Issue VI, Summer 2015:

•	Technical Corner: Gut Rehabs and the WaterSense Label

•	New Infographic: The Benefits of a WaterSense Labeled Home

•	In the News

•	Calendar of Events



ummer is here—and so is your new issue of the WaterSense Blueprint!

You already know that new homes can earn the WaterSense label. But did you know that gut rehabs can, too? By meeting all
the criteria in the WaterSense New Home Specification, builders and remodelers can make sure a home is both high-
performing and high-efficiency. Read more to learn how.

In this issue, we've included a new infographic that shows the benefits of a WaterSense labeled home. Use it in social media
or materials to educate your customers on the value of the WaterSense label!

We also have a section highlighting news about WaterSense and trends and issues that are affecting the green building
industry. Finally, our calendar of events lists items of interest for WaterSense partners and stakeholders.

As a reminder, we want the Blueprint to cover the topics you're most interested in, so please don't hesitate to let us know
what future topics you'd like us to address. Email those and other comments to


You might already know that new homes can earn the WaterSense label, but did you know that existing homes that undergo
a gut rehab can also earn the WaterSense label?

When remodeling, many homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes as efficient, comfortable, and convenient as
possible. Following the steps required in the WaterSense New Home Specification can help make homes at least 20 percent
more efficient. In fact, compared to a typical home, a WaterSense labeled home can save a family of four 50,000 gallons of
water a year or more! That's enough to wash 2,000 loads of laundry and could amount to utility bill savings of up to $600 each

To be clear, the remodeling we're referring to isn't just a kitchen or a single bathroom remodel. In order to earn the
WaterSense label, you'll typically have to make substantial changes to a home's plumbing system in addition to updating
most water-using products, including the landscape. Less extensive renovation projects can still make use of WaterSense
labeled products that are third-party certified for efficiency and performance. But for those looking for the full water
efficiency package, the WaterSense label for the whole home is the way to go!

phone (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) website ™A|L	SEPA

Summer 2015

The WaterSense Blueprint

As with any new single- and multi-family construction, a WaterSense labeled rehab project needs to meet all the criteria listed
in the WaterSense New Home Specification to earn the label, including installing WaterSense labeled fixtures, an efficient
hot water distribution system, and meeting the specification's outdoor water use requirements.

There are some unique challenges in labeling a rehab project that don't exist with new construction. Below, we've
highlighted some of the biggest considerations when renovating a home to earn the WaterSense label.

Delivering Hot Water Faster

When hot water moves through pipes that take circuitous routes, have a larger diameter than is necessary, or have
excessively long runs, the plumbing system wastes both energy and water. It wastes energy because the water that was once
hot is allowed to cool, and it wastes water because water goes down the drain while users wait for hot water to arrive. To
address this problem, WaterSense allows for a maximum of 0.5 gallons of water to be stored between the source of hot water
(which is typically the water heater) and the furthest fixture from it. This ensures that the hot water distribution systems in
WaterSense labeled homes are both energy- and water-efficient, not to mention more convenient with less wait time for

In new construction, designing and installing efficient hot water distribution systems can be a challenge, but at least you're
starting with a clean slate. In a retrofit, you might be dealing with a plumbing system that's completely inaccessible (behind
walls, under slab, etc.). In rehab projects, builders and remodelers will often have the plumbing exposed and can rework runs
as necessary. But less extensive renovations will require troubleshooting to ensure the distribution systems meet the
WaterSense criteria. Often times plumbing can be reworked through attics, basements, or other accessible areas. In these
instances, it's best to keep piping inside the house's thermal envelope. It's also possible in some instances to retrofit an on-
demand recirculation system (by installing a new return line or by using the cold water lines as the return) that gives
residents the convenience of hot water at the touch of a button. Wireless motion sensors and push buttons allow for even
greater flexibility and minimize the need for complicated wiring.

It's important to work with a qualified plumber who understands the options. WaterSense has created a Guide for Efficient
Hot Water Delivery Systems to help builders, remodelers, and plumbers better understand and implement efficient
plumbing system designs that save water, energy, and time waiting for hot water.

Rehabs and the Inspection and Certification Process

Another area where rehab projects receiving the WaterSense label deserve some special consideration is during the
inspection and certification process. With new construction, the inspection timing is fairly well-defined, since it must take
place after construction has been completed and with utilities turned on but before the house is occupied. With rehab
projects, there's not always such a cut-and-dry window, so it's important to work with the inspector to maintain clear
communication regarding schedules.

A couple of things to keep in mind are:

•	The inspector will need the utilities (water, electric, and gas if using a natural gas water heater) on in order to
conduct the inspection.

•	The plumbing system will have to be "cold." This usually means that the plumbing can't have been used for several
hours prior to when the inspection is going to occur.

•	Many WaterSense licensed certification providers have their own policies regarding what they will and will not label
and when a renovation is substantial enough to earn the label. So again, it's important to coordinate with the
inspector and/or provider and have a clear plan in place for inspection and certification.

To learn more about how to earn the WaterSense label for either a new home or rehab, review the WaterSense New Home
Specification and background materials on the program website.

phone (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) website ™A|L	AEPA

Summer 2015

The WaterSense Blueprint


WaterSense labeled homes aren't just efficient—they are also high-
performing, allowing homeowners to do more with less! Use this
infographic on websites and via social media to illustrate for your
customers the benefits of a WaterSense labeled home.

Note that this infographic is on the password-protected WaterSense
partners' website. If you need the username and password, please email
the WaterSense Helpline. Not a partner? Joining is easy—fill out a
partnership agreement and become a partner.


WaterSense News

•	April 24, 2015, The Daily Courier, Why Hot Water Recirculation Systems Save Money, Water and Energy

•	April 22, 2015, The Hutchinson News, Go with a Pro to be Sprinkler Savvy

•	April 16, 2015, Los Angeles Times, Five Ways to Save Water in Your House Right Now

•	April 15, 2015, East Bay Express, Get Creative about Conserving Water

•	April 8, 2015, Consumer Reports, Use Less Water without Sacrificing Function or Flow

•	April 7, 2015, U.S. News and World Report, Smart Ways to Trim Your Water Bill This Spring

Trends and Issues Affecting Green Building

•	April 13, 2015, Contractor Mag, RESNET to Develop National Residential Water Efficiency Rating System

•	March 17, 2015, Environmental Leader, Efficiency Rating System Scores Water Use in New Homes


July 31, 2015: Q2 2015 WaterSense Quarterly Reporting Deadline

Make sure your licensed certification providers report to WaterSense on any of your homes that earned the WaterSense label
during the second quarter (Q2) of 2015. The Q2 2015 reporting deadline is Friday, July 31. Visit the WaterSense partner
website to learn more.

October 6-8, 2015: EEBA Excellence in Building Conference & Expo

This year's Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) Excellence in Building Conference and Expo, which provides an
opportunity for stakeholders to learn about the latest in responsible and sustainable building design technology, will take
place in Denver, Colorado. There will be a session on WaterSense and the building water efficiency solutions it offers on the
second day. Visit the EEBA website to register and learn more.

October 7-9, 2015: WSI Conference

It's never too early to start thinking about the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition. Now in its eighth
year, the conference will once again be held at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

phone (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) website ™A|L	SEPA

Summer 2015

WaterSense® labeled homes are
designed to use less water!

Efficient distribution systems
gel hot water to the tap fast
so you save more time,
water and energy


fixtures ensure

efficiency and

landscapes are
and save water


www.epa .gov/watersens