As the government and local legislations are pushing incentives for sustainable and eco-friendly business models, businesses are looking for new ways to meet their social obligations. Increased water efficiency is as important in office spaces as it is in homes, because people often spend half of their day at work. This guide explains a few routes to better water conservation in offices.
Measuring water use
There are water use benchmarks that provide an estimation of the average water use for specific industries. They can be used as a tool for evaluating current consumption patterns. If no industry benchmarks are available, conduct a facility audit to quantify water use. The audit will identify saving opportunities and establish appropriate saving targets. Afterwards, it will serve as a benchmark for future water saving tracking. This should be the first step of your water saving efforts. A hired professional with expertise in industrial water use can carry out an on-site survey.
What are the feasible options?
The audit will identify the problems and their solutions, so your next step should be investigating the feasibility of those options. Is it more cost effective to modify the existing equipment or install water saving devices? Will reducing the water flow solve the problem? What is the cost of replacing existing equipment with more water-efficient equipment? What are the options for water treatment, recycling and reuse? And finally, is changing to waterless facilities feasible and possible in your case? Sustainability or annual reports of industry peers can provide insight into their solutions to the same problems.
You need to educate your employees about the importance of using less water. Promote a workplace culture that takes pride in resource efficiency. As a result of increased awareness, more staff members will monitor waters use. On your part, give recognition to those staff members who initiate water-saving procedures and processes.
In addition, make resource conservation a part of the performance review for line managers. On a more base level, put up signs that remind employees to turn off the water while lathering and scrubbing their hands and then turn it back on to rinse. This habit can save about two gallons of water per minute.
Installing water efficient fixtures in restrooms and showering areas is the most obvious course of action. Unlike industrial plants, office buildings use only domestic water for toilets, sinks and perhaps showering facilities. As no technical process depends on those, they represent great opportunities for water savings.
Retrofit existing toilets and urinals with high-efficiency ones and provide sinks with faucet aerators. They mix water with air, creating a more misty spray and using less water than conventional faucets. If your office offers on-site shower facilities, equip them with low-flow showerheads which can save up to a third of water when compared to regular ones.
Even the best water-efficient equipment and raised employee awareness won’t be enough if you are having problems within your plumbing. Seasoned pros, as this Sydney-based plumber, can detect a leak and will repair it, whether it is a PVC s-bend or a concrete sewer pipe. Apart from that, they provide a complete leaking tap and toilet service for domestic and commercial applications in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
Dry sweep or vacuum floors and corridors instead of using water whenever possible. A bucket and a mop should be used only when traditional brooms are not able to clean the surface to a satisfactory degree, and cleaning crews should be instructed to use water efficiently for mopping. Change window cleaning schedule from periodic to as required.
These tips can help office managers evaluate the feasibility of water-saving adjustments required for improving the efficiency of an office space. While many of these water-saving suggestions require specialised equipment, employees can do a lot on their part to reduce the everyday water use.