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During November, Built Green Canada and the Green Builder Coalition in the U.S.A. announced the expansion of the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) to Canada.

HRAI 121218 7Built Green Canada’s CEO, Jenifer Christenson suggested the building industry and government are focused on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, but that it’s time to include water protection and efficiency in building performance assessments.

“Water shortages and droughts don’t adhere to boundaries, so taking WERS beyond the borders of the United States is a natural progression for the program,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder Coalition.

The WERS will support more careful use of freshwater ecosystems, which have been shown to be under stress even in Canada. We often think of this country as being blessed with fresh water abundance, but it’s important understand the challenges of access to that fresh water, and to protect this invaluable resource over the long term.

Water conservation helps reduce the load on civic infrastructure, creating financial savings, and supporting climate mitigation targets. It reduces energy consumption for pumping and treating water, pollutants in water bodies, the cost of expanding and repairing water and wastewater infrastructure, and it avoids the possibility of clean water shortages.

WERS is based on measurable parameters, along with a scoring scale of zero to 100 – with zero being the most desirable. The rating considers both indoor and outdoor water use.

Indoor water use includes toilets, showers, faucets, sinks, clothes washers and water wasted before usable hot water arrives. Outdoor systems include rainwater reuse, grey water and black water catchment calculations. Depending on the verified filtration methods for rainwater and grey water, they can be used to offset indoor water use. Additionally, any remaining unused rainwater, grey water and/or black water (if applicable) can be credited to potential outdoor use.

Says Built Green: “The WERS tool will be Canadianized in the coming months, verifier training will occur in the spring, and Built Green is encouraging trials through 2019 for its single family, renovation, and high density programs.”

The BUILT GREEN Single Family and Renovation programs use the EnerGuide label for energy efficiency, which helps builders and homeowners understand how a home’s energy is being used. Now the WERS rating will do the same for water usage.