By Tristan Roberts
Sika's threaded, fixture-level water meters communicate wirelessly with a central receiver, providing fine-grained submetered data for tenant spaces or residential units without cutting into pipes for installation.
A new product being introduced from Europe aims to bridge the yawning gap between the metering of water at the building or campus level, and awareness of water consumption by individual tenants and occupants. Sika USA, a subsidiary of Sika Aquatec in Germany, is offering a water submeter intended for installation on individual fixtures and fittings. The threaded, in-line meter provides a digital readout on the fixture and communicates wirelessly with a central control system that building management can use to track and analyze water use.
According to Andy Buchanan, president of Sika USA, the meters make sense for any building that wants to control its water usage—anything from a single-family home to multifamily residential, hotels, offices, or any other building type. At $100 per unit, plus $300 for a central data receiver, the units are relatively affordable, but the cost could add up for an entire floor or building. Larger buildings might also need $200 signal repeaters—one per floor is likely—to bridge the gap in wireless communication from the meters to the central receiver. The receiver includes a software package that allows for data collection, trend spotting, and usage alarms.