It seems, therefore, fair to say that the luxury of having outside window and sun exposure for these two bath rooms adds $720.00 to the real cost of the two-pipe plumbing when comparing it with the single pipe system, and this gives us $1937.00 for the real cost of the former against $709.00 for the latter.
In other words, the two-pipe system costs here $519.00 more than twice as much as the one-pipe system.
Under no form of reasoning can the greatly increased value of the property due to the addition of two such sunny bedrooms be Overlooked, except under the assumption that the conclusions of modern science as to the freedom of sewer air from disease germs are unfounded, and that consequently the old-fashioned idea that sunlight is still needed in bath rooms for the purpose of destroying such sewer germs, and that the most effective bath room ventilation is to be obtained by temporarily opening windows upon the outer air rather than by the scientifically regulated and constantly active suction of heated ventilating flues.
The motive power I have installed in the house under consideration consists, first, in the main supply and return pipes of a vapor system of heating, and, second, in the heat of the lighting burners. These burners furnish a brilliancy of bath room illumination superior on the whole to window light, not only because windows supply no light at all at night, but also because the shades must be drawn during the day for privacy, whereas cheerful and brilliant illumination may be had at all times in the inner bath rooms, ornamented or tempered to any extent desired, by leaded glass, as indicated.
Even direct fresh air may be introduced at very slight additional expense by the aid of a duplicate set of air supply pipes built in the general heated flue, connecting each bath room independently with the outer air. This direct air supply will then be tempered in stormy, freezing weather by the adjoining steam and return mains and by the light-burners, and its volume may be easily regulated by dampers.
Both of these refinements are practically unattainable when outside windows are alone depended upon.
Part of the saving effected by our new arrangement may properly be applied toward installing better plumbing fixtures and more of them. Accordingly in the simpler plan two complete bath rooms have been added to the outfit, and solid earthenware has been substituted for galvanized iron in the service sinks and laundry trays. In addition to this, automatic flush-pots have been installed on the sinks, forming an important measure of protection against grease clogging in the kitchen waste pipes.
The amount of money-saving which would be effected by the simplifications I have advocated above becomes still more startling when applied to whole cities.
According to our census, the average cost of all buildings annually erected in recent years, in the 49 principal cities of the United States, has been over six hundred million dollars per year. The average cost of the plumbing in these buildings is estimated by good authority at 7 percent of the total, which makes its annual cost about 42 millions, of which, according to our figures, between 15 and 20 millions might have been annually saved.
Taking for example the year 1906, which was somewhat better than the average building year, the cost of buildings erected in San Francisco in that year was nearly 35 millions, of which nearly 2 1-2 millions went into plumbing, and of this about a million could have been saved if the difference in the cost of the two systems of plumbing in that year was as I have described. In the future rebuilding of this city a most unusual opportunity seems to be afforded in this direction for both money-saving and sanitary advantage.
New York City erected in the same year nearly 156 millions' worth of new buildings, of which the plumbing probably cost 11 millions, from 4 to 6 of which might have been saved.
Chicago erected that year 65 millions' worth of building, 4 1-2 millions of which went into plumbing, and a couple or so of millions was thrown away; and our city of Boston erected in the same time 23 millions' worth of buildings, throwing away between 6 and 7 hundred thousand dollars in useless piping.
I believe the Am. Institute of Architects is better able to effect a reform in this department of building than any other body of men in the country, because, while absolutely disinterested, they are better equipped than any other body to view the situation broadly and scientifically, and to exert upon legislators the kind of influence which will compel them to take action in behalf of the public against the pressure of selfish interests and the inertia of ignorance and indifference.
Upon us, at any rate, lies a grave responsibility in the matter of bringing about this reform, because it is to us that our clients, the public, look to safeguard their interests and health in all departments of building construction.
I would suggest that some immediate action be taken by the Institute, recommending such simplifications as it is now prepared to make, and that also a committee be appointed by the president to investigate the situation and report their findings with recommendations for further action in the direction of simplicity at the earliest possible moment.
In the meantime I have prepared a simplified plumbing code, which is a modification of codes I had been asked to prepare for the use of a number of cities, and which have been in part adopted by them, after conservatism had, however, expunged several provisions for simplification which seemed to me to be among the most important.
This code, together with some observations and demonstrations in sanitary plumbing, giving in some detail my grounds for the recommendations I have made in this paper, which the limit of time allowed me has prevented my even briefly reviewing here, form the substance of a little book to be published this month by Doubleday, Page & Co. of New York, which I have dedicated to the Boston Society of Architects, in recognition of their conscientious efforts in revising the building laws of our city. I refer to it as a means of filling out some of the defects of omission which you may find in this paper.