Restroom Retrofits: Fixture Technology Expands

By Winston Huff  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Restrooms: 1.6-Gallon-Per-Flush Toilets Improve Water ConservationPt. 3: High-Efficiency Toilets (HET) Contribute to LEED CertificationPt. 4: Dual-Flush Toilets and LEED CertificationPt. 5: The Three Applications for Lavatory FaucetsPt. 6: Restrooms: Plumbing-Fixture MaintenancePt. 7: Restroom Paper Products: Standard to Address Environmental Impact

The core of every building's water system is plumbing fixture technology. Plumbing fixtures have been around for thousands of years, but because of technology advances, along with advances in water and wastewater treatment, people are using more water than ever.

Plumbing fixture manufacturers also are responding to this trend with new products to help organizations achieve sustainability goals. Managers have more options than ever related to sustainability in restrooms, including water-saving plumbing fixtures, touchless technology, and sensor-operated fixtures. To maximize the water-saving potential of this technology, managers need to follow certain guidelines for specifying these systems and products.

Before taking on renovations or large-scale retrofits to improve water-use efficiency, maintenance and engineering managers should identify an approach for the project that will help them achieve the organization's sustainability goals. Some building owners only want code-minimum facilities, while others want to pursue certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's rating system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Still others might demand a more aggressive approach.

Defining this approach for the organization will give the operations team a clear focus from the start. That clear direction is important because changing the type of fixture requirements after receiving bids will add unnecessary costs and frustration to a project.

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  posted on 10/7/2009   Article Use Policy

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