Do you submeter water use in your building? If you haven’t started, it’s time to seriously consider this mechanical solution for your buildings’ operations. Water submetering is an often overlooked tool, but it can help property managers run buildings more smoothly and efficiently.
Here are our top three reasons to submeter water use in your building:
A leaky faucet in a commercial building can result in over 1,000 gallons of excess water used per week. That means that finding and fixing that leak is critical for optimizing building operations.
In a truly catastrophic situation, a leak might result in water damage. The cost of water damage is high, and losing tenants as a result of flooding costs even more.
Submetering can help prevent a disaster by providing important information on water consumption. By submetering heavy building equipment and monitoring its use of water, an engineering team can determine the likelihood of a machine malfunctioning. The team can then replace faulty equipment before a problem occurs.
Real-time data from water submeters produces immediate information on spikes in water consumption, so building managers or engineers can act immediately.
With a water submetering system, periods of high and low consumption can be visualized in real time. When tenants can see how much water they are consuming, it provides a strong motivation for them to cut back on their use. Research suggests that consumption awareness encourages tenants to reduce water use by up to 35%, which is particularly important during the summer months when water is in high demand.
Sustainability efforts need metrics to assess progress and return on investment. A water submetering solution can show which areas in a portfolio need to cut back on their water consumption and give insights into how that may be accomplished.
Although federal officials have not yet acted on water submetering, state and municipal governments have started requiring water submetering in both commercial and residential buildings.
Title 24, California’s extensive building code, requires new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovations permitted after 2013 to submeter water if the property is larger than 50,000 square feet or is rented to certain types of commercial tenant. Several large cities in California, including San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles are working on legislation that will require water submetering as a way to reduce water use.
Tenants and property managers both want to know how much water their buildings are consuming. Property managers want to know where their water goes. States and cities are starting to mandate water submetering. Water metering costs have significantly decreased with the introduction of wireless and web-enabled meters that don’t necessarily depend on utility meters. Although water submetering is a relatively new technology, its advantages are tremendous for both tenants and building operators.