Water Conservation Techniques for Commercial Buildings

02 July 2024

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need to prioritise sustainability, businesses must look for ways to reduce their environmental impact. By adopting advanced water-saving technologies and practices, commercial buildings can enhance their sustainability, ensure regulatory compliance, and contribute positively to global efforts in preserving this precious resource.

Commercial buildings like hotels, offices, malls, and airports, use vast amounts of water on a daily basis. A necessity to operate their many systems, water is used in washrooms, plumbing networks, kitchens, landscaping and more.

Such excessive water consumption not only leads to substantial operational costs, but also places a significant strain on local water resources. With a range of factors already threatening our precious water supplies, the industry needs to adopt sustainable water conservation practices as a matter of urgency.

Smart water solutions

Smart water management offers the commercial sector a wide range of simple, scalable solutions to ensure reduced water usage. By implementing innovative strategies and advanced technology, businesses can reduce their water needs, minimize waste, enhance efficiencies, and drive sustainability. In this article, we take a look at 7 innovative ways that commercial spaces can drastically reduce water consumption and mitigate future environmental impact.

1. Analyse water use with a commercial water audit

A comprehensive commercial water audit is the first step towards effective water conservation. Despite water being such an expensive commodity, many businesses know very little about when, where and how they are using it. They may also be unaware of just how much is being wasted on a daily basis.

Water audits allow businesses to review water consumption across all outlets. They can flag areas with particularly high use, measure inefficiencies, and detect leaks. With a comprehensive overview of usage, they allow FM teams to make informed choices on the most effective strategies and solutions needed to meet their needs. They also provide businesses with a baseline against which they can measure improvements and highlight areas where investment in water-saving solutions would be most effective.

2. Adopt Smart water management solutions

Smart water management solutions allow businesses to significantly enhance water efficiency and control over consumption. IoT and smart metering devices track water usage and patterns in real-time, providing FM teams with detailed insights and automated water usage reports. The solution sends alerts immediately if any abnormal levels of water use are detected, enabling quick action to minimise waste and avoid costly future repairs.

3. Update plumbing and fixtures

Modernizing plumbing and fixtures is essential for reducing water waste. Simple, retrofit upgrades, such as low-flow faucets and aerated taps, reduce water use without compromising performance. Modern appliances are also less likely to encounter problems, mitigating costly maintenance, the risk of leaks and other inefficiencies.

4. Adopt waterless innovations

Waterless innovations, such as waterless urinals, can eliminate water waste completely in commercial spaces. By removing the need for urinal flushing – one of the worst offenders when it comes to excessive water consumption – waterless urinals make a significant impact on the water consumption rates of commercial restrooms.

In addition to cutting water use and helping businesses achieve water conservation goals, waterless urinals reduce odours, improve hygiene and boost user experience. With no flush mechanism, they also require less maintenance and have minimal operational costs. 

5. Add sensors to taps and other fixtures

Installing sensors on taps and other fixtures can drastically reduce water waste by ensuring that water only flows when needed. Motion-activated faucets minimize the risk of taps being left running unintentionally, lowering utility bills and enhancing user convenience. They also improve hygiene by promoting touchless operations.

6. Detect leaks

Leak detection is a crucial part of water conservation. Leaks can happen just about anywhere within a commercial space, but they are often difficult to locate. If they aren’t detected and dealt with quickly, they can cause significant damage, be costly to repair, and waste vast amounts of water.

Implementing regular inspections, monitoring water consumption for unexpected increases, and using advanced leak detection systems can help identify and address leaks promptly, avoiding expensive problems in the future.

7. Educate building users

Education around water conservation practices is one of the most important factors in making a long-term difference. By providing everyone who occupies a commercials space, from FM and cleaning teams to occupants and visitors, with information and training on efficient water use, everyone can adopt more sustainable behaviours.  

Time for action

Implementing Smart water conservation techniques can significantly enhance water efficiency in commercial buildings. Simple solutions and innovative technology are key to helping businesses eliminate water waste, reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies.

These small changes today represent a significant step towards a more water-efficient and sustainable future.

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