As multifamily owners and managers find it increasingly difficult to preserve rents and maintain net operating income, they also are more dilligent about finding ways to reduce costs. One area where money can still be saved is in water and sewer expenses, which have increased an average of 27 percent over the past five years, according to Rand Institute.
By retrofitting existing units with water-efficient faucets, toilets, and showerheads, apartment owners and managers can reduce both the amount of water coming into their properties and the water going out of their properties into the city sewer system, says Ken Naylor, senior developer with Carlisle Development Group, a Miami-based developer and owner of market-rate and affordable apartments.
Carlisle Development, which owns more than 6,000 rental units throughout Florida, is currently rehabbing a 1970s-era affordable housing community, Northwest Gardens, in Fort Lauderdale. The firm is installing water-efficient fixtures in the kitchens and bathrooms, including low-flow, dual-flush toilets from Hillsboro, Ore.-based Caroma USA.
“Most communities are just built to code and don’t take into account the long-term ownership costs associated with water and sewer,” Naylor says. “Even relatively new properties could be retrofitted to be much more water efficient. We expect water savings of 30 percent to 40 percent once we’ve installed the water-efficient fixtures.”
1. High Velocity:
Delta Faucet Co. has added a water-efficient showerhead to its product line. Designed with H2Okinetic Technology, the showerhead uses only 1.6 gallons of water per minute by managing the water droplet size and velocity as well as spray coverage. The showerhead uses 36 percent less water than standard showerheads. For more information, call Delta at 1-800-345-DELTA or visit www.deltafaucet.com. 2. Straight Flush:
Caroma USA’s newest high-efficiency dual-flush toilet, the Sydney Low Profile, is only 26.5 inches tall, allowing it to be installed in bathrooms where standard height dual-flush toilets don’t fit, such as apartments or condos where countertops extend over the toilet. The two-button, dual-flush toilets give the user a choice: half flush for liquid or full flush for solids. For more information, call Caroma USA at 1-800-605-4218 or visit www.caromausa.com.
3. Good Sensors:
Kohler’s new Wellspring Touchless faucets with Tripoint technology feature an automatic shut-off, so water runs only when the faucet is in use. They also have highly accurate activation sensors, which conserve water by keeping false activations to a minimum. The faucets are available in both traditional and contemporary designs with a polished chrome finish. For more information, call Kohler at 1-800-4-KOHLER or visit www.kohler.
4. Low-Flow Style:
Going green doesn’t mean sacrificing style with the new Banbury bathroom collection from Moen. The traditionally styled suite includes bathroom faucets that feature a flow-optimized aerator that allows water to flow at 1.5 gallons per minute, reducing water usage by up to 32 percent. For more information, call Moen at 1-800-BUY-MOEN or visit www.moen.com.
5. Water Wise:
The Ashfield Collection of trough faucets is the first in a new lineup of Price Pfister products that bear the EPA’s WaterSense label. Ashfield lavatory trough faucets feature a country-inspired design and flow at a rate of 1.5 gallons per minute, which can save the average household approximately 30,000 gallons of water per year. For more information, call Price Pfister at 1-800-732-8238 or visit www.PricePfister.com.