Sustainable Irrigation And LEED Certification
Today’s property managers are looking to pursue efficiency and sustainability in their irrigation systems. Advancements in materials and technologies in the last several years, combined with the desire to save money on landscaping maintenance helps drive this shift. Tax credits and other benefits of having an LEED certified property also helps support these changes in behavior. And of course, the water shortage for much of the West Coast, demands all properties look at their landscaping and subsequent water footprint, even if they aren’t focused currently on LEED Certification.
There are many ways to improve your property’s landscaping irrigation and water expenditures. What plans do you have in place to bring your irrigation systems up to sustainable standards? Are you focusing on moving towards reducing your potable water use? Have you considered a move to non-potable water? Are you changing out sprinkler heads, or replacing grass in some areas with more native plants?
Steps Towards Sustainable Irrigation
There are countless ways to move towards an efficient and sustainable irrigation system for the property you manage. But the first step is to get a water audit to find out how you might be wasting water and what steps you can take to fix it.
When moving towards more sustainable irrigation, some things to consider include using systems with automatics shut-offs in case of line failures, flow meters to measure usage, and using newer more water efficient irrigation heads.
A water audit will look at your overall water consumption and find areas of loss that can be remedied. As well as inspecting the type of irrigation system you have and recommend changes that can bring you up to sustainable standards. Working with an expert familiar with not only LEED Certification, but water efficiencies will help catch less obvious ways your property can improve it’s irrigation systems.
What to Expect From A Contractor
If you want your property to attain credits for a sustainable site, you must decrease potable water consumption through irrigation by 50 percent from an pre-established baseline for your area and project type (SSI 2009). The reductions can come from any of these steps:
- Plant species
- Irrigation efficiency
- Use of captured rainwater
- Use of recycled graywater
These options and several more must be taken into consideration by your contractor when deciding how to save water and acquire LEED certification for your sustainable irrigation project.
If pursing sustainable irrigation is necessary for your property, then you must choose the right contractor. Finding a contractor who can help you save money in the long run with an efficient irrigation system is important. As is working with someone who also understands LEED certification and has worked successfully to help their client’s become LEED Certified.
Regal Commercial Services has worked with their commercial property clients to help them achieve LEED Certification. To speak with one of our experts about a landscaping water audit, or other pieces to the LEED Certification puzzle, please call us at 714-744-1106.