Evolve Technologies Joins WERS – Manufacturer Program

Evolve Technologies logo

February 16, 2016 – Improving showerhead efficiency and overall water conservation are two well-known strategies for addressing water supply issues. However, there’s a third strategy that Evolve Technologies is tackling head on: reducing behaviorally driven water waste without requiring behavior change. Their innovative ShowerStart Technology not only reduces water waste, but also enhances comfort and confidence while improving fixture quality and aesthetics.

According to a 2013 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), residents in the greater San Francisco Bay area generated between 1.7 and 4.9 gallons of behavioral waste per shower. (Behavioral waste is defined by the period of time a person continues to remain away from the shower after bathing temperature water has arrived.) To help curtail behavioral water waste, Evolve Technologies manufactures ShowerStart TSV and a complete line of luxury showerheads containing ShowerStart TSV that are extremely effective tools for effortlessly eliminating behavioral waste.

Due to the significant water savings enjoyed by the use of its products, Evolve Technologies is happy to support those seeking WERS certification through the WERS – Manufacturer Program. This new program offers discounts on products that conserve water, use water more efficiently and/or prevent water waste. Evolve is extending a 45% discount on their ShowerStart TSV products for those who use the code WERS45 in their online store.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Green Builder® Coalition to innovatively reduce water use through the WERS program.  Water is an increasingly precious resource that must be preserved as much as it is enjoyed. Together we are enabling our communities to do both,” commented Evolve co-founder, Troy Sherman.

“Evolve Technologies is a company that goes to great lengths to help consumers save water in a comfortable and convenient way,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “This partnership, and the WERS – Manufacturer Program as a whole, are going to provide a nice suite of benefits for those moving in a more water-efficient direction.” Discussions with other manufacturers are ongoing, with agreements and corresponding announcements anticipated in the near future. The Coalition continues to seek additional manufacturer partners. To join the program, please contact Mike Collignon.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a building permit.

About Evolve Technologies
Evolve Technologies develops innovations that helps homeowners Enjoy More and Use Less and is dedicated to delivering meaningful water and energy savings without asking people to make behavior changes or sacrifices. Its core technology, ShowerStart, conveniently saves the water and energy used while waiting for the shower to become warm. With ShowerStart, a small thermostatic shut-off valve (TSV) is all that’s needed to save the resources homeowners don’t even realize they’re wasting. Better still, conservation occurs without changing shower feel, flow or even their morning routines.

NAHB Passes Resolution Supporting Voluntary Water Efficiency Measures

January 27, 2016 – The National Association of Home Builders’ Board of Directors passed a resolution on January 21, 2016 supporting voluntary water efficiency measures. The resolution, approved by voice vote with no opposition, provides state and local homebuilders associations the guidance necessary as they develop their own local water conservation policies.

“Two important concepts in the NAHB resolution sprung from the experience Santa Fe builders have undergone in recent years as Santa Fe significantly lowered its water consumption”, according to Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. “One is that any new home must offset its proposed water consumption by proving other measures have been taken that permanently reduce the water system usage by an equal or greater amount – such as switching out older high flow toilets with low-flow toilets. The second concept has been the development of the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS), which is a predictive, water consumption calculation tool that proves to a jurisdiction what the builder claims is likely to be true.”

The final paragraph of the resolution reads:

“Be it further resolved that NAHB encourage the development and voluntary use of water calculation tools that account for total water consumption both within the structure(s) and the overall property and include both delivered potable water and water from precipitation.”

Both the WERS Development Group and Green Builder® Coalition staff endorse NAHB’s actions on this vital issue. “We applaud Kim Shanahan’s leadership to address this growing concern amongst both homebuilders and communities,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “He initiated this resolution in June 2015, and has been an advocate for water efficiency for years.”

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the Water Efficiency Rating Score for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a building permit.

WERS (www.wers.us) is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water efficiency and water resource management. The WERS is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste, and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater and greywater catchment are also calculated. Applicable for both new and existing single-family and multifamily residential properties, it uses a scoring scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desirable and 100 representing the baseline home.

Santa Fe Community College to Host WERS Training in March

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January 14, 2016 – Santa Fe Community College’s EnergySmart Academy is known for its educational offerings in the energy sector. Now, they are embarking on a new frontier: water. Starting in March, they will be offering a 3-day training course on the Water Efficiency Rating Score, or WERS, program.

The initial course will take place March 8-10, 2016 on the SFCC campus. Later in March, the course will be available both online and in-person. “We feel that offering much of the material in an online format allows it to be more cost effective and accessible”, says Amanda Hatherly, Director of the EnergySmart Academy.

“Energy raters, green raters, plumbers, home inspectors and a host of other building industry professionals can expand their service offerings through this training,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “SFCC and the WERS development group have been diligently working on the course content, and we’re so excited that it’s ready.”

In addition to the virtual course offered by SFCC, the Coalition will be working with SFCC and other educational partners to expand the number of in-person training opportunities across the United States. To request more information on this new training course, please contact Amanda Hatherly at 505-428-1805 or Amanda.hatherly@sfcc.edu.

Green Builder® Coalition Partners with ARCSA on WERS

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January 7, 2016 – The Green Builder® Coalition is honored to announce a 2-year partnership with the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association® (ARCSA) on the advancement of water efficiency and rainwater harvesting through the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) program.

ARCSA’s mission is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world. ARCSA is very pleased to partner with The Coalition to provide educational and technical assistance on rainwater harvesting to further water efficiency.

“We at ARCSA are excited to move forward with the Green Builder® Coalition’s WERS program in our MOU to promote the mission of our groups and save our precious water resources,” says David Crawford, ARCSA president. “Through our MOU, we will be promoting more water efficiency through sustainable rainwater harvesting to use local, onsite water resources, instead of municipal potable, which is often times limited or reduced due to drought, declining supplies, or environmental restrictions.”

“The use of rainwater has both environmental and economic benefits. In addition, rainwater capture is an important element in achieving a lower WERS,” said Collignon. “We’re very happy to partner with ARCSA to help foster superior rainwater harvesting practices.”

The agreement addresses CEUs for ARCSA APs and WERS verifiers, and announces support for ARCSA-ASPE-ANSI Standards 63 and 78 as the Rainwater and Stormwater Standards used in both the WERS and its training curriculum.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a building permit.

WERS Program Helps Homebuilder Save Thousands on Building Permit Fees

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December 17, 2015 – When homebuilder Bill Roth of Modern Design + Construction, Inc. recently submitted a building permit application, he had to declare how much water his latest project would use. This is part of an alternative “Plan B” permitting process for homebuilders in Santa Fe, NM.  Under this plan, homeowners can commit to using less water annually than the average home, in trade for a lower permit fee based on their reduced water consumption.  Accurately demonstrating the projected water use of a new home in your permit application has been a challenge… until now. This time, Roth had something new that enabled his application to get accepted in the blink of an eye, while saving his client approximately $2,000.

The Water Efficiency Rating Score, or WERS (www.wers.us), is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water efficiency and water resource management. The WERS is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste, and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater and greywater catchment are also calculated. Applicable for both new and existing single-family and multifamily residential properties, it uses a scoring scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desirable and 100 representing the baseline home.

Using the WERS program, Roth had his house plans analyzed by David Dunlap of Tierra Concepts. The preliminary report included everything Roth needed for his permit application.  According to Dunlap, “Having an analytical model like WERS, to clearly show the predicted water consumption for a new home, makes compliance with the city Plan B water program simple for everyone. This building permit application, using the WERS report, marks a huge step forward in water conservation efforts.”

All exterior water usage will be supplied through the use of reclaimed water. According to Roth, those systems will cost around $6,000. By leveraging the WERS program to prove he would not need potable water for the exterior, he was able to secure a significantly lower tap fee. “It was the equivalent of a 30% rebate. In Santa Fe, real savings can be had immediately,” said Roth.

“This project represents the first use of the WERS program in the market. Certification won’t occur until the project is completed, but this represents a significant moment for residential water efficiency”, said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “The financial savings achieved by this project are eye-catching and just another reason for homeowners to make water efficient choices.”

GreenHome Institute Endorses WERS Program, Incorporates Into GreenStar!

GHI logo

November 30, 2015 – Water is essential to life, so it’s no surprise that water scarcity garners headlines, especially in the western third of the United States. Yet supply isn’t the only reason to use water in a more efficient manner. Communities that are looking to grow are also interested in lessening the burden on their infrastructure; even more so if it’s starting to show signs of wear.

What can builders and their communities do to assess their water efficient choices? Enter the Water Efficiency Rating Score, or WERS (www.wers.us). It is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water efficiency and water resource management. The WERS is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste, and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater and greywater catchment are also calculated. Applicable for both new and existing single-family and multifamily residential properties, it uses a scoring scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desirable and 100 representing the baseline home.

The GreenHome Institute (GHI) has decided to take a leadership position within the building industry by endorsing the WERS program. This decision comes after months of discussion, scrutiny and testing. “In the Midwest where we do most of our work, we are surrounded by the Great Lakes and water efficiency is a tough sell. That’s what makes our work even more important. Water conservation is needed to help protect our lakes,” said Brett Little, Executive Director of GHI.

GHI is also starting the process of implementing the WERS program as the water criteria for GreenStar, their residential green building program available nationwide.  Projects that achieve certain WERS levels will obtain a majority of their water points for various certification levels. “Home energy scores and models are now becoming the norm. Why not water next? It just makes sense. You can’t manage what you don’t measure and you easily weed out most waste through informed design,” stated Little.

“The GreenHome Institute has been interested in the WERS program for nearly a year. They have been just as eager as we have to get this first-of-its-kind water efficiency program into the market”, said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “Having GreenStar incorporate WERS as its water criteria allows GreenStar builders to remain innovators, and further expand their sustainable construction practices.”

GHI offers bi-weekly webinars that focus on many unique topics to help professionals make more informed decisions in sustainable construction & renovation. On December 2nd, they will host a free, 1-hour, CEU-approved (GBCI, AIA(HSW), AIBD, GCP, etc.) course that will introduce professionals, policy makers and raters to the importance of water conservation and how to navigate the pilot WERS tool to use it on their next project. Check out the Greenhomeinstitute.org – Events page and sign up now as space is limited!

About GreenHome Institute
The GreenHome Institute is a non-profit with a mission to empower people to make healthier and more sustainable choices in the renovation and construction of the places we live. GHI is celebrating their 15th year in 2015 with over 15,000 trained professionals and over 6,000 certified green homes. For more, visit www.GreenHomeInstitute.org.

About Green Builder® Coalition
The Green Builder® Coalition is the program sponsor for the WERS program. On a broader scale, The Coalition is a not-for-profit association dedicated to amplifying the voice of green builders and professionals to drive advocacy, information and education for more sustainable home building practices. We are an action-oriented community of green builders and professionals dedicated to uniting and growing our joint expertise, values and voice to create stronger standards for sustainable, more environmentally responsible home building. For more information, visit www.greenbuildercoalition.org.

 

Upcoming Conference Sessions

If you’re planning on attending any of the following industry conferences, you’ll get a special opportunity to learn more about the WERS program.

ARCSA (Long Beach, CA) – Monday, November 9 at 10:00am
ABX (Boston) – Wednesday, November 18 at 1:30pm
AWRA National (Denver) – Thursday, November 19 at 10:00am
AWRA’s Sustainable Water Management Conf. 2016 (Providence, RI) – Tuesday, March 8 at 10:30am

(All times local)