Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2015

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24 | Kitchen & Bath Design News | August 2015 Trend Spotting By Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS D o you live and work in a red state? This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with whether your region is in the midst of a severe or extreme drought. Virtually all of California, the nation's most populous state, is in extreme drought status and is subject to the most restrictive water conservation measures in the country. If you practice in California or a similarly impacted area, this greatly impacts your work as a kitchen and bath professional. According to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Informa- tion map, most of the American West, Upper Midwest and Southeast are in drought conditions. And while an El NiƱo burst of rain showers may pro- vide some temporary relief this year, the need for water conservation and its related building codes are likely to be with us for good. STATES OF THE UNION "States with the most stringent codes (those that exceed federal standards) are California, Texas, Georgia, and Colorado," shares Bill Christiansen, program manager of Alliance for Water Efciency. "California recently passed the most stringent standards in the country, and they will take ef- fect on January 1, 2016." The other states he cites all have codes that ex- ceed national standards. "The California drought has high- lighted the challenges that water utilities face in ensuring adequate supply," notes Jennifer Colaizzi, press officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Maximizing the client's use of that supply has become a designer's responsibility. Fortunate- ly, manufacturers are making the task easier and more stylish every year. WATERSENSE SMARTS "In drought-impacted areas, replacing older fxtures with WaterSense-labeled models provide a great opportunity for immediate [water] savings of 20 percent or more," the EPA officer says. It was the EPA that developed WaterSense, a voluntary conserva- tion program similar to its Energy Star program. Currently, the following residen- tial product categories are covered by WaterSense: toilets, bathroom sink faucets, urinals, showerheads, weath- er-based irrigation systems and even new-house construction. KB Homes showed of its new WaterSense-certi- fed home as part of the Pacifc Coast Builders Conference in San Diego last June. Designing a home to that standard (described on its Web site at can potentially increase the resale potential of your client's home, as scarcity becomes an increasing issue in future years. "WaterSense requirements for pri- vate-use bathroom faucets include a maximum fow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM). This compares to the federal maximum of 2.2 GPM. Nearly all of the bathroom faucets sold in the U.S. today carry the WaterSense la- bel," notes Robert Zimmerman, Kohler Co's senior channel manager for sus- tainability and an Alliance for Water Efciency board member. SHOWER POWER But what if your client wants a high- performance shower? "There are many options of showerheads and Designing in a Drought Orange, red and burgundy color the drought areas of this 2015 map. WaterSense certifed homes are standard in builder's new San Diego subdivision. Above is a water efciency snapshot. Credit: Alliance for Water Efficiency Photo: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information Photo: KB Home

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