Commercial restrooms in the past focused on design and durability rather than sustainability. However, that is changing. Facility managers are seeking ways to increase sustainability that are cost-effective without sacrificing function or quality. Here are four steps to help you upgrade to an energy-efficient commercial bathroom.
Water Consumption Facts
Commercial restrooms are among the top consumers of water in buildings. They account for 45% of water use in education facilities, 37% in office buildings, and 35% in hospitals according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fact is, there’s no type of facility where bathrooms aren’t responsible for at least 30% of total water use.
4 Steps to an Energy-Efficient Commercial Bathroom
Use Recycled Materials
Use recyclable materials where you can. A public bathroom will produce a lot of paper waste. Switching to a recyclable toilet paper brand will help reduce the impact on the environment. Also, during construction, incorporate recycled materials in the building process such as responsible sourced recycled wood and plastic.
Install Low-Cost Lighting
LED lights are your friends. LEDs are a low-cost lighting option for a commercial bathroom. They are easy to install, simple to maintain, and cost-effective.
Incorporate Water-Saving Fixtures
Water faucets are perhaps the most cost-effective place to see immediate water savings. Adding or updating water faucets with aerators (easy-to-install devices that restrict water flow) can use as little as 0.35 gallons per minute (gpm) compared to the average 2.2 gpm. Go a step further and upgrade to hands-free sensor faucets.
Upgrade Toilets and Urinals
Toilets can be water-guzzling, budget-draining components, especially if they’re outdated. The EPA estimates that approximately 26% of commercial bathrooms use as high as 3.0 to 7.0 gallons of water per flush (gpf), which is significantly higher than the federal standard of 1.6 gpf.
As with toilets, many urinals are outdated and use more water than necessary. The EPA estimates that a typical office building facility manager could cut water use by 26,000 gallons per year or more by updating to modern urinals. Urinals today use as little a pint of water per flush which is an 88% reduction to the federal standard of 1 gpf. Save even more with the waterless version. While you will need to replace the cartridges, the water savings far outweigh the replacement cartridge costs.
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