EPA Modifies WaterSense Specs for Apartment and Condo Units

Individual units can earn WaterSense label, common areas must conform, Water Budget Tool must be used, WaterSense-labeled smart controllers must be used.

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EPA has modified its specification for new homes to enable apartment and condominium units to earn the label, update product requirements, and adjust landscape criteria.

Based on the increase in available WaterSense-labeled products, the widespread adoption of EPA's Water Budget Tool for landscape design, and market trends in the multi-family building sector, the specification revision includes the following highlights:

New apartment or condo units can earn the WaterSense label. Individual units in new residential buildings are eligible to earn the label, and builders must ensure that the common areas of these buildings also meet specific indoor and outdoor criteria.

Builders of WaterSense-labeled homes must use EPA's Water Budget Tool to inform their landscape design. An easy-to-use, interactive version is available on the WaterSense website.

If an irrigation system with a weather-based irrigation controller is used, the controller must be a WaterSense-labeled model. WaterSense-labeled controllers act like a thermostat for your lawn, using local weather data to determine when and how much to water.

Showerheads must be WaterSense-labeled models that use 2.0 gallons per minute or less. WaterSense-labeled showerheads save homeowners more than 2,300 gallons of water and 300 kilowatt-hours of energy per year.

As with all WaterSense specifications, EPA solicited input on the changes from builders, manufacturers, utilities, and other stakeholders. For more information on the revised specification, visit the WaterSense website.

Check out this backgrounder on the EPA WaterSense Program.