Waterwise East launches The Water Calculator to make water efficiency requirements easier to meet

Posted: Tuesday 5th October 2010

Waterwise East has launched www.thewatercalculator.org.uk which is designed to make it easier for developers and builders to meet the new water-efficiency requirements of Part G of the Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes. This calculator was designed and developed by Waterwise East in association with the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. The Water Calculator is the first of its kind and includes water-consumption information so that builders and developers can simply select from a drop-down menu of products and appliances to calculate the water consumption of a property.

Clare Watters, Waterwise East Co-ordinator explains “The Water Calculator allows users to select products from drop-down menus and auto-completes the rest of the calculation, enabling quick and easy specification without the hassle of gathering data from product manufacturers. The results can then be printed off to give to Building Control inspectors and any others involved in the assessment process.”

Strategies for meeting the new water consumption targets can be broadly divided into fittings-based and recycling-based strategies. Fittings-based strategies rely on smart specification of efficient fittings and may add to the cost of a new home, but how much will largely depend on which fittings are chosen (CLG estimates £125 for a home meeting Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 or 4). Recycling-based strategies can be used in combination with efficient fittings to achieve challenging water consumption target of Code level 5 or 6. The Water Calculator also has example specifications if developers and builders need a quick starting point.

The Water Calculator, although providing an extremely useful function and an excellent starting point to water efficiency, cannot fully encapsulate everything that needs to be considered in order to have a water-efficient home. Developers can go beyond the tick-box approach to meeting their regulatory requirements, and try to consider things such as ensuring that the products they have installed will be acceptable to the person(s) that end up occupying the house and that the design of the house is water-efficient (e.g. by reducing dead-legs.) Waterwise East also provide the excellent resource www.water-efficient-buildings.org.uk which pulls together all the information needed to specify a water-efficient home.

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