If there is one place you can justify not having a low-flow faucet, it’s the kitchen. That might seem counter-intuitive, but we have a low-flow kitchen faucet and trust me — I can practically bake a cake in the amount of time it takes to fill a stockpot with water! …Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it does take a long time.
Delta faucets have some great options to help you save water in the kitchen. Delta faucet’s “Multi-Flow” technology has been designed into two different kitchen faucet styles and offers two different flow rates. It delivers water at 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) as a default setting. This is perfect for rinsing hands, dishes or vegetables. However, when you need an additional boost for, say, filling that stockpot or kitchen sink, press a button and the flow rate becomes 2.0 gpm. Once you turn the faucet off it automatically resets to 1.5 gpm.
Delta faucets offer a few different styles of kitchen faucet with these technologies:
The Addison kitchen faucet includes both Touch2O and Multi-Flow technologies. It also includes a pull-down sprayer so you can easily wash fruits and vegetables. It’s available in three finishes: Chrome, Venetian Bronze and Stainless Steel.
The Linden series kitchen faucet also offers Multi-Flow technology, but not Touch2O technology.
Faucets with flow rates of 1.5 gpm are 32% more efficient than standard faucets with 2.2 gpm flow rates and can help you save money on your water bill.
Delta Faucets has a great website which allows you to select kitchen faucets with specific features. There are also several videos explaining how their different technologies work. For more information about Multi-Flow technology, watch this video: http://www.deltafaucet.ca/smart-solutions/multiflow.html
March 12-18, 2012 is known as “Fix-A-Leak” Week by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It’s a time used to highlight the effects of leaky fixtures in homes to demonstrate just how much water literally goes down the drain unused. In fact, according to the EPA, a single household with leaky plumbing can waste 10,000 gallons (about 38,000 litres) per year — which is enough to fill a swimming pool. Worse, 10% of homes waste more than 90 gallons of water per day.
Leak culprits: The most common sources of leaks in the home are leaky toilet flappers, leaky faucets, leaky shower heads and other leaky valves. All of these sources are easily fixable and could save 10% on your water bill.
A leaky faucet that drips at a rate of 1 drip/second wastes 3000 gallons (11,000 litres) of water per year.
A leaky showerhead that drips at a rate of 10 drips/minute wastes 500 gallons of water per year.
Detecting leaks: The EPA notes that if your family uses over 12,000 gallons (45,000 litres) of water monthly (check your water bill), you likely have a leak somewhere. You can usually see the leak in your shower or any faucet, you can hear when a toilet has a leaky flapper — it is constantly refilling when the water level dips below a certain point.
Outdoor irrigation: This is perhaps the trickiest part — hoses can be affected by the winter and may crack or get pierced over the winter. It’s best to check them thoroughly before turning them on for the season. A leaky underground sprinkler with a dime-sized hole can waste up to 6300 gallons (about 24,000 litres) of water per month.
Fixing: Indoor leaks from fixtures are usually easy to fix and involve nothing more than replacing a rubber washer, a toilet flapper, or reapplying some plumber’s tape on a shower head. If you’re not sure what to do, take your old valves to your local hardware store and get the plumbing specialists to help you.
If your fixtures are old and beyond repair, consider getting WaterSense labelled fixtures. The amount of water saved will be significant, and many municipalities (Note: Toronto’s program has been discontinued) offer discounts on water-saving fixtures. Below are a few of the many WaterSense approved fixtures available:
The Titanium22 Collection from Watermark features “streamlined single-lever monoblock units that make a striking statement. The units feature hydro-progressive valves that control the temperature and volume in a single motion. The valve is available in a smooth or knurled-texture that not only enhances the grip but creates an original contrast to the polished surfaces at the base and spout.” Like the Emperor series faucet, this one is also WaterSense approved and has a maximum flow rate of 1.5 gpm.
The Chelsea H125 lavatory faucet features an industry-defying tall, slender and curvaceous design. The spout stands at an impressive 7.5″ high and the handles are 4 1/2″. Cast from lead-free brass it was designed with a flush stream shaper aerator that tilts; allowing users to control the direction of the water.” It is also compliant with WaterSense requirements.
About WaterSense: WaterSense is a partnership program between the US Environmental Protection Agency and participating companies to produce products that are at least 20% more water efficient than standard models, without sacrificing performance.
From the website: If one in every 10 homes in the United States were to install WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories in their bathrooms, it could save 6 billion gallons of water per year, and more than $50 million in the energy costs to supply, heat, and treat that water! Learn more about how you can save water and help WaterSense make a positive impact.
Nexterra and LivingHomes have partnered to build 4 luxury eco-homes in a quiet setting on a ravine, close to the subway, restaurants and amenities. These homes are greener than your ordinary homes and if you’d like to read more, see an earlier post I wrote about the project.
Nexterra has been working tirelessly to find more suppliers for these wonderful homes. When I was at the Interior Design Show 2011, Nexterra invited a few of us on a tour of five new partners recently added to their list of suppliers. Nexterra has two requirements when selecting suppliers: that the products are designed with high style, and that they help preserve the environment whether that be by avoiding off-gassing of harmful chemicals into the built home, conserving water and/or energy, or choosing materials that have a lower impact on the environment than their traditional counterparts.
Be Collection -- Sink
WETSTYLE: A Montreal-based company, makes beautiful sinks and tubs by hand. Each tub takes about 6 hours to finish and almost all the work in manufacturing the products is done by hand. All work takes place in the factory in Montreal. In addition to the lower energy use, the factory boasts a waste and scrap rate of less than 1%. Bath furnishings come from the Cube Collection, Be Collection and M Collection. (Note: for a list of retailers for WetStyle, see their website.)
Hey Joe Faucet by Aquabrass
Aqua Brass: Italian-designed faucets and shower heads that anyone would be proud to put in their homes. These faucets are beautiful contemporary pieces that belie their functionality. The Bridge Collection of faucets will be used in the powder room and second floor main bathroom, while the Hey Joe Collection will be used for the master bathroom. The faucets use 1.6 gallons per minute versus a standard flow rate faucet of 2.2 to 3.8 gpm. To find a dealer near you, visit their website.
Natura Paint by Benjamin Moore. Zero VOC
Benjamin Moore:Natura is a line of zero VOC paints, even when colour tints are added. This last part is important because some paint retailers boast zero VOC paints — but only when the paints aren’t tinted. Natura 100% acrylic paints are water-based, fade resistant, have good coverage and come in finishes of flat, eggshell and semi-gloss. (To find a retailer near you, visit their website.)
Quartz Reflections by CaesarStone
CaesarStone: Quartz is the lowest maintenance, most durable of all the stone surfaces. The surface being used for the kitchen island, side gables and countertops also has recycled content which includes crushed quartz, post consumer mirror and windshield glass all of which is being diverted from landfill and reused in this product. Product is Quartz Reflections, #7141. To find a Caesarstone dealer near you visit their website.
AEG Steam Oven
Euroline Appliances: Euroline is providing all of the kitchen and laundry appliances for the homes.
AEG is supplying a cooking tower that includes: A 24″ oven, steam oven, microwave and warming drawer, induction cooktop (induction boils water in under a minute) and dishwasher. The washer and dryer (Lavamat and Lavatherm) are also AEG appliances.
Liebherr is supplying 24″ (each) refrigerator and freezer which stand side by side. Liebherr is one of the first companies to completely eliminate hazardous chemicals from its manufacturing process.
Franke: A Swiss company providing the sink and faucet.
Euroline is located at 2278 Speers Road in Oakville, ON.
For the most part we rely on third party organizations to determine what is and isn't a "green building material." The only time we might not is when products are locally produced or no third party green designation is available for the product.