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Green Building Standard proposals address plumbing, refrigeration and ventilation


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December 6, 2012

Measures to improve water efficiency, including limitations on full-flush volume for toilets and use of municipal reclaimed water for irrigation, are being proposed for ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. It covers key topical areas of site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. The changes regarding water are proposed via addendum v, which is open for public review from Nov. 30-Jan 14, 2012.
The addendum would limit the full-flush volume for all toilets to 1.28 gal per flush and limit kitchen faucet capacity to 1.8 gpm. Research shows that dual-flush toilets in non-residential settings are not used in the 2:1 full-flush to partial-flush ratio as anticipated. Instead, the full-flush option is almost always employed.
“There is no evidence that the dual-flush toilets use significantly less water than the full-flush in commercial settings,” Thomas Pape, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. “We have found that 90 per cent of the flushes from dual flush toilets are full flushes. Since many models of dual-flush toilets would meet a maximum of 1.28 gal for the full flush, the maximum volume for dual-flush toilets has been decreased to match the maximum volume for single-flush toilets.”

The kitchen faucet maximum capacity is being changed to reflect the current water efficiency standard of 1.8 gpm established by various green codes. Proposed addendum v would also set limits on the use of municipal reclaimed water for irrigation. Also open for public review is proposed addendum z, which changes minimum efficiency requirements for open display cases, recently included with other commercial refrigeration equipment under federal control. It also clarifies the requirements for field installed covers, curtains or doors on open display cases. Finally, it includes changes to section 7.4.7.4, which were not included in the first public review version of the addendum. Addendum z is open for public review from Nov. 30-Dec. 30, 2012.
Additional addenda are open for public review from November 30 to December 30, 2012 include:
•       Addendum b, which clarifies requirements on flooring systems proposed by addendum b during the first public review.
•       Addendum r, which adds references to ANSI/ASHRAE 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities.


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