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Thames Water’s pilot project to replace bathroom fittings delivered an 83% reduction in water consumption – and in the process picked up the ICE Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management
To demonstrate that significant water efficiency savings can be made in existing commercial buildings, Thames Water ran a pilot project to replace water using fittings in two bathrooms inside their main office – Clearwater Court in Reading.
The result was an 83% reduction in water consumption. Thames Water is now installing these water saving devices in all their office buildings.
The project, led by Andrew Tucker, Water Efficiency & Affordability Manager, won ICE's Chris Binnie Award for Sustainable Water Management 2016.
Location: Thames Water head office - Clearwater Court, Reading
Date of completion: February 2016
Duration: 6 months/ongoing
Client: Thames Water
Contractor: Thames Water & Emcor
Project manager: Andrew Tucker – Water Efficiency & Affordability Manager, Thames Water
Challenge summary: Demonstrate and quantify water use reduction potential in commercial buildings, without the need for alternative water supplies
Challenge solution: Install industry leading water use devices and monitor before and after water consumption
Although the existing fittings were reasonably efficient to start with, the aim of the project was to establish how much water consumption could be reduced while maintaining a pleasant bathroom experience for staff and visiting stakeholders.
The original fittings were:
These were replaced with the following new water efficient fittings:
The project represented a successful collaboration and partnership arrangement between Thames Water, facilities management group EMCOR, and technology providers Propelair and Cistermiser.
With the new fittings in place, the project achieved a combined water reduction of 83%.
Through Thames Water's internal communications strategy, and an innate curiosity, bathroom usage itself significantly increased after the new devices were installed. The men's bathroom increased from 695 users per week to 1,128. All water use and savings results were then normalised to match the baseline pre-refurbishment footfall.
The two refurbished bathrooms are now saving more than 11,500 litres every week, equating to over 0.5Ml each year – enough to supply 1,250 homes. Even just rolling out the new devices to all bathrooms at the Clearwater Court site would save a projected 4.1 million litres each year.
Following the pilot, the project team developed a simple case study document highlighting what might be the easiest and most successful water efficiency win for an existing office building.
This case study is now being promoted to many thousands of business organisations and sites throughout London and the Thames Valley.
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