Flow-Know® Becomes Third Company to Join WERS – Manufacturer Program

Gray Line Systems, maker of the Flow-Know® brand of irrigation controllers and flow sensors, is the latest manufacturer to join the WERS – Manufacturer Program.

Flow-Know® will offer a 20% discount on all the products in their online store. “Compared to indoor water use, irrigation is the larger consumer of water,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “Now that property owners can see exactly how much water is being used, they can make efficiency adjustments much sooner.”

The Flow-Know® sprinkler controller is programmed with an iPhone over the Internet. The controller is compatible with all sprinkler systems that utilize 24VAC valves. With support for 2 flow sensors, the Flow-Know® allows a property or building owner to use their iPhone to track both household/business water usage, as well as the landscape water usage, before a surprisingly high water bill arrives.

Joe Bangs, the developer of the Flow-Know technology, is frequently heard saying, “Our water utilities do a great job delivering water to our homes and businesses, but as consumers, we need on-demand, real-time consumption data to effectively manage (and improve) our water use habits. Our phones are an integral part of our lives, so it just makes sense to access our data with just a few taps in the Flow-Know app.”

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.

About Flow-Know®
Gray Line Systems is a technology development and manufacturing company based in San Antonio, Texas. The goal of the Flow-Know® product family is to produce water usage data that helps consumers conserve water and save money. To learn more, please contact Joe Bangs.

WERS Educational Sessions at Industry Conferences

Here is the list of upcoming WERS educational sessions:

  • Getting to Zero National Forum – 4:00pm on April 18, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2018 Home Performance Coalition National Conference
    • Energy Codes from 2009 to 2018: A Multi-State Look at Compliance Verification Service Opportunities – 10:30am on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA
    • Water Ratings in Santa Fe: A Look Back at Year 1 – 1:30pm on April 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA
  • Next Generation Water Summit
    • WERS: Train the Trainer – 9:00am on April 29, 2018 in Santa Fe, NM
    • WERS Workshop for Builders, Developers and Designers – 3:00pm on April 29, 2018 in Santa Fe, NM
  • American Water Works Association Annual Conference & Expo (ACE) – 8:30am on June 13, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV

Next Generation Water Summit Workshops Offered at Santa Fe Community College

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) announced its partnership with the 2018 Next Generation Water Summit. As the education partner for the Summit, SFCC will host several water education workshops before and after the Summit, scheduled April 29 through May 1 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

The workshops include: Greywater Basics, Rainwater Accredited Professional (ARCSA AP) Class, Water Efficiency Rating Score and Commercial Water Auditing, among others. This is the first time several of these courses will be presented in New Mexico and are open to professionals and students. All courses will be held at Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Ave. For detailed information about the courses and to register, visit: https://www.energysmartacademy.com/water.html or call 505-428-1866. Information about the 2018 Next Generation Water Summit can be found at: www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com.

“It’s a privilege to partner with the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, Green Builder® Coalition, the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association and the City of Santa Fe by serving as the education partner for the Summit,” said Interim President Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Ph.D.  “We are excited to offer these valuable and innovative water workshops, which complement the college’s already strong technology and building science offerings.”

  • The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® Verifier course, April 25 through 27, provides in-depth and practical experience in performing residential water assessments for new and existing homes. This class is required to become a WERS Verifier. The WERS Consultant course, April 25 and 26, is also being offered and plumbers, builders, irrigation professionals and water reuse professionals are eligible to attend this professional designation course.
  • Greywater Basics, April 26 and 27, will cover how to build and maintain a Greywater system and includes a field trip to view working systems.
  • The Rainwater Accredited Professional (ARCSA AP) Class, May 2 and 3, is an in-depth rainwater harvesting workshop required for those seeking a better understanding of rainwater catchment systems. The course tuition includes an ARCSA Rain Harvesting Planning Manual.
  • Commercial Water Auditing, May 2 and 3, will cover the basics of performing a commercial water audit for many type of facilities. A sample audit will be performed as part of the class.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit will be the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, Green Builder® Coalition, City of Santa Fe, the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

The Next Generation Water Summit brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and water reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the southwest.

About Santa Fe Community College

For more than 30 years, Santa Fe Community College has been the gateway to success for individuals and the community by providing affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. SFCC is designated a ”Best for Vets” and a “2015 Military Friendly” school. The college serves more than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult programs. For further information, visit sfcc.edu or call 505-428-1000. Follow us:  SFCC on Facebook, SFCC on Twitter, SFCC on LinkedIn.

WERS Consultant Designation Created

A new designation has been created that better serves those who want a deeper understanding of water ratings, but don’t necessarily want to become an in-the-field verifier or rater. A WERS Consultant would attend a course that has much of the same information as the WERS Verifier course, but would not include the field training or exam. The curriculum reduction means that the entire WERS Consultant course would only take 2 days to complete.

“We think this is an ideal opportunity for builders, architects and designers to learn more about a performance-based water efficiency program that can be very beneficial to their business,” said Mike Collignon, Chair of the WERS Development Group. “In addition to information about the WERS Tool, students will also be exposed to a wealth of technical material and information on relevant industry standards.”

The WERS Consultant designation would require CEUs in order to retain the moniker, but those requirements will be nominal and many will be low-to-no cost. “We’re responding to a market need with this new designation,” Collignon continued. “We’re not trying to overburden people with CEU requirements. Instead, the CEUs simply ensure that the Consultants stay current with us as we continue to learn about the many nuances across this great country. It also keeps an open dialogue with the WERS community, which is something we really value.”

The first opportunity to take this course will be in late October at the Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, NM. The nature of the WERS Consultant course also makes it easier to offer online, and those details are currently being addressed by the WERS Development Group.

Green Builder® Coalition Selects Triconic to Expand WERS Program

The Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) recently announced their sponsorship of a new Certified Ratings Program; offering single-family homebuilders access to independent energy and water ratings based on Florida’s Energy Code and Water Star℠ owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District. For the Program, Triconic created a partnership between Water Star℠, the FHBA, UL and Intertek. The partnership gives home builders a program to get energy and water ratings from the same professionals.

The Green Builder® Coalition has also selected Triconic to administer the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® and therefore is taking steps to further its support of Water Star℠ objectives and offer certified WERS ratings. WERS provides a performance-based water efficiency rating and complements the prescriptive-based Water Star℠ Program.

“Builders love the flexibility, and with WERS, they’ll have the choice of a prescriptive water rating through Florida Water Star℠, or a performance-based water rating with WERS,” said Green Builder® Coalition and WERS Development Group Chair Mike Collignon.

“The Certified Ratings Program is the first to establish itself among state home builder associations, but with the support and scale of UL and Intertek, it is anticipated that other states will push expansion of similar programs beyond Florida starting late in 2017 and into 2018”, says Darrell Lehman, President of Triconic. Lehman continues, “There is such tremendous support for comprehensive energy and water rating options. So Triconic will continue fostering partnerships to bring builders more options like bringing WERS to Florida.”

Kim Shanahan, Coalition Board Chair, agreed. “The partnership Triconic assembled sets an exciting precedent that can and should be replicated with HBAs across the nation that seek to provide performance-based choices for rating energy and water usage in homes built by their members. The Green Builder® Coalition is eager to assist Triconic as it expands its outreach to other state HBAs.”

“This is a partnership we’ve been working on for quite some time,” said Collignon. “We always knew we would need assistance meeting demand from across the country. With the partners involved, we can take a program that originated in Santa Fe, NM and elevate it to the national (and potentially international) stage. The Coalition’s Board of Directors and the WERS Development Group are excited for the expansion of WERS.”

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About the St. Johns River Water Management District & Florida Water Star SM
St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the district and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The district encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville and Palm Bay. Connect with us on Twitter at @SJRWMD, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For more information about the district, please visit www.sjrwmd.com.

About Triconic
Triconic designs, builds and operates certification programs for certification program sponsors. Triconic’s team has decades of experience in the Testing Inspection Certification (TIC) industry and can adapt a program to any certification area. Triconic provides a user-friendly certification experience, complete with software based certification tools, so clients can obtain their certifications quickly and easily. To learn more, please visit www.triconic.com.

About Intertek
Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Through our network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 42,000 people in more than 100 countries, the Group is re-defining the industry with our Total Quality Assurance proposition. We go beyond physical quality control to provide total peace of mind through our innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for our customers’ operations and supply chains. Intertek Total Quality Assurance expertise, delivered consistently, with precision, pace and passion, enabling our customers to power ahead safely. www.intertek.com

About UL
UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. We test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. To learn more, please visit ul.com.

About Green Builder® Coalition
The Green Builder® Coalition is the program sponsor for the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)®. 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.

LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home Gets an Assist From WERS

There are net-zero energy homes, and then there are homes that go even further. The following project made sure it went a step beyond.

LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home in MN (Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer)
LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home in MN (Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer)

The homeowners wanted to build a home in the Minneapolis area that produced as much energy as both the house and their cars used over the span of a year. They hired Marc Sloot of SALA Architects and Kerry Hage of Hage Homes to lead the design and construction Design team. For best value and to ensure production from the solar panels could at least match consumption, they sought ways to reduce consumption as much as possible first. Thick insulation, passive solar tempering with triple pane windows, geothermal heat pumps, a high efficiency fresh air exchanger and ENERGY STAR-rated lights and appliances were all employed in the process.

This house was about more than just energy, though. The homeowners also gave preference to companies/manufacturers that used recycled content in their products, used renewable energy for their manufacturing and/or transportation and produced products without using toxic or harmful components such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home in MN (Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer)
LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home in MN (Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer)

They also took a sustainable approach to their water usage. Interestingly, their motivation was not due to supply concerns. Instead, they wanted to reduce their total energy footprint, which included the energy devoted to water. Indoors, this meant utilizing low-flow fixtures in the showers and bathroom sinks. On the exterior, drought-tolerant turfgrass, in addition to xeriscape techniques, will greatly minimize the outdoor water demands. This property also contains 4 rain gardens that will be fed by either onsite rainfall or stormwater runoff from the street channeled onto the property via curb cuts. Finally, the project has four, fifty-gallon rain barrels. 200 gallons might not seem like a lot of capacity, but the landscaping is designed to require no more than average rainfall, and Minneapolis receives approximately 2.5 feet of rain per year.

LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home in MN (Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer)
LEED Platinum & GreenStar Gold Home in MN (Photo courtesy of Corey Gaffer)

“One of the reasons this project has scored Platinum in LEED v4 is the dedication to water reduction. While LEED for Homes pulls from the EPA WaterSense tool for outdoors and uses the LEED water performance spreadsheet for indoors, there is no uniform, agreed-upon tool to track or predict stormwater, rain water, black water or greywater use,” commented Brett Little, Executive Director for the Green Home Institute. “We were excited to use the WERS tool as a way to measure more accurately the rain barrel catchment for this project, which could be used to populate the rain/grey water section in the LEED Water Performance Pathway. Moreover, the WERS could theoretically be used to meet all of the water performance items asked for in LEED through 1 tool, rather than relying on 2 or 3 different tools which always allows for more error. We recommend contacting the USGBC to voice your opinion if you want to see WERS adopted as a substitute.”

“The great thing about building a comprehensive tool like WERS is that people can use it for a variety of purposes,” said Mike Collignon, Chair of the WERS Development Group. “We believe this precedent shows WERS can lend assistance to LEED projects and, hopefully, will open the door to its expanded usage within the LEED process.”

You can see this fascinating project by registering for the Green Home Institute’s Facebook Live tour, which is going on now. The coverage for this project is scheduled to air on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 12:00pm CT.

WERS Program in the News

The Next Generation Water Summit garnered a lot of media coverage in New Mexico. Here is a rundown of the radio interviews, as well as a recap of the event from the Green Fire Times:

KVSF The Voice 101.5 FM – May 25, 2017 – Richard Eeds interviews Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition and Co-Chair of the Next Generation Water Summit: https://santafe.com/thevoice/podcasts/mike-collignon-green-builder-coalition-next-generation-water-summit

KSFR News 101.1 FM – June 2, 2017 – Katherine Mast interviews Collignon: http://traffic.libsyn.com/ksfrnews/km-watersummit.mp3

KSFR News 101.1 FM – June 14, 2017 – Katherine Mast interviews Collignon: http://traffic.libsyn.com/ksfrnews/km-postwatersummit.mp3

“Report on the First Annual Next Generation Water Summit” by Nancy Grace of the Green Fire Times. July 6, 2017. http://greenfiretimes.com/2017/07/report-on-the-first-annual-next-generation-water-summit/

2017 Next Generation Water Summit Recap

Katherine Mortimer and Kim Shanahan present a panel session on Sunday, June 4, 2017
Katherine Mortimer and Kim Shanahan present a panel session on Sunday, June 4, 2017

For a first-time event, the inaugural Next Generation Water Summit was considered by many to be a huge success. A total of 138 people registered for the event, which took place over the course of 3 days in early June at the Santa Fe Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM.

 

Ed Mazria pulls no punches as he delivers the Monday keynote address
Ed Mazria pulls no punches as he delivers the Monday keynote address

Attendees could choose from 39 sessions, many of which were grouped into one of three tracks: Builders, Developers & Architects; Water Professionals; and Policy. Topics ranged from rainwater, greywater, blackwater, stormwater, water rights, irrigation, water efficiency, building codes, land use and leak detection. The first day of the event was a Sunday, and was free for anyone to attend. 12 sessions were offered, in addition to the myriad of exhibitor booths one could visit in the Green Expo, hosted by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce. On Monday, Ed Mazria delivered a rousing keynote that had attendee Michelle Maddaus saying, “That was the best keynote I have ever seen, and I have seen a ton of keynotes over the years! Everyone kept talking about it, too.” Not to be outdone, Mary Ann Dickinson gave an excellent keynote on Tuesday morning, getting everyone focused on solutions for the challenges ahead.

Justin Lyon shares his knowledge on commercial water budgeting on Monday, June 5, 2017
Justin Lyon shares his knowledge on commercial water budgeting on Monday, June 5, 2017

The attendees represented 8 states plus the District of Columbia, and all 4 mainland United States time zones. “We’ve set a good foundation for next year’s Summit,” said Mike Collignon, Co-Chair of the Next Generation Water Summit. “While we’ll look to increase attendance, we’re proud of our first-year numbers. Many attendees enjoyed the intimate nature of the Summit, pointing out that it helped foster in-depth conversations.”

Christine Chavez, Neal Shapiro and Regina Hirsch head up a panel session on Monday, June 5, 2017.
Christine Chavez, Neal Shapiro and Regina Hirsch head up a panel session on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Hosts of the event were the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce (lead host), Green Builder® Coalition, City of Santa Fe, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Santa Fe Community College was the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media was the national media partner.

Sandra Ely spoke about the Aamodt Settlement on Sunday, June 4, 2017
Sandra Ely spoke about the Aamodt Settlement on Sunday, June 4, 2017

Vulcan, Inc. was a Sustaining Sponsor; Uponor, Evolve Technologies and Aquamate were the Educational Track Sponsors; Horizons Sustainable Financial Services was the Mayor’s Reception sponsor; Niagara Conservation was the Keynote Sponsor; Santa Fe County was the Networking Tables Sponsor and Environmental Services was the Bag Sponsor.

WERS Program Featured on Green Gab Podcast

Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition and Chair of the WERS Development Group, sat down with Marla and Tony, co-hosts of the Green Gab podcast, a few months ago to discuss water efficiency. While they covered topics like drought, desalination and shrinking aquifers, they also discussed solutions like rainwater harvesting, ultra-high efficiency toilets and the importance of measurement with programs like WERS.

To listen to the recently released 42-minute podcast, please click here and enjoy it during your commute or workout.