Here is the list of upcoming WERS conference sessions:
- 2017 WaterSmart Innovations – October 4-6, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV – 2 sessions (dates & times TBD)
Here is the list of upcoming WERS conference sessions:
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/
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Beginning on March 1, 2017, the City of Santa Fe will require all new single-family residential projects to provide a preliminary Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® of 70 or less when applying for a permit. The same project will then need to supply a final WERS of 70 or less in order to receive a certificate of occupancy.
“This is a landmark decision by the City of Santa Fe, as no other jurisdiction has ever adopted a performance-based water efficiency requirement”, stated Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “With the support of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, the Water Conservation Committee and others, the City was able to craft and implement a forward-thinking policy that preserves design freedom and product choice, while ensuring the City moves in a water-efficient direction.”
In order to help the City execute this initiative, local building analysts are stepping up. Steve Vollstedt of HERS-NM, LLC attended the inaugural WERS Verifier course in March 2016. After passing the written and field exams, and performing his probationary verifications, he became the first accredited WERS Verifier.
Vollstedt is no stranger to a jobsite. He has conducted hundreds of HERS ratings and has reviewed over 1,000 certification submissions on behalf of the Build Green New Mexico program. Vollstedt is also a National Green Building Standard-accredited Green Verifier. When the opportunity to add water analysis presented itself, he felt it was a service offering that would be vital to his community. “Water conservation and efficiency is arguably more critical to our environment than energy efficiency”, Vollstedt asserted. “We can create electrical energy with cost-effective, clean energy-producing systems, such as photovoltaics and wind generators. There is no practical or cost-effective way to produce or replace water resources that we are rapidly depleting and polluting.”
Vollstedt is the first in a line of WERS Verifiers ready to assist the City. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature more Santa Fe building professionals working to ensure the sustainability of their City.
The Green Builder® Coalition has signed a 2-year agreement with the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) on the promotion of sustainable groundwater practices through the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) program.
NGWA’s mission is to advance groundwater knowledge and the success of their members through education and outreach; advocacy; cooperation and information exchange; and enhancement of professional practices.
Kevin McCray, CEO of the NGWA, said, “NGWA seeks partners to help us explain the importance of the resource and the things we each can do to use the resource wisely, including among our homes, our farms, and in industry. We are excited to partner with The Green Builder® Coalition to provide promotional assistance on the benefits of sustainable groundwater practices as a way to further water efficiency.”
“One of the big themes of the WERS Program is to utilize the water that falls on the site. For rural homeowners, this is vitally important,” said Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “It makes a lot of sense for us to partner with NGWA, since both organizations have a message that is relevant to a variety of audiences, from individual well owners to municipal planners.”
The agreement calls for support of “Protect Your Groundwater Day”, as well as cross-promotion of NGWA and WERS events to members of NGWA and The Coalition. There will also be a session on WERS at National Groundwater Week, December 6-8, 2016 in Las Vegas.
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. The first WERS Verifier training course was held in March 2016, with more coming throughout 2016.
March 3, 2016 – Santa Fe Community College’s EnergySmart Academy has announced that the inaugural WERS training course, scheduled for March 8-10, has reached capacity. In fact, there are currently two students on the waitlist. Seeing this demand, SFCC anticipates another WERS training course later in 2016.
“Santa Fe Community College is delighted that our first WERS class has had so much interest, not just from Santa Fe but around the state and nation,” said Amanda Hatherly, Director of the EnergySmart Academy.
“We figured interest in the WERS class would be strong in New Mexico, where WERS is cited in the compliance rules for the state’s extremely popular sustainable building tax credit,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “Interestingly, one-third of the class attendees are from outside the state.”
Discussions are already underway to hold WERS training courses in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. “We believe there is a pent-up demand for water efficiency across the country, but it’s hard to know where to start if there are no benchmarks”, Collignon added. “The WERS program provides a snapshot of where we are, so we can better formulate a path to increased water efficiency.”
In addition to a soon-to-be-released online course component offered by SFCC, The Coalition will continue to work with SFCC and other educational partners to expand the number of in-person training opportunities across the United States. To request more information on an in-person course at SFCC, please contact Amanda Hatherly at 505-428-1805 or Amanda.email@example.com.
About EnergySmart Academy
The EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College is a nationally recognized training center specializing in energy efficiency, green building and sustainable technology trainings. As well as offering Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accredited clean energy programs, Building Performance Institute (BPI) and RESNET trainings, staff have been involved in the development of the WERS protocol and now are offering the first WERS training courses in the country. For more, visit www.sfcc.edu/nm_energysmart_academy.
February 24, 2016 – Since 2009, the state of New Mexico has offered a sustainable building tax credit to its builders. It has been a strong driver of sustainable homebuilding throughout the state. The program, operated by Build Green New Mexico, is both very popular and lucrative, with a maximum tax credit of $13,000 per house. So it was no surprise that the program ran out of money well ahead of schedule. When the state legislature was asked to extend the tax credit, state politicians stipulated that the water efficiency requirement be increased.
Starting on January 1, 2017, an “owner of a building in New Mexico that has been constructed, renovated or manufactured to be a sustainable residential building and that receives certification… may receive a certificate of eligibility for a new sustainable building tax credit”. When the owner files their documentation, they will be allowed to attach a WERS report to show compliance with the new water efficiency requirement. The WERS program joins Build Green New Mexico and LEED for Homes as compliance paths for water.
Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, was a big proponent of WERS’ inclusion in the tax credit extension. “The original language in the legislation simply said a new home had to meet EPA WaterSense. But WaterSense only measures products and only few products at that. We knew we needed something that could account for all water usage, no matter the product labeling, and for both inside and outside the house. The WERS tool does exactly that,” Shanahan explained.
“The state’s decision to include the WERS program is a testament to how comprehensive and robust WERS is, and it really legitimizes the 2+ years of work the development group has put into WERS” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “We look forward to supporting all New Mexican homebuilders who choose to utilize this compliance path.” The inaugural WERS training course will take place March 8-10 at the Santa Fe Community College. To enroll in the class, please contact Amanda Hatherly.
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 local building permit.
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.