Striving for efficient water consumption in a new build

Designing and building a home from scratch affords you a great deal of freedom. Without the restrictions of a pre-ordained framework, you essentially have a blank state to work with. And while you might be tempted to focus exclusively on creating an open plan home that invites a great deal of natural light in, there should be practical as well as aesthetic reasons behind the choices you make. Limiting the amount of water your home consumes should be one of them.

Exacerbated by the warming climate, ample supplies of water are becoming increasingly scarce, making it more important than ever for homeowners – especially newly minted ones – to consider installing water-saving central heating pumps and to apply a range of water-saving methods and techniques to their homes. In this post, we’ll walk you through a few of the most effective and easiest to implement.

Eco-friendly showers
On average, a single five minute shower uses 45 litres of water. For most people, a shower is an unchanging part of their daily routine. Something that is used with such regularity, that uses such massive amounts of water with such regularity, should be streamlined to be as efficient as possible. Water pressure, the heating mechanism, the type of controls and flow rate all play a role in determining how much water your shower consumes. All can be altered and adapted in the name of efficiency but perhaps the most straightforward way to minimise this volume of water is to install an eco-shower head. By aerating the water that emanates from your shower, an eco-shower head boosts the flow of water without actually increasing the volume of water. In this way, the installation of an eco-shower head is able to reduce the amount of water your shower uses. With water consumption from showers exceeding that of anything else in the home, these kinds of savings are critical.

Water reuse and recycling
The water recycling options you have available to you are dictated by the setting and surroundings of your residence. A single residential dwelling for example, may well be sufficiently supplied by the installation of a water butt. In a more expansive multi-occupancy property meanwhile, options are more forthcoming. A large amount of water run-off from the roof creates an ideal opportunity for rainwater harvesting. Similarly, the collective recycling of greywater from sinks, showers and baths is a good way to recoup value from water that would otherwise be discarded. All of these water reclamation techniques are valid and more than worth considering for integration into your new home.

Why saving water is important
The average Briton will shower 4.4 times a week for an average of seven-and-a-half-minutes each time. Shedding a single minute off this time would save British households £215 million on energy bills annually. By making your shower more efficient, you are not only doing your bit for the environment, you are also saving yourself some money – all the more reason to strive for water efficiency in your home.

Electing for water-efficient showering equipment is one way to minimise your home’s consumption of water. Another equally viable approach to making your home more efficient with its use of water is to instead focus on recycling and reusing water. Grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting systems can be seamlessly incorporated into the make-up of a home, providing its residents with an additional source of water, as well as peace of mind that they are helping rather than hindering the environment.