Advanced Plumbing Considerations
for Whole Home Sustainability
This section contains ideas regarding plumbing and appliances that should be discussed in further detail with your architect, builder or plumbing contractor. Most ideas/appliances listed here are available in your local Wolseley branch stores. For more information, please contact your Kitchen and Bath consultant (click here for contact listing) or your local Wolseley distributor.
Water Heaters – Tank vs Tankless
- Storage (tank) water heaters are significantly more efficient than they used to be (check the specific model/manufacturer), but they’re still less efficient than most demand-based systems due to standby heat loss and energy usage.
- Instantaneous (tankless) water heaters heat water only when there is a call for hot water from the system. It’s critical with tankless water heaters to consider required hot water flow rates, and to ensure (as with any system) that distances from the heater to the fixtures aren’t too great (or if they are, they’re adequately addressed by recirculation or supplemental heating).
Under the Sink Composting
Did you know that more than 96 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills? Once in landfills, food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. One of the best ways to reduce household food waste, therefore helping our environment, is to compost food scraps instead of throwing them away or tossing them into a garburator.
Easy-Clean Sinks and Tubs
Most sinks in our studios ultra-durable, colorful sinks are available…do not require chemical cleaners with everyday use, reducing the amount of chemicals that return to our water supply and keeping your kitchen clean the natural way.
Hot Water Pipes
- Lower the utility (water heating) bills and increase comfort
- Very inexpensive, pipe insulation is readily available
Drain Water Heat Recovery Systems
- Heat is recovered from wastewater resulting in energy and water savings
- Typically installed during new construction under tubs and showers
- Each fixture needs its own device
Pre-Plumb/Rough-In for Future Greywater Systems
- Greywater technologies are advancing. Roughing-in will keep your house ready for future needs. Better to plan for greywater in new construction than to retrofit later
- Greywater is regulated by code (check for local requirements)
- As water shortages continue to occur due to climate change, municipalities are looking at greywater as a cost-effective alternative to increasing capacity at wastewater facilities.