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Plumbing

G|PRO Green Professional Building Skills Training


COPYRIGHT

DISCLAIMER

Copyright © 2014 by Urban Green Council, U.S. Green Building Council New York. All rights reserved.

None of the parties involved in the funding or creation of the Course Manual, including Urban Green Council, its members, or its contractors, assume any liability or responsibility to the user or to any third parties for the accuracy, completeness, or use of or reliance on any information contained in the Course Manual, or for any injuries, losses, or damages (including, without limitation, equitable relief arising from such use or reliance). Although the information contained in the Course Manual is believed to be reliable and accurate, all materials set forth within are provided without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of the accuracy or completeness of information contained in the training or the suitability of the information for any particular purpose.

Urban Green Council devoted a significant amount of time and resources to create this GPRO® Course Manual for Plumbing, 2014 edition, v1.5. Urban Green authorizes individual use of the Course Manual. In exchange for this authorization, the user agrees: đƫ to retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the Course Manual đƫ not to sell or modify the Course Manual đƫ not to reproduce, display, or distribute the Course Manual in any way for any public or commercial purpose, including display on a website or in a networked environment.

As a condition of use, the user covenants not to sue and agrees to waive and release Urban Green Council, its members, and its contractors from any and all claims, demands, and causes of action for any injuries, losses, or Unauthorized use of the Course Manual violates copyright, damages (including without limitation, equitable relief) that trademark, and other laws and is prohibited. the user may now or hereafter have a right to assert against such parties as a result of the use of, or reliance on, the The text of the federal and state codes, regulations, voluntary Course Manual. standards, etc., reproduced in the Course Manual is used under license to Urban Green Council or, in some instances, Urban Green Council in the public domain. All other text, graphics, layout, and U.S. Green Building Council New York other elements of content in the Course Manual are owned by Urban Green Council and are protected by copyright 20 Broad Street, Suite 709 New York, NY 10005 under both United States and foreign laws.

TRADEMARK GPRO® is a registered trademark of Urban Green Council.

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This initiative was made possible by the generous support and expertise of the United Association International Training Fund.

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FOREWORD WHAT IS URBAN GREEN COUNCIL?

Urban Green Council is the New York Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Urban Green's mission is to advance sustainability of urban buildings through education, advocacy, and research. Our vision is to see cities that coexist in harmony with their natural environment and contribute to the health and well-being of all. A nonprofit organization established in 2002, Urban Green is funded by contributions from foundations, its members, and corporate sponsors. Our focus is on New York City, and Rockland and Westchester counties. Our in-house experts and a dedicated network of volunteers are helping to transform the built environment in New York City with models that can be replicated in urban centers nationwide.

WHAT IS GPRO?

Urban Green Council developed GPRO: Green Professional Building Skills Training, in partnership with the Building Construction Trades Council (BCTC), the Building Trades Employers' Association (BTEA), and the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE). Produced with more than 100 volunteers from local unions, contractors, and design professionals, along with the City University of New York (CUNY) and the USGBC Upstate New York Chapter, this comprehensive, international training program is designed to respond to the building industry's unique needs. It consists of a series of courses and certificate exams that teach the people who build, renovate, and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge. Skilled workers will be positioned to work in accordance with new regulations and to meet the expectations of owners and tenants who want healthier, environmentally sustainable, and energy-efficient homes and offices.

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FOREWORD

The courses include a prerequisite, Fundamentals of Building Green, and a set of trade-specific courses. Currently, those tradespecific courses consist of Construction Management, Operations & Maintenance Essentials, Electrical Systems, Plumbing, and Mechanical. Additional courses will be forthcoming. Applicants will receive a GPRO certificate from Urban Green by passing an exam in their area of expertise. This certificate will demonstrate that an individual understands green building as it applies to his or her trade and will enhance that person's ability to compete for and participate in green jobs.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE?

The GPRO training program is designed for experienced building professionals who seek to integrate green practices into the core knowledge of their trade. As such, the program materials and exam cover the "green gap" between standard trade skills and the new knowledge, awareness, and skills required to successfully implement green building. To successfully participate in the Plumbing course and pass the certificate exam, individuals should have construction experience such as a plumber or worker in the plumbing industry, project architect, professional engineer, or commissioning authority.

Urban Green Council Contact Information: Urban Green Council U.S. Green Building Council New York

www.gpro.org gpro@urbangreencouncil.org

20 Broad Street, Suite 709 New York, NY 10005 (212) 514-9385 www.urbangreencouncil.org

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CONTENTS Introduction

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Green Plumbers Needed The Benefits of Green Plumbing Changing How We Think About Water A New Way to Think About Water

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Sustainability in Plumbing Systems What Makes Plumbing Systems Sustainable? What are the Aspects of Sustainable Plumbing Systems? How Do We Measure Sustainability in Plumbing? What's Next? LEED v4 Building Design & Construction: Plumbing-Related Credits Classroom Exercise 1

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Saving Water by Reducing Demand High-Efficiency Fixtures and Appliances Faucets Showerheads Toilets Urinals Landscape Irrigation Improvements in Plumbing Fixtures are Key to Sustainability Fire Protection Systems and the Environment Classroom Exercise 2

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Improving Water Distribution Systems Optimize Pipe Insulation Reducing Hot-Water Waste Operations Water Metering Benchmarking

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CONTENTS

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Stormwater Control and Diversion The New Hydrologic Cycle Stormwater Control and Catchment Stormwater Management Systems Constructed Wetlands

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Alternative Water Sources Sources of Water in the New Hydrologic Cycle Rainwater Systems Introduction to Wastewater Reuse Systems Greywater Systems Basic Biology of Wastewater Treatment Blackwater Systems Reclaimed (Recycled) Water Systems

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Domestic Water Heating Fuel Sources and Measurement Domestic Water Heating Systems Direct Water Heaters Indirect Water Heaters Ground-Source Energy Cogeneration Systems Energy Recovery Solar Thermal Systems Utilizing Captured Solar Heat

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Managing Green Projects Roles of Subcontractors and Tradespeople on Green Buildings Code Compliance Whole-Building Coordination Work Practices Site Environmental Quality

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Conclusion

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Photo & Figure Source Credits

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Glossary

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Thank You

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i.1: 200 Market Building in Portland, OR is LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings Version 2.0. The building operations team reduced water use by 32% by installing low-flow and efficient water fixtures. The team also saved energy by installing two pressurized water storage tanks on the roof. This meant water pumps that used to run nonstop to maintain water pressure on higher floors could be turned off on nights and weekends.

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INTRODUCTION Welcome to Urban Green Council’s GPRO Plumbing course. This is the second step in our training and certificate program for plumbing professionals. Building upon the core information about sustainability and construction provided in the Fundamentals of Building Green course, this course teaches you about the new ways a plumber thinks and works on a green job. The course content covers a wide range of issues related to sustainability, the steps to reduce overall water usage, and the new technologies and products you’ll be installing. The material is presented in a manner that assumes you are already an experienced tradesperson with full knowledge of conventional plumbing practices in the construction of new buildings and the retrofitting of existing ones. As such, the course is meant to address only the “green gap,” or the things that you must know in addition to your current plumbing skills, in order to perform successfully on a green project. Urban Green Council has developed this course in partnership with leaders from the plumbing and construction industries. Whether you are taking this course as part of your local union’s educational programs, from a local college, through a contractor, or through some other training venue, you can be assured that this course is providing the most current information, allowing you to take advantage of new career opportunities in the green building market.

đƫ How plumbing activities contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. At the end of this manual, we provide you with a glossary to help you understand important definitions and abbreviations. Words listed in bold italics can be found in the glossary. Upon completion of this course, you will have the opportunity to take a certificate exam administered by Urban Green Council that will ensure your grasp of the above objectives, while drawing on content from both this Plumbing course and the Fundamentals course. Not all of the information will have been presented in the classroom, so it’s important that you also read and understand the manuals for both of these courses. The “test yourself” questions in the manuals and the short quizzes delivered in class will provide you with samples of the questions you will be expected to answer on the exam. Upon passing the exam, you will receive a GPRO Plumbing Certificate. Urban Green Council would like to thank you for making this commitment to advancing the plumbing industry’s capacity to build green. Together, we will have a significant impact on protecting the environment and creating a healthier, more sustainable world for all.

After taking this course, you will understand: đƫ How and why sustainability is important to plumbers and their work. đƫ The water-­saving and energy-efficiency principles used in new green systems. đƫ How green and conventional technologies, products, and installation practices differ. đƫ How to interpret the energy guide and water-­use rating systems shown on new products. đƫ The primary maintenance issues on common green fixtures, appliances, and systems. đƫ Common green retrofit options and issues. đƫ How to participate in the building commissioning process.

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Buildings offer shelter from the storm — literally. Today, however, they’re as much a threat to the environment as they are protection from it. In response, the construction industry is working hard to develop solutions that simultaneously create healthier, more affordable buildings that do less damage to the environment. These solutions are becoming increasingly common and are even the default in some areas. Plumbers are important members of the green building community. Because water and sanitation are essential to people’s health, plumbers work on every building project. That puts plumbers in a unique position to help society conserve and reuse its precious water resources. As the construction industry develops new technologies, products, and work practices, the plumber who understands and adopts green building techniques will be a valuable member of the construction team.

THE BENEFITS OF GREEN PLUMBING In Fundamentals of Building Green, you learned about the main benefits of green building: economy, jobs, health, and environment. Plumbers who engage in green practices can experience all of these benefits.

ECONOMY A strong economy requires healthy workers, a productive and flourishing environment, and new job opportunities. Green buildings contribute to all three. Well-designed, -constructed, -operated, and -maintained green buildings often lead to better health, productivity, and satisfaction for

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occupants. Likewise, developers, builders, trades, and occupants each have an opportunity to save money by building green, as a building that uses less energy and water has lower operating costs over its lifetime. The money saved in homes and businesses can be reinvested back into companies and communities in order to create new jobs and support new green projects.

JOBS Demand for green plumbing systems has created new job opportunities for plumbers. In fact, a growing number of both publicly- and privately-funded building projects require water-efficient systems. As a result, job prospects are especially strong for plumbers who have been trained in green plumbing practices and technologies. Such plumbers are needed to retrofit existing buildings to meet new efficiency standards; install major on-site water recycling strategies, such as greywater systems; and pipe and install efficient water-heating systems. These jobs and many others reflect the growing demand for sustainable plumbing systems, which drives research and development in pursuit of new technologies that generate still more jobs for green plumbers, creating a cycle of green employment (see Photo 1.1).

1.1: Installing water-efficient systems is an example of a new job opportunity for plumbers trained in sustainable best practices.

HEALTH Plumbers have long considered it their mission to “protect the health of the nation.” Green plumbing helps achieve this goal. Not only do plumbers help ensure safe drinking water and proper sanitation, but they also impact the air quality of construction sites. On green buildings, only adhesives with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

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are allowed on-site, and proper ventilation during welding and gluing is required. By keeping the air on construction sites healthy to breathe, these practices protect you, other workers, and future occupants.

ENVIRONMENT As a plumber, your work is essential to conserve water, one of our most valuable resources. Green plumbing systems conserve our water supply by preventing stormwater overflows, reducing pollution, and naturally replenishing groundwater. By using less water, we also reduce the amount of sewage that is processed and reintroduced into our natural systems. Green plumbing systems use less potable water by using water-efficient fixtures and alternative water sources wherever possible. Further, conserving water saves a substantial amount of energy, as reducing the amount of

water that’s consumed also reduces the amount of water that’s heated, treated, and pumped.

CHANGING HOW WE THINK ABOUT WATER UNDERSTANDING CHALLENGES TO SUPPLY AND DEMAND As you learned in Fundamentals, there are environmental challenges related to both the supply and demand of fresh water. First, there are major supply problems in North America. According to government estimates, serious water shortages affected at least 36 states in the U.S. in 2013. Faced with such shortages, water utilities rationed water and enforced mandatory water conservation measures so they could

provide water to all citizens. One of the biggest reasons for water shortages in the U.S. is out-of-date infrastructure in aging communities. In many of these communities, water supply systems are more than 100 years old. They now suffer from constant leaks and damage, which exposes water to pollutants and limits the amount of water that can be supplied to communities (see Photo 1.2). In these cities, water supply systems waste 40% or more of the supplied water. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen, in the drinking water of 31 U.S. cities. In 2010, Washington, D.C.’s water supply was found to contain dangerous levels of lead caused by corroding infrastructure. In terms of demand, water is often wasted and overused, which exacerbates shortages and strains the natural cycle. These problems will only get worse as our population grows, increasing demand on already strained water systems. Worldwide, 1.1 billion people — approximately one in six people — lack access to clean water. The Southern and Western U.S. already have water shortages and are experiencing the largest population growth in the country. As existing water systems reach the end of their useful lives in these and other population centers, we must repair and expand our water and drainage systems to serve the growing population. Doing so will cost at least $1 trillion through 2035. This may seem expensive, but doing nothing would be dangerous and even more costly. Upgrading our water infrastructure protects the health of our communities and waterways, and will be essential for future economic growth and development.

1.2: Preventing water pollution is key to protecting our water supply.

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GREEN PLUMBERS NEEDED

POTABLE WATER (BASELINE) BLACKWATER

OUTDATED FIXTURES

OVERWATERING GRASS LAWNS STORMWATER RUNOFF

POTABLE WATER

SEWER

1.3: In the old hydrologic cycle, people used water only once before sending it to sewers.

A NEW WAY TO THINK ABOUT WATER

water continues to be collected, treated, used, and disposed (see Figure 1.3).

UNDERSTANDING THE REAL COST OF WATER

As the population grows, demand for water increases, putting stress on this cycle. This stress continues to increase because consumers do not pay for the real cost of water.

Nature cleans and replenishes water through a process known as the hydrologic cycle. Over time, human beings have altered this process to meet their potable water needs. The human-altered hydrologic cycle begins with treatment facilities that collect water from rivers, lakes, and wells. This raw water is treated to produce potable water that is distributed to homes and buildings. There, people use the potable water for drinking, washing, cleaning, and sanitation, after which the used water is disposed of into a public or private sanitary treatment system. After treatment, the water is usually discharged into disposal fields or surface water sources. New raw

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The current price of water is falsely low. It does not reflect the true cost that local governments pay to extract or treat water, and does not recognize the environmental consequences of continually extracting water. Historically, the price of water has been kept low because it was plentiful and relatively cheap to obtain. However, that is no longer the case. Water infrastructure is outdated, local water sources are running dry, and our population is growing; therefore, the price of water will soon have to rise to reflect its real cost to society.

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF BUILDINGS Buildings can help relieve the pressure on infrastructure and water resources. To do this, we must rethink how water is supplied and used within buildings. Traditionally, plumbers were taught that their mission was to bring pure drinking water into buildings and get dirty wastewater out. Professional plumbers’ codes, methods, and culture were built around that simple philosophy. However, this was based on the historical assumption that we would never run out of clean water, which we now know is not true. Our current water usage is not sustainable. Clean water cannot be taken for granted; we must change our prior assumptions and rethink our relationship with natural systems. We must become a part of the natural water cycle by cleaning

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POTABLE WATER HARVESTING REUSE

RAINWATER COLLECTION

FROM FIXTURES TO CISTERN TO FIXTURES FOR USE EFFICIENCY WATEREFFICIENT FIXTURES

DROUGHT-RESISTANT PLANTS

WATEREFFICIENT APPLIANCES

RAIN BARREL

WATER METER POTABLE WATER

DRIP IRRIGATION SEWER

GREYWATER REUSE

1.4: The new hydrologic cycle uses alternative sources of water to reduce overall demand.

and reusing water before disposing of it. We can play a bigger part in safeguarding clean water for future generations. In our new way of thinking about water, new sources extend beyond city water mains and wells. They include harvested rainwater and greywater, which are captured and stored for non-potable uses (see Figure 1.4). Using new sources of water reduces stress on sewers and water treatment facilities. In addition to finding new sources of water, we must also reduce demand for it. Conserving water inside and outside our buildings by using efficient fixtures and droughtresistant plants will lessen the burden on nature and protect our water resources for the present and future.

1 TEST YOURSELF: 1. How are plumbers uniquely positioned to help the environment? 2. How do the four main benefits of green building relate to the plumbing industry? 3. Why are our current water use practices not sustainable? 4. Why does the current cost of water not reflect its true cost? 5. How do humans fit into the hydrologic cycle?

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Sample Chapter: GPRO Plumbing  

GPRO Plumbing gives experienced plumbers the critical tools to transition from conventional to sustainable construction practices.

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