EPA Proposes Revisions to WaterSense Single-Family Home Specification

Changes will allow units in multi-family homes to become certified

Continuing to build on the success of the WaterSense program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making minor modifications to its specification that establishes the criteria for new homes to earn the WaterSense label.

Based on the increase in WaterSense-labeled products now available, the widespread adoption of EPA’s Water Budget Tool for landscape design, and the opportunity to easily expand the program to multi-family homes, EPA has proposed several revisions to its WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification. The proposed changes include the following highlights:

• New units in multi-family buildings would now be eligible to earn the WaterSense label. Individual units in new facilities could earn the label, as long as the common areas of these residential buildings also meet EPA’s indoor and outdoor criteria.
• Landscaping requirements would be simplified to focus solely on regionally appropriate landscapes through the use of EPA’s Water Budget Tool. This change would remove the option to landscape front yards with 40% turfgrass or less and reflects the fact that most builders are using the Water Budget Tool to calculate outdoor landscaping requirements. The Water Budget Tool is easier to access now that WaterSense has developed an interactive online version.
• Additional WaterSense labeled products would be required. With the addition of new product categories eligible to earn the WaterSense label since the original specification was released, this update will require additional products installed indoors and outdoors to be WaterSense labeled, where available.



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