Green tea? Boiling and chilled water systems as a sustainable choice
Plastic water bottles are one of the great scourges of our time, when it comes to sustainability. Somewhere along the line, retailers managed to convince huge swathes of the population that water from the tap was not good enough and that they need to spend money on bottled water. This has clearly been a misguided development – both for individuals’ hip pockets and for the environment, which has to deal with the hundreds of thousands of single-use plastic bottles flooding the market.
On top of this, white-and blue-collar workers across the planet are buying takeaway coffees and teas in paper cups, drinking their beverage and disposing of the drinking vessel. Often without a second thought. Again, it’s people’s bank balances and the environment that suffer the consequences.
One sensible solution to all of these issues is to install water filtration units in new projects or retrofit them into existing facilities – whether they be commercial, residential in other sectors. Although facility managers, specifiers and architects looking to integrate state-of-the-art boiling/chilled water systems into their buildings may still have some concerns if sustainability and eco awareness are important considerations to take into account.
But there are a few misconceptions about this and the fact is that users actually don’t need to compromise their lifestyle choices in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
The energy used to operate filtered water systems has an impact on people’s perception of them as being environmentally friendly, but during the design stages of water system appliances, for reputable companies, energy efficiency is actually a top priority.
When it comes to day-to-day operation, there is also a perception that the units require more energy to keep boiling and chilled water at constant temperatures.
But again, this is not the case. A well-designed unit will not only have sustainability as a key element, but should also make economic sense. Billi’s heat technology recovers and reuses energy to preheat the boiling water, thereby making a significant cost saving. In addition, it reduces the carbon footprint through a number of features.
Effective energy saving initiatives help the products meet Green Building Design objectives. The most important features include the following:
- thermodynamic heat-exchanged technology recovers and reuses heat energy,
- high-performance insulation maintains water temperature and saves energy, and
- the standby mode conserves power during selected non-use periods.
Product claims from a company are one thing, but Billi actually has some impressive credentials, having managed to secure a prestigious environmental accreditation. Global GreenTag is one of the most trusted, established and widely recognised ecolabels in the world. Its aim is to ‘build trust back into the green marketplace and save the planet in the process’.
And it has given Billi’s products its seal of approval, as they comply with GreenTag International standard v.32, and the Eco, Quadra and Quadra Plus models have been granted Gold level certification. The assessment required to achieve the Gold level certification standard includes up to six key requirements.
Those requirements are:
- Australian made
- assembled in Australia from majority imported components
- Building/product synergy
- makes building and other systems more efficient
- multipurpose product
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Building Code of Australia compliant
- complies with Australian law
- fit for purpose certified
- Health and ecotoxicity
- Considered safe to use
- life cycle analysis – greenhouse gas
- low carbon
- carbon footprint available
- life cycle analysis – water
- highly water efficient.
- life cycle analysis – greenhouse gas
And, in contrast to the perception that environmentally friendly solutions come with a price premium, in fact the opposite is true, at least when it comes to this brand. The initial investment in environmentally friendly solutions that Billi offers in its range actually offers long-term cost saving advantages. Users’ hip pockets benefit and the environment benefits – so when you’re making that next cup of tea with a boiling/chilled water system, you can sure it’ll be a green one… even if it’s black!