The GreenHome uses a high-efficiency irrigation system that relies on soil moisture sensors to minimize outdoor water use. Interior fixtures, including toilets and faucets, reduce indoor water use by 20%-80%, depending on the fixture. Potable water used for landscaping, toilet, and laundry needs is greatly diminished by harvesting and reusing filtered rainwater.

The GreenHome showcases the following water-conserving features:

  • Rainwater Catchment System
  • High-efficiency Fixtures
  • Water-Efficient Appliances
  • Hot Water Conservation
  • Structured Plumbing
  • Water Filtration