UBM firmly believes that more water can be saved if efficient water fixtures are used. It has, therefore, teamed up with Zurn to promote better solutions to conserve this dwindling resource.
CONCERNED with the dwindling resources of water in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, Universal Building Materials Merchants Company (UBM) has teamed up with US-based Zurn Engineered Water Solutions to bring the best available products to improve water conservation.
Saudi Arabia is amongst the countries facing water scarcity due to limited natural water sources. According to reports, renewable groundwater in the country represents 11.7 per cent of the total groundwater reserves; while non-renewable groundwater represents 88.3 per cent.
In the Gulf, a considerable amount of water is consumed in domestic applications and efficient water fixtures can easily achieve water savings in the range of 30-50 per cent and that too without compromising human needs or local requirements, says a top UBM official.
“In a country like Saudi Arabia, with more than 30 million people and with no fresh water sources, we are challenged to use water as efficiently as possible,” says Raghunath Sadasivam, the CEO of UBM Saudi Arabia, a pioneer in bringing state-of-the-art water-saving products into the region. “Our team of well trained engineers understands water conservation and how plumbing fixtures and faucets impact the usage of water, and apply that knowledge to the clients’ projects.”
Separately, water conservation experts from Eco Engineering and Energy Solutions (Ecosol) have reported that substantial water savings can be achieved by replacing inefficient water fixtures in existing facilities with new efficient ones or by considering these water-efficient fixtures from the beginning in the design stage for new facilities.
The company has been involved in many water audits in residential and commercial applications. All studies and implemented projects have shown that the difference in price between inefficient (or conventional) water fixtures and efficient water fixtures is low, and in all cases that additional cost shall be recovered within a few months in view of the high cost of water in our region.
In a recent study conducted by the company for a medical city in Riyadh, it was found that 760,000 cu m of water could be saved on an annual basis by applying a set of water conservation measures. Out of this, 27 per cent of water savings were shown to be achieved by replacing old inefficient domestic water fixtures.
Amjad Alkam, CEO of Ecosol, says: “Due to the importance of water as a precious commodity, green buildings certification and ratings systems worldwide have identified water conservation as one of the main criteria. For example, the US Green Buildings Council’s (USGBC) Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system dedicated 10-13 per cent of its points to water efficiency in addition to three water efficiency prerequisites.
“In our Leed certification projects in Saudi Arabia and other countries, we usually achieve most of the water efficiency points due to the fact that investment in this category is very economically feasible in addition to its big advantage on the national level. In fact, this was one of the main drivers why Gulf countries adopted green buildings requirements and certification systems in most of its governmental projects.”
To achieve the goal of improving water-use efficiency, UBM’s partnership with Zurn has come at a suitable juncture.
Zurn Engineered Water Solutions is a recognised leader in commercial, municipal, and industrial markets; and manufactures the largest range of engineered water solutions in the industry, including a wide spectrum of sustainable plumbing products. It is developing products to meet the growing needs of water conservation, water safety, water control, and water comfort by providing wide range of fixtures contributing to water conservation.
Ken Clark, director of International Sales for Zurn, comments: “At Zurn, sustainable plumbing solutions are more than just an initiative; they’re a commitment to preserving resources while creating products that help the construction community build a better world. Innovation will shape the future of our planet, and Zurn will be there every step of the way. Zurn understands that building owners and facility managers face increasing cost challenges, one of which is reducing water consumption,”
Zurn’s product offering combines both value and performance to deliver significant savings for the building owner.
“Today’s building owners and facility managers face increasing cost challenges, one of which is reducing water consumption. Zurn’s ‘paired performance’ fixture systems combine the strength of commercial brass fittings with an innovative offering of sanitary fixtures,” says Clark.
Meanwhile, Raghunath says UBM understands the importance of contributing to the nation’s efforts to conserve indoor water use. “That is why we have signed a co-operation agreement with the Saudi Green Building Council (SGBC) and Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) to empower the construction industry professionals with all their project related specification details.”
Also in April 2013, UBM opened a specification and design centre (SDC) in Riyadh to serve architects, consultants, contractors and interior designers in Saudi Arabia by providing the latest products that contribute to lead-free water solutions for a modern world, water conservation products and solutions.
The new facility features product showcases from worldwide manufacturers and meeting rooms for educational programmes such as energy conservation, sustainability, green space, environmental protection, water conservation and contribute to the enhancement of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia.
Raghunath adds that since the opening of the SDC, a series of seminars, workshops and lecture sessions have been conducted to support awareness-raising activities and rationalise water consumption and electricity such Leed courses and SGBC for green buildings solutions.
UBM has contributed to most of the major projects in Saudi Arabia by being a total solutions provider to the construction industry, right from engineering design to delivery of products and related services. The company’s leadership position in the building materials market segment is due to the fact that it pools quality products from renowned manufacturers, ensures stock availability, employs highly trained product specialist and offers excellent after-sales service.
Raghunath says UBM’s team is well qualified to offer building materials from the concept stage to delivery and beyond.
“This end-to-end service is being offered for the first time in Saudi Arabia,” he concludes.