Energy audits have been conducted for many years, and there is a well-established cohort of service providers trained to perform them in accordance with standards developed by ASHRAE and others. These standards define the process and quality of work that should be achieved for energy performance audits. However, a corresponding level of industry maturity, and an understanding of what should be included, does not yet exist for auditing water performance. This document is an initial attempt to develop such guidance based on a multi-year process drawing upon input from a working group of industry experts.
Building water audits offer clear benefits to facility managers and owners, municipalities encouraging greater efficiencies throughout their service areas, and occupants of commercial and residential buildings. Water and energy efficiency upgrades can result in lower operating costs and increased comfort for building occupants. Resulting savings can also contribute to overall municipal goals.
It is vital that audits from various professionals and for different geographical locations are comparable and consistent in format to help standardize the industry. This guide provides both an outline for procedural execution of audits and a detailed format for audit reports. The goals of this document are to:
- Provide a common basis for conducting water audits.
- Define levels of effort for water audits.
- Establish a standard for water audit reports.
- Provide guidance for building owners, managers, and governments for conducting water audits.
- Serve as a guide to best practices for water auditors.
Auditors should adopt this guide as a framework for conducting thorough and consistent commercial-grade water audit. It assumes that those performing these audits will have the necessary background in water management or building water systems to conduct such an audit with minimal training. Training events to support this guide are encouraged; however, those who receive the training should not be beginners to the arena of water management.