The Importance of the Condensate Pump for Green Building and Water Efficiency
HVACR systems are among the heaviest consumers of energy in commercial buildings.
According to the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings are responsible for 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the U.S.
In the last decade or so, the construction sector, a major emitter of greenhouse gases, has seen the emergence of tools and certification systems that encourage changes in construction practices.
The USGBC is best known for its development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.
At the global level, LEED is the most popular certification system. In Europe, HQE, BREEAM and DGNB certification systems still dominate the market.
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in six key areas:
- sustainable sites (SS)
- water efficiency (WE)
- energy & atmosphere (EA)
- materials & resources (MR)
- indoor environmental quality (EQ); and
- innovation & design process (ID).
Demonstrating water efficiency is an important component of receiving LEED certification. In the United States alone, approximately 340 billion gallons of fresh water are used each day for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and recreational activities.
The water efficiency goals of the LEED program encourage smart water use inside and can provide up to 12 possible points toward certification in categories that include water efficient landscaping, innovative wastewater technology and water use reduction.
One way to reduce water usage is by collecting condensate, which is produced by air conditioning systems during the cooling process, and using this water for other useful purposes. Air conditioners will often carry a label showing the unit's cooling output in kilowatts (kW). For every one kilowatt of power, an air conditioning unit will generally produce between 0.5 to 0.8 litres of condensate per hour.
And an ideal tool to pump this water safely and efficiently into a drain line and storage tank (for other possible purposes) is to install a mini condensate removal pump such as the Sauermann Si-30.
With an efficient condensate removal system, ideally with a Sauermann mini condensate removal pump, some property owners reuse their condensate to flush toilets, irrigate landscaping, and for a variety of other purposes etc. In different jurisdictions, such as France, there are different regulations surrounding water conservation and these should be adhered to at all times.
In an era when governments, builders and installers are actively promoting LEED and other certification systems, a Sauermann condensate removal mini pump can be part of the solution to conserve water and earn points towards green-building certifications.