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Low-hanging Fruit: LEED Points for Existing Buildings with Dolphin WaterCare


Key Takeaways:

  • Dolphin WaterCare can significantly improve building resource efficiency and contribute up to 7 LEED points for existing buildings

  • Dolphin WaterCare can be installed in less than a day and provide immediate economic and environmental benefits to facilities

  • Additional resources:

Increasing focus on Sustainability

With the continued focus on resource efficiency and sustainability within the building industry it is estimated that over 50% of all non-residential construction in the US will be rated as green.

The primary measurement system used in the US to quantify the amount of “greenness” or sustainability a building design has achieved is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). 


Dolphin WaterCare Reduces Water Demand

There are over 4.9 million commercial buildings in the U.S., and in aggregate, these buildings use significant quantities of water.  In a typical office building, the heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system uses 33% of the total water demand.  Thousands of Dolphin WaterCare chemical-free water treatment systems have been deployed successfully around the world and have demonstrated a reduction in potable water use and wastewater discharges while achieving superior corrosion, scale and bacteria control.  And, because the water discharge or blow-down from a cooling system with Dolphin WaterCare is chemical-free, it can be reused (e.g., landscaping irrigation) to further reduce potable water demand.


LEED Points for Installing Dolphin WaterCare  

Dolphin WaterCare has been a solid contributor to the attainment of LEED points in over 350 buildings.  The majority of these LEED points have been for new construction, but about ten percent were for existing buildings.  In the LEED program Existing Buildings: Operation & Maintenance (EBOM), Dolphin WaterCare contributes points in the following Credit Categories: 

  • Water Efficiency - Dolphin WaterCare has earned points for cooling tower water management and water efficient landscaping.  To earn (1) point for cooling tower water management, a plan must be developed and implemented.  The plan must address cooling water treatment, blow-down, biological control, and maintenance training.  Dolphin WaterCare has written these plans for past projects, which can be readily customized for new opportunities.  Additional points (up to 5) can be attained under the category of water efficient landscaping if the cooling tower blow-down is reused for irrigation.  If this reuse results in a 50% reduction in potable water for irrigation, 1 point is awarded.  If 100% reduction is attained, 5 points are awarded (intermediate levels are 2 points for 62.5%, 3 points for 75%, 4 points for 87.5%).

  • Innovation in Operations – Dolphin WaterCare has earned a 1 point for this category.  This credit is earned by completing a submittal that addresses specific areas of interest by the USGBC.  These are environmental benefits, compliance, and performance metrics achieved by deploying the Dolphin WaterCare system.  Dolphin WaterCare has created this submittal for a majority of its 350 LEED certified projects and has consistently been successful in earning the 1 point credit in this category. 

Other Credit Categories where Dolphin WaterCare could potentially earn LEED points include: 

  • Indoor Environmental Quality – through the elimination of chemicals, Dolphin WaterCare reduces the exposure of building occupants and the surrounding community to potentially harmful contaminants. 

  • Regional Priority – Dolphin WaterCare can earn points on regulatory priorities in geographic regions. 

  • Innovation in Operations: Exemplary Performance – Dolphin WaterCare can earn points though improving water efficiency metrics.


Dolphin WaterCare Staff Handles Support Documentation for LEED Point Submittals

Dolphin WaterCare works directly with project managers on LEED projects to obtain required information and generate the actual LEED submittal package.  Essentially, Dolphin WaterCare does all the paperwork to expedite the acquisition of LEED points.  Dolphin WaterCare also provides its contact information to respond to any inquires of the USGBC review board regarding the submittal package.  


In a Nutshell:

We have been a member of the USGBC since 2001. The Dolphin WaterCare non-chemical treatment system for cooling towers has earned LEED points on more than 350 projects. Since 2003, Dolphin WaterCare has proven to be a powerful asset to architects and engineers working to achieve LEED certification for their building projects.  We can help you attain LEED points and deliver significant savings to your bottom line while delivering world-class water treatment that ensures peak performance of your cooling system.  Sign up for a free assessment to see how Dolphin WaterCare can help you reach your sustainability goals (and reduce operating costs!).

Download the entire whitepaper complete with detailed appendices:

Clearwater Systems Celebrates Earth Day, Unveils LEED® Silver Certification Plaque for its Headquarters Facility


Clearwater Systems celebrated Earth Day this week by unveiling the recently-earned LEED®  Silver certification for its headquarters building to assembled guests and employees.

“We are proud to be headquartered in this new LEED Silver-certified building,” stated Anupam Bhargava, CEO of Clearwater Systems. “This move exemplifies our mission and commitment to resource efficiency and further demonstrates that sustainability is not only a key attribute of our products, it is a foundational corporate value.”


Pictured (left to right): Clearwater Systems CFO Dean Nichols, Sales VP Bob Tierney, LEED AP, developers Michael Tyre, AIA, LEED AP and Lennie Leibenhaut, CTGBC Board Member, Vin Chiocchio.


The facility integrates a number of green building technologies and practices resulting in a tremendously energy efficient building and a healthy working environment for employees. For instance, the facility utilizes solar panel arrays on the roof that produce 19 kW of power annually and employs Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology for the heating and cooling system which provides exceptional efficiency and indoor air quality. The collective green features provide an estimated 35% savings on total energy consumption. The project was recognized with a Merit Award of distinction in 2012 by the Connecticut Green Building Council.


Clearwater's LEED Silver-Certified headquarters in Middletown CT

While the LEED certification is the first for a Clearwater Systems facility, the Dolphin WaterCare systemhas enabled customers to earn LEED points spanning over 350 green building projects to date. The company is focused on the design and delivery of advanced water treatment solutions that support building resource efficiency – primarily water and energy savings – while contributing to pollution prevention and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The well-attended event featured building developers Michael Tyre, AIA, LEED AP and Lennie Leibenhaut, the Clearwater Systems team and CTGBC Board Member, Vin Chiocchio.

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