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Wat 04 Water efficient equipment

Number of credits available Minimum standards
1 No


To reduce unregulated water consumption by encouraging specification of water efficient equipment.

Assessment Criteria

The following is required to demonstrate compliance for:

One credit

  1. Where an irrigation method specified for internal or external planting and/or landscaping, it complies with ANY ONE of the following:
    1. Drip feed subsurface irrigation that incorporates soil moisture sensors. The irrigation control should be zoned to permit variable irrigation to different planting assemblages.
    2. Reclaimed water from a rainwater or greywater system. The storage system must be appropriately sized i.e. storage capacity is relative to the size of the soft landscaped area.
    3. External landscaping and planting that relies solely on precipitation, during all seasons of the year.
    4. All planting specified is restricted to species that thrive in hot and dry conditions.
    5. Where no dedicated, mains-supplied irrigation systems (including pop-up sprinklers and hoses) are specified and planting will rely solely on manual watering by building occupier or landlord.
  2. Where a sub surface drip feed irrigation system is installed for external areas, a rainstat must also be installed to prevent automatic irrigation of the planting and the landscape during periods of rainfall.
  3. Where a vehicle wash system is specified, it uses a full or partial reclaim unit which contains one or more of the following: a hydro-cyclone, a sand or activated carbon filter, a sump tank(s), three chamber interceptors, and a cartridge filter or bag filter. This is in line with the ECA water technology list1

Compliance Notes





Issue is not applicable Where there is no planting or vehicle wash facilities in the building this issue is not applicable and does not require assessment.


Microbial contamination See criterion 3 Where vehicle wash systems are specified, the design team are to clarify that the installed system(s) is designed to minimise any legionella risk (refer to BREEAM issue Hea 04).


Multi-residential developments with CSH assessed dwellings

For buildings with self-contained dwellings also being assessed under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), the following applies:

Where Wat 2 of the CSH has been achieved, Wat 04 can be achieved for the assessment of the multi-residential aspect of the development, provided the external water collection facility provides sufficient volume for all buildings (multi-residential and self-contained dwellings) within the construction zone.

Schedule of Evidence

Ref Design stage
Post-construction stage

Documentation detailing the planting and irrigation strategy

Relevant section/clauses of the building specification or contract AND/OR

design drawings (where necessary)

Manufacturers product details

BREEAM Assessor’s site inspection report and photographic evidence

Manufacturers product details

Additional Information

Relevant definitions

Construction zone
For the purpose of this issue the construction zone is defined as the site which is being developed for the BREEAM-assessed building and its external site areas i.e. the scope of the new works.
Unregulated water
Water supply systems whose specification is not regulated by Building Regulations or other relevant legislation. For the purpose of this BREEAM version, this at present includes equipment for irrigation and, for the relevant building types, vehicle wash plant/equipment.
Vehicle Wash
A commercial automatic, semi-automatic or manual system for washing vehicles. This includes wheel and chassis wash, fixed gantry and screen wash systems using brushes, spray bars or handheld jet hoses.

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