plumbing and efficiency:
There is a ton of planning that goes into a new home that takes into account both energy efficiency and conservation, and the plumbing system is no different. Todays plumbing systems take into account energy saving as well as water conservation without sacrificing comfort.
Water conservation takes place in many ways with the use of modern and well engineered fixtures. Many years ago toilets could use as much as 5 gallons of water per flush. Since then they have evolved to have a standard usage of only 1.28 gallons per flush for a standard toilet, and as little as 1 gallon for a duel flush.
Kitchen faucet & shower heads:
Other fixtures have evolved as well like a new kitchen faucet which has a maximum usage of 2 gallons per minute and lavatory faucets using only 1.2 gallons per minute. Modern low flow shower heads use 2 gallons or less per minute but introduce air into the mix to reduce the trickle affect and maximize the water being used. Larger homes can also benefit by using circulating lines so that warm water is immediately available eliminating 2-4 gallons of waste while waiting for the conditioned water to reach the fixture
Choosing and using the best appliances is another way to achieve water savings. A great example is saving an average of 13 gallons per load by choosing a front load washing machine over a top load. Using an Energy Star rated dishwasher can also save as much as 23 gallons of water vs. hand washing.
In addition to water conservation there is energy consumption to think about. Todays direct vent water heaters are 25% more efficient than previous models. Maintaining the heat while delivering it through the water lines has changed as well. Cast iron and then copper pipes were the standard water supply pipes for many years and work just fine but there was a substantial amount of heat loss to warm the metal pipes. Most new homes today use "PEX" or thick plastic piping to reduce heat loss and they are also wrapped with foam insulation keep heat loss to a minimum as the water travels to its designated fixture.
All of these things considered makes a modern home not just more energy efficient and "green", but also the most comfortable for the family. Thanks for stopping by to hear another Friday Fun Fact with Builder Joe!