In putting together any eco-project, you always have an enormous number of design choices to make.  Whether it’s the light fixtures, the style of trim, or the plumbing fixtures, you have to look through dozens, hundreds or even thousands of choices to see what fits your taste, your budget, and energy or water efficiency goals.

EPA WaterSense

For our projects, that means that we want, as much as possible, to select bath fixtures that adhere to the EPA’s WaterSense Certification program.  This program rates toilets, faucets and shower heads that meet the specified WaterSense water efficiency goals.  Currently, that means that toilets must use 1.28 gallons per flush or less, faucets must run at 1.5 gallons per minute or less and shower heads must run at 2.0 gallons per minute or less.

As with all innovative products, the marketplace starts off with few options for the leading-edge adopters (eg. eco+historical homes back in 2008/2009) but as more and more localities set water efficiency goals into their local building codes, the number of available products grows exponentially.  The earlier you are as an adopter (like those folks today trying to find 1.75 gal/min shower heads), the more meager your options and…unfortunately…the less likely you’ll be able to find a style of fixture that matches your design sensibilities or themes.

eco AND historical

Thanks to this broadening range of products, there are now plenty of fixtures that are both stylish and much more efficient than standard fixtures (where toilets typically use 1.6 gal/min, faucets use 2.5 gal/min, and shower heads can use a whopping 10-12 gal/min).

In particular, the gorgeous faucets from Delacora are both classic and high style while offering the efficiency that an eco home demands.

On our Master Bath Vanity, these looked simply amazing, combined with the Caesarstone Misty Carrera counter and backsplash and re-sawn oak vanity and mirror.

In the shower, we tapped Kohler for their Bancroft classic shower set – now running at a WaterSense-rated 2 gal/min.  The polished nickel finish accentuates the sense of tradition and warmth.

Rounding out the bath choices was the very traditionally-styled, yet up-to-date-engineered Kohler Devonshire toilet.  Quiet, efficient at just 1.28 gal/flush, and perfect for our decor, it fit our design and our LEED criteria.