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Low water consumption. That's our plan for the future.
At Fletcher Living’s LowCO pilot home project at Waiata Shores, four homes are being built to help New Zealand reach the global climate change goal of no more than 1.5˚C of warming. But as well as reducing carbon emissions, the LowCO homes also prioritise water efficiency as a central focus.
Nicola Tagiston, Head of Sustainability at Fletcher Living explains:
“The average Aucklander uses 160L of treated drinking water a day. But only a very small proportion is actually consumed for drinking. The rest is used for showering, flushing toilets, watering gardens, washing clothes, and dishes.
This highlights the importance of Watercare's ongoing infrastructure investments to manage growth and build resilience. However, it also brings attention to the opportunity for more efficient water use, considering that over 30% of water is utilised for flushing toilets and outdoor activities".
Partnering with Watercare.
One of our ambitious targets for LowCO is to try to reduce water consumption per person by over 50%. That’s why we’ve partnered with Watercare to help us achieve this target and to explore the latest domestic water-saving technologies.
Amanda Singleton, Chief Customer Officer at Watercare reveals why this project is so important for the future.
“As a business, we have ambitious targets to reduce Auckland’s overall water consumption. But at the same time, our population is growing.
Partnering on LowCO was a no brainer for Watercare because an outcome is to see how close we can get to the government’s 2035 target of 75 litres per person per day.
We know it won’t be easy. This is why we need to explore innovative technologies and new ways of working that will make it easier for people to use less water as they go about their day.
The beauty of a water-efficient homes like LowCO, is that the built-in features of the home will do the thinking for you. The water from the shower, for example, will be captured and re-used for things like flushing toilets.“
Capture, store, re-use.
With the LowCO project, Fletcher Living has literally searched the world for innovative technologies.
The rainwater will be collected from the roof and then stored in Aquacomb pods, treated, and circulated for potable use. Low water use, ecologically rich landscaping including a hydroponic garden will support water efficiency outside the home.
By installing an advanced greywater recycling system called Hydraloop, bath and shower water in the home is treated via a six step process that doesn’t involve chemicals or filters, so lightly contaminated grey water can be recycled back to flush toilets, wash clothes and water the garden.
Heating water is the largest use of electricity in the average New Zealand home, so we are installing a heat pump hot water system as well as water efficient appliances and fittings. This includes Fisher and Paykel’s 4.5 star WELS front loader washing machine and 10 star heat pump condensing dryer, 6 star WELS mixers, low flow showerheads paired with Felton’s thermostatic shower mixer and 4 star WELS dual-flush toilets.
Nicola Tagiston sums up the initiative. “Ultimately, this LowCO project is about treating our precious water resource with a lot more respect and intelligence. If we can reduce our consumption through smart technologies then everyone can benefit. We can build more sustainably; we can live more sustainably, making utility services more affordable, all in pursuit of a better future.”
Learn more about our partnership with Watercare in the video below:
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