News Analysis

Clearing the Way for Water Savings in Plumbing Codes

With the words “water crisis” working their way into the common vocabulary, innovative strategies for conserving, reusing, and treating water are developing more quickly than ever—and some have hit a regulatory ceiling. The Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement, released in February 2010 by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), will now make it possible for states and municipalities to allow—and regulate—more progressive water-saving techniques without completely rewriting existing plumbing codes.

“The building codes are perhaps the biggest hindrance to the adoption of green buildings,” said Dave Viola, director of special services for IAPMO. “There’s so little information about how to do green systems properly and safely within existing building codes, so we’ve rolled out a document that shows exactly how it’s done.” According to Viola, the green supplement was designed to augment any plumbing and mechanical code, and its voluntary provisions are intended eventually to be folded into the Uniform Plumbing Code and the Uniform Mechanical Code.

Published March 31, 2010