Water usage in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 10 percent of all water used in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Buildings that use cooling towers for evaporative cooling can reduce water usage by employing more efficient water treatment technology. Non-chemical water treatment systems have the potential to significantly reduce water consumption, by increasing cycles; energy consumption, by improving the efficiency of building chillers; and chemical discharge into wastewater systems, by decreasing or eliminating the need for chemical additives.
Preliminary Technology Assessments
The Green Proving Ground program, in association with federal laboratories, is currently subjecting the following technologies to real-world measurement and verification in GSA buildings. Preliminary technology assessments are available below as PDFs. Findings from these investigations will be available by 2015.
Nonchemical Prevention of Hard Water Scale > This technology is designed to reduce wastewater associated with typical scale prevention equipment and to reduce operation and maintenance costs associated with scale prevention, especially where water is untreated or insufficiently treated. The process does not use chemicals, power, or additional water.
Wireless Moisture Sensing Irrigation System > This technology measures the actual soil moisture directly at the plant root level in real time. Captured information is transmitted wirelessly and aggregated in the cloud. Based on algorithms, fault detection and business rules, irrigation is applied in the precise amounts needed, and leaks and broken sprinkler heads can be detected.
Wireless Weather Station Irrigation Control System > This technology uses data collected from an on-site weather station to wirelessly control an automated lawn irrigation system, eliminating the need for facility operators to make regular scheduling adjustments because the “smart” controller adjusts the schedule automatically as weather changes.