- 120 residential lots
- 6 commercial lots
- Completed 1981
- 15 residential floors
- 2 lifts
- Outdoor pool, heated in winter
Parkridge Apartments reduced its building-wide water consumption by 20%, saving over $11,500 per annum with a payback less than 2 months
Parkridge was an eager participant in Sydney Water’s Hi-rise pilot in 2010. The results of that investigation clearly indicated that the overwhelming majority of our building’s total water consumption was as a result of domestic uses inside apartments.
The major recommendations from the study were to:
- Install lower flow shower fittings in apartments
- Install flow regulators in apartment basin taps
- Install flow regulators in apartment kitchen sink taps
- Reduce toilet flush volume
Sydney Water’s WaterFix® service addressed all of the recommendations, and at the time cost only $22 per bathroom. It was a no-brainer to take advantage of it, and for the owners corporation to pay for the service since the outcome would not only be a reduction in total water consumption but also the associated cost which is paid from the owners corporation’s administrative fund.
There were a few hurdles to overcome first:
- Since none of the proposed works were on common property, the owners corporation had no authority to undertake them nor any authority to force individual owners to have the service performed
- The WaterFix® service was traditionally undertaken by individual owners, who were billed separately for the service – not an owners corporation
- Sydney Water would only provide the WaterFix® service once to each apartment, and we had no idea which had already been done
The next steps were:
- Resolve at an Annual General Meeting that the owners corporation would pay for the WaterFix® service in any apartment, provided the owner was agreeable to it being done
- Agree with Sydney Water that it would bill the owners corporation for any such services, rather than the individual owners
- Write to all owners asking that they advise our strata manger if they did not want the service performed in their apartment
The above gave a true picture of the scale of the work to be undertaken:
|WaterFix® service previously undertaken in the apartment||55|
|Declined service or apartment had been renovated with water efficient fixtures & fittings||13|
|WaterFix® service to be performed||52|
The building manager liaised with Sydney Water, issued a series of notices to the occupants of the apartments to be serviced, made many follow-up phones calls, and was successful in having the WaterFix® service performed in all 52 target apartments over a 2 1/2 day period.
The results were excellent, as shown by the following consumption graph:
Note: The 52 apartments were serviced from 7th-9th April 2011
The average daily consumption for June 2011 at 59.9 kL/day was 15 kL/day less than the average for the first 3 months of the year.
At the then-current water charges of $2.103 per kL this equated to savings of $11,526 per annum and a payback period of 1.3 months.
Parkridge was fortunate to secure the WaterFix® services at the now-discontinued rate of $22 per bathroom. However, even at the new rate of $196 per bathroom which came in a few months later the payback period would have been 11.6 months – so it would definitely still well worth the investment.
All water in the building is pumped from ground level to a central holding tank on the rooftop, and then pumped to central hot water services and each apartment. An energy audit identified that 12% of common property energy was used just to pump water around the building. The energy savings associated with the reduction in water consumption have not been quantified however.
Water consumption needs to be monitored, as leaks can develop at any time and fittings may wear.
Invaluable legacies of the Hi-rise pilot were the sub-meters installed on the main water pump, 2 cold water drops and the hot water drop for the building. These provide online access to daily consumption and this is now monitored regularly. Parkridge will be able to identify any major leaks as soon as they occur, and identify any trends in changing water consumption.
The owners corporation also initiated an annual inspection of all apartments to identify any leaks or excessive flow rates.