Water articles are written by ADB staff and external contributors on various water issues, reforms, and good practices.

Waterless Carwash
July 2012

By Theresa Audrey Esteban Sector Officer A new waterless carwash service is increasing water use efficiency and contributing to making ADB Headquarters an environment-friendly workplace. CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY As part of a campaign to reduce water consumption, ADB Headquarters (ADBHQ) now offers a new waterless carwash service for ADB staff. Launched in October 2011, the Waterless Carwash was the brainchild of ADBHQ’s Office of Administrative Services (OAS) as an innovative and environment-friendly service in its quest for obtaining the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The Waterless Carwash system basically makes use of a unique spray on and wipe off plant-based chemical solution made from natural ingredients such as soy, coconut milk, citrus essential oils, and water. The solution is nontoxic, biodegradable, phosphate-free, and packaged in 100 percent recyclable materials. It is sprayed on a vehicle’s surface, and breaks down grime and polymers. A microfiber cloth is used to wipe off the dirt and buff the surface to a shine, while ensuring a scratch-free finish and lasting protection from daily elements. The Waterless Carwash is better than a regular carwash. “It is like a wash-and-wax in one and adds protection and even more luster to the vehicle”, says Hendy Widjaja, OIC, OAS Commercial Services Unit. It does not contribute to solid and liquid wastes that may enter the sewage system unlike in regular carwash. More importantly, the service saves ADBHQ about 80 liters of water per vehicle washed. WATER EFFICIENT WORKPLACE The USGBC’s LEED green building certification program encourages and accelerates the global adaptation of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance. The principle of having green building systems is to help reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts through high performance construction and operations practices. As an added benefit, green operations and management reduce operating costs, enhance building marketability, increase workers productivity, and reduce potential liability resulting from indoor air quality problems. ADB’s OAS does not only provide administrative support to ADB Management and staff. The department boasts of its pioneering techniques in supporting ADB to become a more effective and green work place.

When OAS embarked on obtaining the LEED in 2009, water use efficiency was at the cornerstone of its LEED Strategy. Specifically, the strategy incorporated technology and water efficient appliances to reduce the large amounts of water used for building maintenance, among other water uses. As part of the strategy, ADB constructed its own wastewater recycling facility as early as 2007 to reduce water consumption by 6% annually. In 2010, ADB constructed a rainwater harvesting facility to effectively reduce dependence on potable water supply for plant irrigation, and cleaning of ADBHQ’s building façade, driveways, and exterior pavements. The facility has reduced damage to nearby bodies of water caused by storm water run-off from the HQ building and parking areas. It likewise promotes water sufficiency through rainwater conservation. ADB’s rainwater harvesting facility has saved 15 percent of ADB’s annual potable water consumption, translating to a savings amounting to almost US$20,000. CERTIFIED GREEN Today, the ADB community can avail of the Waterless Carwash service at the gasoline station inside ADBHQ and in two major malls in Mandaluyong and Taguig at a discounted price. The service is very convenient for the ADB community since they can just leave their car at the parking lot near the gas station and have their car serviced while they go to the office. It saves them gasoline and time. ADB’s Waterless Carwash averages about 5 vehicles a day, 6 times a week, amounting to a weekly savings of approximately 2,400 liters of water. OAS continuously monitors the ADBHQ’s water consumption and regularly conducts maintenance operations to further increase water efficiency. ADB received the LEED Gold certification in June 2011 and ADBHQ became the first and only existing building in the Philippines with this certification. RELATED LINKS Water for All U.S. Green Building Council

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