21 Sep The Fundamentals for Water Efficiency
The water crisis that the world is currently facing demands urgent attention. However, the individual water consumption is increasing year after year while governments, big corporations and citizens are failing to implement sufficient measures. There is much being said all the time about water conservation, but it’s crucial to specify the different actions that can be taken in order to make a difference. Architecture and housing design play a key role in this matter. Let’s take a look at the different strategies that can be adopted in the road towards a more sustainable construction and housing.
Let’s be honest: our modern lifestyle demands a huge amount of natural resources and, in spite of the efforts that are being made to raise awareness about this topic, it’s difficult to fully commit to the extent of sacrificing our daily comfort. This is where the idea of water efficiency comes from. The purpose is to plan according to a main goal: to do more with less. This planning process incorporates the analysis of costs and uses of water, as well as the alternatives for water saving solutions and energy optimization. There are several key measures that buildings can implement for this purpose:
1.- Water reuse and recycling
The use of greywater for the toilet, maintenance or irrigation can drastically reduce a building’s consumption. Even though this might require an initial investment in order to obtain the necessary conditions for filtering and distribution, the benefits will be worth it in the medium and long term.
2.- Frequent inspection of the installations
There is a general misconception about new buildings: it is thought that they are always less likely to have leaks or other infrastructure problems. However, it’s important to implement a routinary inspection and maintenance process that can guarantee that your building is in the best conditions for water efficiency.
3.- Landscaping alternatives
The use of water for gardens and other landscape areas can be another obstacle in the way to sustainability. Some alternatives are the strategic placement of these areas within the building and the choice of endemic flora species that do not need special treatment and thus extra resources.
4.- Technology for toilets and showers
The renovation of toilets and showers may seem like a huge investment but it will provide a much higher efficiency for your building. In the search for sustainability, there is a constant progress in the design of bathroom furniture, which allows us to find affordable and useful alternatives.All of these measures must be complemented by a comprehensive raise of awareness within the community, the staff and the professionals related to the building’s development and maintenance. The correct training and communication are key aspects in the search for a deep transformation in the ways we treat water and other natural resources. It’s important to implement these measures as we continue to search for new ones: our planet depends on our ability to meet its needs. YOU MUST READ A Color For These Complex Times
- Lauren Shanesy, “Water Conservation Techniques for Building Design”, Modlar, https://www.modlar.com/news/310/water-conservation-techniques-for-building-design/
- Joseph Bourg, “Water Conservation”, https://www.wbdg.org/resources/water-conservation
- The WBDG Sustainable Committee, “Protect and Conserve Water”, https://www.wbdg.org/design-objectives/sustainable/protect-conserve-water