|Metering faucets and the environment|
|As energy conservation and a desire for green buildings continue to grow, so does the requirement for water-saving devices. When choosing a metering faucet, the specifier has to know whether it can meet the ongoing shifting landscape of environmental regulations.
For example, water flow measurement data is vital information when using metering faucets, but so is following water conservation guidelines such as any chosen green building rating programs or other local plumbing codes.Perhaps the most important consideration from the specifier’s point of view is to acknowledge the difference between run or cycle time—gallons per cycle (gpc) vs. flow rate gallons per minute (gpm).A cycle equals the number of seconds a faucet allows water to flow once activated:
Installed usage per activation (gpc) = Flow rate (gpm) * (Duration (sec/cycle) / 60 sec).
However, cycle time as defined by the EPAct referred to manual metering faucets, self-closing faucets and electronic faucets. Conversely, the criteria in some environmental design tools, such as LEED, use actual water volume consumed, which calculates flow rate, given as:
Flow rate (GPM) = (Installed usage per activation (GPC) / Duration (sec/cycle) * 60 sec.
Therefore, knowing the differences between gpc and gpm is imperative when dealing with environmental building design tools.
For example, if a specifier follows one code requiring gpc for metering faucets, the criteria match is simple: confirm the metering faucet being specified matches the faucet guideline flow criteria. However, if the same building is also striving for certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the specifier must evaluate the faucet criteria based on the version of the rating system being followed. If following LEED 2009, then the same criterion applies. However, if following LEED v4, closer attention to the details would be needed.
The specifier needs to know which version of LEED the building is being designed to meet (if any). This is especially true for metering faucets (manual and electronic) since the requirements have changed. In comparison to LEED 2009, where the baseline requirement was 0.94 L/cycle (1⁄4 gpc) for metering faucets, metered faucets must follow the 1.9 L/minute (1⁄2 gpm) in LEED v4. For example, it would take a 0.94 L/cycle (1⁄4 gpc) metered faucet with a 30 sec/cycle to meet the 1.9 L/minute (1⁄2 gpm) LEED v4 baseline criteria. To achieve the 20 per cent reduction prerequisite, a 0.94 L/cycle (1⁄4 gpc) metered faucet would need to be adjusted to 38 sec/cycle (achieving 1.5 L/minute [0.40 gpm]).
Overall, the metering faucet is a beneficial choice for environmental considerations. The flexibility, adaptability, and continued innovation to meet water conservation goals keep them at the top of specifier’s short list for commercial and institutional facilities.
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