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Retrofitting plumbing fixtures in existing buildings for water efficiency


As reported by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) last December, for the first time “LEED-certified existing buildings are outpacing their newly built counterparts … square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis.”

Water efficiency is an important part of upgrading existing buildings. The question for many plumbing designers is this: How much water is saved when old plumbing fixtures are replaced with new water-efficient fixtures?

Recent data shows that, in many cases, changing the fixtures can reduce water usage, yet it is important to remember that water usage varies in different locations, populations, types of installations and cultures. This data is helpful in choosing fixture types, but it is not a guarantee that your building will have the same results.

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