How to get it right: Domestic water usage for new dwellings

24.02.2021
News
Water tap showing water usage and the building regulations

The building regulations specify limits on water use for newly constructed homes and those formed by converting existing buildings. Water usage from WCs, wash basins, sinks, showers, baths, and white goods such as dishwashers and washing machines are all included in the requirement.

English regulations

In England, the regulations require that the average water usage be no more than 125 litres per person per day unless the planning permission for the home has specified that this needs to be reduced to 110 litres per person per day. The planning permission will state whether this standard has been applied. It's important that the person submitting the building regulation application informs the local authority building control department of this planning requirement.

Estimated water usage needs to be calculated unless the water fittings used follow the guidance in tables 2.1 and 2.2 of Approved Document G (England).

Table 2.1 Maximum fittings consumption - water usage

Table 2.1: Water fittings route for 125 litres per person per day standard.

Table 2.2 Maximum fittings consumption - water usage

 Table 2.2: Water fittings route for 110 litres per person per day standard.

Where the water fittings to be used exceed the consumption stated in the tables or where a shower is not to be provided or where a waste disposal unit, water softener or water re-use is proposed the estimated water usage should be calculated using the method contained in Appendix A of Approved Document G. 

Visit here for further information for providing water calculations 

Welsh regulations

In Wales, the regulations require that the average water usage be no more than 110 litres per person per day for new dwellings and 125 litres per person per day for dwellings formed by conversion of an existing building.

The estimated water usage needs to be calculated unless the water fittings used follow one of the performance standards in table 2.1 of Approved Document G (Wales). 

Table 2.1 Maximum fittings consumption - water usage

Where the water fittings to be used exceed the consumption stated in the tables or where a shower is not to be provided or where a waste disposal unit, water softener or water re-use is proposed the estimated water usage should be calculated using the method contained in Annex 2 of Approved Document G.

What your building control team will need to see

Building control in both countries should be provided with water efficiency calculations at the design stage where a fittings approach is not followed. Any changes to the fitting’s specification should be included in an updated calculation and resubmitted.

Your local authority building control authority will need to be issued with a notice within five days of completion of the home stating the potential water consumption. They should also be provided with a final version of the water efficiency calculation at the same time.

Further information

Please contact your local building control team with any queries - you can find their direct contact details using the postcode search at the top of this page.

 

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the user’s professional judgement. It is the responsibility of the dutyholder or person carrying out the work to ensure compliance with relevant building regulations or applicable technical standards.

Comments

Water usage in practice

Submitted 5 months 2 weeks ago

According to the regulations the limit is 125 l per person per day. How does the installer ensure this is not exceeded?
Is there a metering device that closes the supply until tomorrow when the household limit is reached? Otherwise a "limit" is completely meaningless.

LABC response

Submitted 5 months ago

Hi,

There is no water meterage or mechanism to prevent the overuse of wholesome water in a new dwelling – a dwellinghouse or a flat.

The designer and builder must ensure that fittings are adequate to meet the potential daily usage stated under regulation 36(2)(a) or (b), to show that the dwelling can, where occupants use appliances and fittings in a normal manner, provide the necessary water efficiency levels to satisfy Building Regulations 36 and 37 and requirement G2. Approved Document G provides further guidance under section G2 and in Appendix A.

Upon completion of the building work for a new dwelling (a newly erected house or flat, or one that has been created by a material change of use - excluding a change of use in a building with at least one dwelling, where there has been created a greater or lesser number of dwellings than existed before the change) a notice must be given to the Building Control Body, before a Completion Certificate can be given, which specifies the potential water consumption of wholesome water per person per day, for which the water efficiency calculation results can be used.

Further info:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/2214/part/7
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/504207/BR_PDF_AD_G_2015_with_2016_amendments.pdf

Best,
LABC team

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