By Tom Ash
As American consumers and businesses look for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of daily life, the notion of green buildings is extending beyond their four walls and into the surrounding landscape. Certifications such as LEED and others provide a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction, including landscaping and grounds keeping.
Developers, builders and contractors can leverage smart water management technology to gain points necessary to achieve LEED certification of their outdoor areas. Smart water management uses smart irrigation controllers that monitor and use information about site conditions (such as soil moisture, rain, wind, slope, soil, plant type and more), and apply the right amount of water to the landscape based on those factors. Once the smart controller is installed and set up, it automatically makes seasonal weather and site-specific adjustments, and does not require ongoing monitoring.
Water, Water Everywhere -- or Is It? Water consumption is being targeted because, quite simply, it is becoming a scarce commodity -- and its price is rising. More than half the U.S. suffers from drought conditions and, as a result, water rates are rising faster than energy costs. In fact, water use also consumers energy; every one billion gallons of water consumed requires 4 billion watt-hours of power, and results in an environmentally unfriendly 5.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. More...