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Small-diameter plumbing technology like PEX has changed how homes work. Often, a central manifold from a company such as Uponor distributes all water, making retrofits, additions, and repairs simple.


FAUCET FINISHES NEW DURABILITY
Ever heard of physical vapor deposition finish? It’s just one of the high-tech coatings being used on faucets. With these advanced surface treatments, alternatives to chrome (one of the longest lasting finishes) make more sense. In some cases, metals such as bronze and brushed nickel are simply protected with a polymer coating. In others—Delta’s “Brilliance” finish comes to mind—the coating emulates a metal such as brass. The green angle? Durability. When faucets corrode, people throw them away, whether or not the mechanics still perform properly. Tossing functional hardware in the landfill is not a green choice.


 


GLOSSARY OF TERMS
KNOW THE LINGO
> Low-Flow Toilet
Also known as a low-consumption toilets, these fixtures typically using a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush.


> Ultra-Low Flush
Another term to describe low-flow fixtures, this may also refer to a single or dual-flush model that uses even as little as .8 gpf.


> Aerator
Small screened device that fits inside a faucet nozzle, mixing air into water so less is required to do the same chore.


> Widespread Lavatory Faucet
Refers to the style of faucet, typically one with two separate handles, 8” apart.


> Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)
High-tech finishing technique that allows for faucets with many different looks, including “metal on metal” surfaces that are extremely corrosion and wear resistant.


> PEX Tubing
Crosslinked polyethylene plastic pipe. Increasingly popular as a replacement for PVC or copper plumbing.


> Cartridge Faucet
Most modern faucets contain ceramic cartridges that allow water to flow, whereas older faucets used compression— squeezing a rubber o-ring that would eventually wear out.


 


PLUMBING THINK FLEXIBLE
Flexible PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) plumbing has become widely accepted as a substitute for other standards of household plumbing. Fittings have improved, problems are rare, and most plumbers have come to embrace the technology.


From a green perspective, tubing made from high-grade plastic is a welcome alternative to vinyl-based PVC pipe. And from a practical perspective, PEX is ideal for tricky retrofit jobs, because the flexibl tubing can snake around obstacles, which means you can avoid unnecessary demolition.


 


AMERICAN STANDARD COMPACT CADET 3
The Cadet line has consistently been one of the most reliable low-flow toilets on the market. The water efficient version of this model requires just 1.28 gallons per flush, yet offers excellent bulk removal. It comes with a five-year warranty. www.americanstandard-us.com


GERBER AVALANCHE SUPER TOILET
This toilet is a little taller and longer than average, designed for the comfort of the user while at the same time meeting the low-flow 1.6 gpf standards expected in modern baths. www.gerberonline.com


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GreenBuilder 11.2010

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