LEED CERTIFICATION AND WATER HARVESTING
HARVESTING EFFORTS CAN EARN 10-13 LEED POINTS!
Many building owners interested in water harvesting are also considering LEED™ certification for their project. As a U.S. Green Building Council member, Water Harvesting Solutions is a strong advocate of green building practices and can support efforts by clients wishing to achieve LEED certification for their building.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Green Building Rating System™ was devised as a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED was initially created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to establish a common measurement to define “green building.” It has since grown into a program aimed at raising awareness of and promoting integrated “green” building projects.
How is water harvesting important in a “green” building? Water harvesting touches on many of the principles embodied in the LEED certification. These include:
- Conserving water
- Reducing energy consumption
- Reducing the depletion of natural resources and materials
- Creating a sustainable site
- Use of innovative design
On average, a LEED™ certified building uses 30% less water than a conventional building, which translates to more than 1 million gallons of water saved per year. Reducing the amount of water that needs to be conveyed to and treated by municipal wastewater treatment facilities also reduces pumping and process energy required to these systems. LEED™, through practices like rainwater harvesting, promotes on-site storage and use of rainwater and greywater to lower water consumption cost, and it reduces the impact on storm drainage and municipal treatment systems. Specifically, water harvesting efforts can earn a significant number of LEED points across several categories:
LEED™ Points for Water Harvesting Efforts:
Stormwater Design: Quantity Control – 1 point (SS Credit 6.1)
Reduce impervious cover, increase on-site infiltration, reduce pollution from stormwater runoff by eliminating contaminants
Stormwater Design: Quality Control – 1 point. (SS Credit 6.2)
Storm water treatment systems designed to remove 80% of the average annual post-development total suspended solids using rainwater recycling, vegetated roofs and swales, pervious pavement.
Water Use Reduction: 20% Reduction – 1 point. (WE Credit Prerequisite 1)
20% reduction in water use for building using alternative on-site sources of water such as rainwater, stormwater and greywater
Water Efficient Landscaping, Reduce by 50% – 2 points. (WE Credit 1.1)
Limit or eliminate the use of potable water for landscape irrigation by using captured rainwater, recycled waste water, groundwater and other means.
Water Efficient Landscaping, No Potable Water Use or No Irrigation – 2 points in addition to WE Credit 1.1. (WE Credit 1.2)
Use only captured rainwater, recycled wastewater or recycled greywater for site irrigation.
Innovative Wastewater Technologies – 2 points (WE Credit 2)
Reduce generation of wastewater & potable water demand, while increasing the local aquifer recharge – use captured rainwater or recycled greywater to flush toilets and urinals or treat 50% of wastewater on-site to tertiary standards.
Water Use Reduction, 30% – 40% reduction – 2-4 points (WE Credit 3)
Maximize water efficiency within building to reduce the burden on municipal water supply & wastewater systems. Use alternative on-site sources of water such as rainwater, stormwater and greywater for non-potable applications such as toilet flushing and urinal flushing.
Innovation Design Credit – 1 point. (ID Credit 1-1.5)
Projects that result in exceptional performance above the requirement set by LEED.
For clients wishing LEED certification, Water Harvesting Solutions will work with project architects and contractors to provide system recommendations and documentation to ensure that the water harvesting efforts maximize the LEED credits possible for the project.