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Net Zero Water / Onsite Water Treatment

Water is a precious resource. We can’t thrive, let alone survive for long without it. Considering that two thirds of the planet’s surface is covered with water, it can be surprising to learn that freshwater – the stuff we can drink – is a rare commodity. Yet, despite its importance and scarcity we still design and build systems as though the spigot of potable water could never run dry.

Green building programs like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system are acknowledging water’s importance by encouraging its responsible use, treatment and reuse. LEED projects can earn credits by implementing voluntary water efficiency measures. The Living Building Challenge (LBC) takes it a large step further by mandating measures considered essential to truly sustainable or even regenerative design.

The Living Building Challenge is managed by Cascadia Green Building Council, the Pacific Northwest regional branch of the U.S. Green Building Council. Since its announcement in 2007, interest has been strong among leading sustainable developers and design firms with over a hundred projects already registered.

The Living Building Challenge has two ambitious requirements for how projects address water:

Prerequisite Ten – Net Zero Water42
100 percent of occupants’ water use43 must come from captured precipitation or closed loop water systems that account for downstream ecosystem impacts and that are appropriately purified without the use of chemicals44.

Prerequisite Eleven – Sustainable Water Discharge
One hundred percent of storm water and building water discharge must be managed45 on-site and integrated into a comprehensive system to feed the project’s demands.

These two requirements are arguably the most challenging issues for Living Building Challenge projects to address. Whole Water’s experience with decentralized water treatment and reuse, constructed wetland technology and holistic water design, make them ideal partners developers and designers planning Living Building Challenge projects.

*Select LBC powerpoint slides42 43 44 45

Living Building Challenge News:
"Bainbridge Island Creates Incentive for the Living Building Challenge"


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