Plumbing, Water Management and Conservation earn Building Owners LEED Points
21st Century Plumbing
If you’re familiar with copper or CPVC pipe for plumbing, you might be surprised to know that a new technology is now displacing this older plumbing in new-home construction. This is because of the extreme durability and cost-effectiveness of crosslinked polyethylene, or PEX, has continually gained ground on rigid copper and CPVC systems due to its superior flexibility, durability and stable cost characteristics. Primarily we design with PEX because of superior flexibility for fewer connections and fewer potential leak points, it resists corrosion, pitting and scaling and for theft, has no scrap value.
And because it’s not made from metal, PEX eliminates concerns of dangerous lead and other metals in a plumbing system.
Spartan will provide an on-site toilet facility with disposable waste tanks.
The project design has a rain water harvesting system to harvest rain water and waste water onsite and reuse the pure rainwater for drinking after filtrations, and also proper division of pipes, for using gray water for landscaping and other non-potable water uses.
Water Filtration for Rain Water
Spartan Safe filtration system for whole building water treatment is integral to any Spartan installation. The unique filtration system incorporates three technologies in one unit to provide three-step treatment to remove harmful bacteria, cysts, tastes, odors, sediment, chlorine and other harmful drinking water contaminants. Here’s how the triple filter process works:
Step 1: Micro-filtration filter cartridge is pleated for greater surface area using a micro-fiber, rated at 0.2 micron. This unique filter media is certified under NSF / ANSI Standard 53 for cysts reduction and has the capacity to remove sub-micron particles and harmful microorganisms with very little pressure drop or flow restriction. This is an important step in the triple filtration process.
Step 2: Carbon Treatment with fine activated carbon powder is added to the sub-micron filter fiber using an electrostatic bonding process. Activated carbon provides a secondary treatment process to remove chlorine, taste and odors.
Step 3: UV Light disinfection is used during the final process, water flows into a stainless steel reaction chamber where it is exposed to a 254 nanometer UV lamp. Inside this chamber bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms are destroyed to provide disinfection without the use of chemicals.
Independent lab tests verify that the performance of the filters confirm that E-Coli bacteria is reduced by 99.9%.
Low Water Flow Fixtures
The project has integrated all low-flow water fixtures including low flow faucets to save 53.3% water compared to LEED baseline measurements for the regions.
Spartan will install Smart Controller Irrigation which is integrated with a weather station. Once setup, this controller automatically adjusts the time each zone needs to run each day based on weather conditions on-site. It records the temperature throughout the day and measures the actual amount of rain received, unlike conventional rain sensors that rely on water absorbing discs to dry out, which unfortunately doesn’t take into consideration plant and soil characteristics.
Spartan can provide water reduction by 30-50%, another benefit is the reduced hassle of seeing brown spots throughout the summer and manually messing with the schedule. During the Spring and Fall, you will find that you are watering less than your typical settings with the old “dumb” controller, and watering more during the summer.
In addition, homeowners can take advantage of Matched Precipitation Rate (MPR) spray nozzles. You may recognize these as the hybrid between a rotor and a spray, looks like multiple streams of water are rotating in a pattern. MPR’s making it easier to control how much water is being applied to sections of grass because as the spray pattern is reduced, so is the amount of water sprayed, whereas traditional spray nozzles would spray more.
Besides a more uniform application of water, another benefit of MPR’s is that the application rate is lower, allowing the water to soak into the turf before pooling and running off. The water droplet size of the MPR spray is also larger, reducing misting and evaporation before making it to the ground.
Water consumption will be reduced by 50% for gardens by using drip irrigation, drought resistant indigenous plants, water harvesting, and drainage collection systems that obviate the use of potable water for gardening.
Drip irrigation has also come a long way in recent years. Using perforated tubing that incorporate material that allows water to come out of the tube but not let dirt and particles in, allows for watering of all types of plants and landscape. Installation of the drip tubing is ideally sub-surface at the root zone, or on the surface of the landscape and covered with mulch. This watering technique removes the waste caused by evaporation and wind. It is much easier to install drip irrigation before plants are introduced, but retrofitting beds of established plants is also possible.