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How To Get the LEED-EBOM Water Efficiency Points

LEED, Energy Model, Legal Issues

Today's tip is about understanding the water efficiency credits in the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance rating system.

For many facility managers, water efficiency isn't much of a priority because water is perceived as abundant and cheap. But LEED-EBOM has been effective at getting folks to care, because it requires a 20 percent reduction in in-building water use to achieve any level of certification.

Additionally, LEED-EBOM offers 14 additional points for water efficient strategies, like metering, additional plumbing and fixture efficiency, water efficient landscaping, and cooling tower water management.

Two easy and relatively cheap ways many facility managers have attacked the water efficiency credits is with aerators and retrofit kits to transform existing single-flush plumbing fixtures to dual-flush. Aerators for faucets usually cost less than $1 each, and can be installed easily by facility maintenance staff.

However facility managers decide to go about water efficiency measures, a critical step in the process is to communicate with occupants about what is happening. To many, the restroom is sacred, and so messing with any part of such a place of habit can have dire consequences in terms of negative occupant feedback. Just letting occupants know, for instance, that you've added aerators to the faucets can save all kinds of trouble calls about how there must be a problem with the pipes because the water isn’t flowing as quickly as it used to.

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