Victoria University

Water Performance Benchmarks for New Zealand: Understanding Water Consumption in Commercial Office Buildings

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dc.contributor.advisor Vale, Robert
dc.contributor.advisor Isaacs, Nigel Bint, Lee Ellen 2014-11-19T02:19:50Z 2014-11-19T02:19:50Z 2012 2012
dc.description.abstract There is an increasing amount of literature outlining the issues underlying water shortages and restrictions to come in most regions of New Zealand. The problem is not helped by rising demands and climatic changes, as well as both a lack of measured data, and a lack of any demand-side incentives. No attempt has been made to assess how the users of commercial buildings are consuming potable water. There are no benchmarks for water performance in buildings, hindering attempts to improve water efficiency. This study investigated the water use in 93 Auckland and Wellington commercial office buildings. The data collected from both survey level water audits (on-site investigations, historic billing analysis) and full water audits (water monitoring), were used to develop market-based water performance benchmarks, and a Water Efficiency Rating Tool (WERT). This was done to understand water consumption in these buildings, and to determine the feasibility of using performance based data for the development of a water benchmarking system. The principal results were in the form of both a benchmarking index system, and the WERT. The benchmarking study found that Net Lettable Area (NLA) was the most statistically and pragmatically appropriate driver for water use. lt also found that, due to the distinct difference in tariff structures and incentives between Auckland and Wellington, different benchmarks for the two regions (Auckland 'Typical' use 0.76m³ / m² / year, and Wellington 'Typical' use 1.03m³ / m² / year) were required. The WERT calculates a building Water Use Index (WUI- m³ / m² / year) , estimates its end-use disaggregation, and provides recommendations through outlining the financial viability of implementing specific water efficiency measures. This tool utilised six design criteria to ensure target market usability: accuracy (demonstrated at ±8. 5%) ; relevance and realism; practicality; promotion of understanding and action; objectivity; and effective communication. Further recommendations included satisfying some of the many knowledge gaps present in the New Zealand water industry concerning office building water use. These included: introducing a national legislative or standard document providing guidelines on demand-side management of water; investigation into changing tariff structures to include a volumetric charge for all building types to increase individual awareness and education of water use; research into the durability of water meters; and expanding the research to include other New Zealand regions. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Water performance en_NZ
dc.subject Benchmarks en_NZ
dc.subject Office buildings en_NZ
dc.title Water Performance Benchmarks for New Zealand: Understanding Water Consumption in Commercial Office Buildings en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Architecture en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 290802 Water and Sanitary Engineering en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ Architecture en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Doctoral en_NZ Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified en_NZ

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