While a lot of commercial buildings have been sitting empty for a while, we are beginning to reopen buildings and facilities more and more around the world. I have been speaking with commercial building owners about what reopening looks like and many of them have discussed how the utility bills will begin to rise as the workers and visitors return. This week I took a look at Toilet Flush Valves within ecomedes.
ROI is typically driven by Watts and Water in most buildings, but plumbing fixtures also have maintenance issues to consider when making selections. These are elements within a building that most tenants and visitors interact with on a daily basis and the maintenance of the restroom plays a role in occupant satisfaction. The type of valve and the mechanisms within the flush valve can sometimes increase the operational cost significantly from fixture to fixture. Check with the manufacturer and your plumbing contractor about the typical maintenance protocols to keep these fixtures operating at peak performance. It is not just the costs of the wear items within the fixture like filters, valve diaphragms, gaskets, but also the frequency and cost of the labor and downtime as fixtures are being maintained.
As reopening concerns are driving so much attention for facility managers. Another feature that I looked for was Automatic flushing that allowed the fixture to be flushed automatically without the need for the user to touch the flush valve. TOTO, American Standard and Sloan have automatic operation. Automatic fixtures have a sensor that needs power to run. TOTO and Sloan have solved this with two unique strategies. TOTO uses EcoPower which is a water-powered turbine that creates an electrical current that is stored in rechargeable cells to power the smart sensor system. Sloan uses small solar cells to power the fixture. This not only makes them touchless, but maintenance staff don't need to replace batteries on a regular basis.
Swapping out your existing fixtures with one of these products can save significant water in your building and deliver operational savings.
For a typical 500 person commercial building swapping out 20 existing toilets.
A building owner could reduce water consumption by 1.1 million gallons and save $15k over 5 years.