Australia is the driest populated subcontinent globally. Yet Australian households consume more water per individual than most other countries in the entire world.
In fact, the average Melbourne family of four individuals utilises almost 240,000 litres of
drinking water every year. To be more precise, that’s equivalent to almost 3000 bathtubs of average size or 10% of Olympic-sized swimming pools.
In fact, approximately 90% of that water consumption includes toilet flushing, garden irrigation, and several other applications that don’t necessarily require drinking quality water.
Looking from a different perspective, the volume of fresh drinking water flushed down in an average household is equivalent to 80 litres of milk or nine slabs of beer flushed down the toilet each day.
With the steady increase in the Australian population, global warming and changing weather patterns, rethinking the freshwater availability and preparing for more efficient use of potable water is necessary.
What Is a BASIX Certificate?
To make households water and energy-efficient and maintain thermal comfort without the increased dependency on artificial thermal appliances, NSW introduced the BASIX certificate. This certificate consists of three sections:
- Thermal comfort
In today’s blog, we’ll focus on the water section of the BASIX certificate.
Why Is Water-Efficiency A Part Of The BASIX Certificate?
With the efficient water-saving measures, the Australian households can address pressing water concerns:
- Minimising the quantity of water consumption
- Enhancing water quality by efficiently managing rainwater and wastewater.
Conserving our water has several benefits, including minimising the requirement to develop new water supply resources, protecting river health by minimising water extraction, and minimising the environmental effects of wastewater treatment and disposal.
Managing surface runoff and stormwater pollution help to reduce the degradation of freshwaters flowing through the rivers, wetlands and oceans.
Apart from water efficiency, energy efficiency is also a component of the BASIX certificate. For commercial developments, BCA Section J report is applicable for measuring energy efficiency.
What Is Included In The BASIX Report?
A BASIX report and assessment certificate are required during any development application procedure for residential buildings happening in New South Wales. The BASIX report includes several construction criteria such as:
- The orientation of the residential building
- The size of the residential project
- The geographical location of the building
- The residential building construction category
- The landscaping surrounding the building
- The type and size of windows and glazing used in the building
- The appliances being planned for utilisation in the building
Additionally, it includes a separate thermal comfort section which includes the details of artificial cooling and heating requirements. This section aims to reduce the energy requirements needed to artificially cool or heat a residential building to a level that is comfortable.
Also read: An Overview To BCA Section J Report
Water Efficiency Tips For BASIX Certificate?
Reducing Overall Water Use
Reducing the overall potable water consumption in the residential dwelling is the simplest and easiest approach to decrease water and energy bills and minimise a household’s ecological impact.
- Installing water-efficient showerheads, kitchen and washroom taps, appliances, and toilets can considerably reduce unnecessary water consumption.
- Always use water fixtures with Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) labels for water-efficient products and BASIX certificate compliance.
Collecting and utilising rainwater efficiently can significantly reduce the occupant’s water bills and help maintain the surrounding garden, lawn and landscape during water restrictions or water scarcity. It can also help to conserve the fast depleting freshwater resources and reduce ecological impacts beyond the home.
Installing A Shower-Timer
Winding down in a long, warm, luxurious shower can be a therapeutic experience. However, these extensive showering sessions can waste significant amounts of potable water. While occasional long showers can be great for the mind and body, frequent or regular long showers can have detrimental effects on the environment and limited resources.
A shower timer is an easy and simple way to cut down on excessive shower timing. This technology will calculate and monitor the amount of water used during each shower. The timer will share an alert when used for an extensive duration before automatically shutting off the water supply.
Water efficiency through various approaches can improve your chances of getting a BASIX certificate.
Wastewater Reuse System
Many Australian households are designed to use potable (drinkable) water for almost everything within the house and garden. Potable water consumption can be significantly reduced by installing facilities to treat and reuse greywater (water from showers, basins, and tap drains) and blackwater (water drained from the toilet, kitchen sink, and dishwasher).
Stormwater Utilisation Capability
Stormwater can be defined as the rain that falls on the roof of a residential dwelling or land. Stormwater carries soil, litter, pesticides, organic matter, and fertilisers from gardens, and oil residues from parking spaces and driveways can pollute downstream waterways.
Efficient facilities for capturing, storing, treating, and reusing stormwater can be incredibly beneficial to saving potable water and minimising downstream environmental impacts.
Efficient And Intelligent Outdoor Wateruse
The principles of water-efficient garden design involve selecting plants adapted to the local climatic conditions, improving the condition, fertility, and moisture retention of soil, adding mulch to the garden soil, and using water-efficient garden products and irrigation systems. For pools, an overhead covering minimises evaporation.
Correct landscaping can even reduce your heating and cooling requirements for both the residential and commercial sectors. Therefore, it can be beneficial not just for BASIX compliance but BCA Section J report as well.
Waterless toilets without water for flushing can have minimal environmental impacts when compared to water-efficient toilets. If correctly designed, they save significant water and financial expenses on water bills and avoid the disposal of pollutants into waterways and the general environment.
Efficient waterless toilets remain odour-free and suit several different types of waterless toilets that do not smell and may suit a modern bathroom decor.
Water efficiency saves and prevents the wastage of potable water. Connect with a professional building consultant to prepare your BASIX certificate seamlessly and move your project forward without any glitches.