World Plumbing Day, initiated by the World Plumbing Council, highlights the essential role of plumbing in the health, safety and sustainability of our community. John Lansing shares his thoughts on the future of plumbing design.
Plumbing systems play a key role in both the conservation of water and energy resources. As water-stressed regions are projected to continue expanding as a result of climate change, we can expect to see more projects seeking alternative water sources for buildings, including rainwater harvesting for potable water and onsite or municipal reclaimed water for flushing water closets. Portland is one of 12 US cities that have joined cities around the world pledging to enact policies that target net zero carbon for all new buildings by 2030 and existing buildings by 2050. This means finding alternatives to fossil fuels for domestic water heating, which accounts for up to 17% of the energy demand in buildings. Utilizing technologies such as electric heat pump water heaters, drain-water heat recovery (DWHR) systems, and solar thermal systems, will be essential in reducing electrical loads. It’s clear that the building industry will be undergoing rapid transformations in the coming years, and I’m excited to be a part of it.