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Water Conservation and Wastewater Reuse in a Green Building: An Integrated Approach Towards LEED

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Green buildings emphasize sustainability, integrated design and low consumption of energy, water and non-renewable resources. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed a green building certification process with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) scoring system. On first inspection of LEED points, few address Water Efficiency (WE). However, water management encompasses other points, most notably in the Sustainable Sites (SS) and Innovation in Design (ID) categories. The industry is apt to take a somewhat compartmentalized approach to water management. The use of alternative water sources (e.g., rainwater, municipal reclaimed water, AC condensate, or stormwater) or the reuse of wastewater (grey or black) significantly complicates the water budget picture. A total water management systems approach should be implemented in order to devise a strategy for optimal reduction of potable water consumption and wastewater generation. No readily-available tool currently exists to help building owners or project designers make this determination. We present an Integrated Building Water Management (IBWM) model, based on the STELLA platform, to facilitate the systems approach.

Keywords: LEED; STELLA; green building; systems modeling; water management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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