EPA Releases Final Single-Family WaterSense Specs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its final WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification, the first national, voluntary specification for water-efficient new homes.
The program is designed to complement the National Green Building Standard and other national rating systems, including Energy Star. The standard was written to include WaterSense-rated products, such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, when earning points in the water-efficiency section.
“We’re glad the EPA solicited comments from the home building industry in the creation of this program; it’s clear that the input was given due consideration. Such a collaborative effort will help to ensure more home builders will choose to incorporate the WaterSense program into their business models,” said Kevin Morrow, NAHB’s green building senior program manager.
“NAHB emphasized the importance of working with existing, credible rating systems such as the standard and the EPA has put together a program it feels will work well with other green building programs” he said. “Builders who use both programs in the field will be able to tell us if that is indeed the case.”
“Home builders can now partner with the EPA and earn the WaterSense label for their newly built homes, helping to create livable communities and quality homes that are easy to maintain,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.
By investing in WaterSense-labeled homes, American home buyers can reduce their water usage by more than 10,000 gallons per year — enough to fill a backyard swimming pool — and save enough energy annually to power a television for four years, the EPA said in a press release announcing the program.
WaterSense-labeled new homes are built to be 20% more efficient than typical new homes, and must be independently inspected and certified. The roles and responsibilities of all applicable parties are defined in more detail in the final specification.
This specification is applicable to newly constructed single-family homes and townhomes of three stories or less. See the WaterSense Labeled New Homes Fact Sheet for more information.
Builders must sign a partnership agreement with the EPA and have their homes independently inspected and certified by a licensed certification provider.
For more information, see the Single-Family New Home Specification Background Information page at the EPA Web site.