Launched by the ADENE in December, 2019, the AQUA+ programme is a voluntary classification scheme that enables performance data on water management and re-use data in buildings to be analysed and communicated. The scheme is based on an index that rates efficiency from A+ (most efficient) to F (least efficient).
The AQUA+ rating aggregates building design efficiency, water use, sourcing and distribution, domestic appliance consumption, hot water production and distribution systems as well as exterior use (for example pools or garden sprinklers). It is the first such index to be introduced in a European country.
For the moment, AQUA+ is only available for residential buildings (apartment buildings and houses) but is due to be extended to commercial premises in various sectors, mainly tourism, shops and services.
The AQUA+ auditors (specialist companies and professionals) don’t just rate the buildings’ efficiency. They also identify means by which water consumption can be reduced, for example by installing smart water management systems. As the ADENE points out on its dedicated website, “low water-consumption buildings can yield a reduction of 30% in water consumption and a reduction of 20% in energy bills.”
The AQUA+ rating can apply to each of a building or apartment’s different lifecycles, from design (guarantee of better efficiency, and therefore of obtaining the highest rating), to maintenance and all the way through to its refurbishment, renovation and use.