Friday, 27 October 2017

Water Assessment In Buildings




The Water Assessment in Buildings (WAB) tool is a methodology and tool for assessing water equipment and systems in buildings. Design appraisals or walk-through assessments of buildings are used to evaluate proposed or existing water equipment and systems in relation to best practice water criteria within the WAB.

The WAB supports effective assessments of water equipment systems to provide a clear understanding of this in relation to best practice sustainable building water performance. It can also be used to identify areas where water equipment and systems can be improved in order to improve water performance. The download includes:

  • Water Assessment in Buildings (WAB) Excel tool.
  • Water Assessment In Buildings (WAB) Manual on how to use the tool.
  • Water Assessment In Buildings (WAB) Presentation on how to use the tool.
  • Water Assessment in Buildings (WAM) Presentations on water use in buildings.

Water Use Modelling (WUM)



The Water Use Modelling (WUM) tool is a methodology and tool for modeling water use in buildings. Data on water equipment, systems, and usage patterns are entered into the tool to model water consumption patterns in buildings and present this in figures and graphs.

The WUM supports effective modeling of water systems to provide a clear understanding of water consumption implications related to particular water use practices and water equipment and systems. It can also be used to carry out ‘what-if’ scenarios which support effective decision making on water use practices and procedures as well as on the selection and installation of equipment and systems. The download includes:

  • Water Use Modelling (WUM) Excel tool.
  • Water Use Modelling (WUM) Presentation on how to use the tool.
  • Water Assessment in Buildings (WUM) Presentations on water use in buildings.






Water Evaluation and Management (WEM)



The Water Evaluation and Monitoring (WEM) tool is a methodology and tool for monitoring and evaluating water use in buildings. Data from utility and/or council accounts or logged water consumption data are entered into the tool to generate water use reports that can be used to evaluate and monitor water consumption in buildings.

The WEM supports effective water use reporting and monitoring in relation to water use benchmarks, targets, and previous consumption levels. It can also be used to analyze water consumption patterns to identify areas for improvement and evaluate the effectiveness of measures taken to improve water performance. The download includes:

  • Water Evaluation and Monitoring (WEM) Excel tool.
  • Water Evaluation and Monitoring (WEM) Presentation on how to use the tool.
  • Water Evaluation and Monitoring (WEM) Presentations on water use in buildings.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

SBAT Residential 1.04



The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool (SBAT) Residential 1.04 has been developed. This supports an integrated and responsive approach to achieving high sustainability performance in housing. The tool is based on a holistic approach to addressing sustainability and includes social, economic and environmental criteria. It is easy and cost effective to use and is particularly relevant to developing country contexts. The tool has been used in Zambia. Samples of the manual and certificate and a download of the tool can be accessed here 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Pilots for Change

Article by Mary Constable in Earthworks on Gauge's projects in Zambia. The article reviews the pilot housing projects carried out by Lafarge, Peoples Housing Process, ILO and UNEP in Zambia. The pilots were evaluated using the SBAT tool and useful guidance was developed for future projects. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

How to achieve water use of less than 100l/person/day


The table and graph above show how water use of under 100l/person/day can be achieved in a house or apartment building. This has been generated using the Water Use Modelling (WUM) tool.  This requires the following:

  •  Dual flush efficient toilets
  • Water efficient shower heads and short duration showers
  • Efficient use of water for cooking, washing and laundry
  • Only grey water used for irrigation. 

Water Evaluation and Monitoring



The Water Evaluation and Monitoring (WEM) tool can be used to track water consumption in buildings. Data from water utilities or water meters is input into the tool to generate tables and graphs which can be used to understand water use patterns. This analysis can be used to track water use against benchmarks and identify opportunities for improved performance. The tool and a short online course explaining how it can be used are available here

How do you reduce water consumption to under 100 liters per person per day?



How do you reduce water consumption to under 100 liters per person per day?

One of the best ways of doing this is to model current water use and then test options to reduce water use in the model in order to decide on the best option(s) to implement. This enables non-cost interventions related to behavior (such as shorter showers) to be implemented, before incurring the significant expense and disruption associated with major water system upgrading.

The Water Use Modelling (WUM) tool and course developed by Gauge support rapid modeling of water systems in buildings in order to inform water use reduction strategies.

Water Evaluation and Monitoring


A new online course by Gauge has been developed to provide skills and tools to monitor and evaluate water use in buildings. It includes a simple water use monitoring and evaluation tool in Excel which can be populated with information from water utility bills or from water meter readings to understand water use patterns within a building over a year as well as water use in relation to historic records and targets.

The tool and methodology provided by the course is a very effective way of tracking water use in buildings and supports effective monitoring and evaluation process which can be used to reduce water use in buildings in an effective way. The course is not highly technical and is suitable for anyone wishing to track water use and reduce its use in buildings.


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Sustainable Diets



Increasing incomes and urban growth is resulting in increased consumption of sugars, refined fats, oils, and meats. If this trend continues 80% of the increases in global agriculture greenhouse gas emissions will come from food production and land clearing. These diets also increase Type II diabetes and heart disease.

Alternative diets which reduce emissions and have health benefits can be determined by carrying out life cycle environmental impact assessments (LCAs) and projecting impacts, such as carbon emissions and land use. Impacts of common food types are shown in the figure. The full study can be accessed here.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Air conditioning makes pollution worse



A new study shows that the hottest days have the highest air pollution. Increasing air conditioning on hot days results in increased emissions from power plants of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. The study shows that increases in pollution of  3 to 4 percent per degree Celsius can occur. This may be due to partly to the increased use of out-dated and inefficient power stations which are brought online to address increased peak loads. Access more information here.

Interactive Capabilities for Health



New research by MIT uses sensors and radio signals to measure gait velocity and stride length of individuals. This provides valuable health indicators for older adults and can be used for health emergencies. However, it can also include interaction capabilities that could encourage walking and other exercises supporting improved health. Paper can be accessed here