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Meritage Builds Green Neighborhood in AZ

Meritage Homes has built its first green neighborhood in Gilbert, Ariz., according to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal. The energy-efficient subdivision aims to reduce energy consumption by 80 percent, according to the report. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the company said that much of the energy-saving technology deployed in the community did not exist as recently as a year ago.

According to a company press release, the 210 homes in the development are designed to be 50 percent more energy efficient than homes meeting today’s minimum ENERGY STAR requirements. Each home comes with a solar electric and thermal system that generates over twice the energy per square foot as compared to conventional solar panels, high performance wall systems that are 3.5 times more energy efficient than standard wall assemblies, spray foam insulation, an electronic home energy management system, and a weather sensing irrigation and water management system. The company described the subdivision as the first of its kind to offer such a broad selection of efficiency solutions at an affordable price, and called the subdivision a prototype for future projects.

Joseph Carl Homes, meanwhile, is rolling out its CantaMia development, which is designed to be 60 percent more efficient than comparable homes, according to a company press release, and will come with their own solar panel systems.

Houses in the Gilbert development are starting under $180,000. According to a report in Green Energy News, that pricing could be the most significant aspect of the new development. With new home prices averaging $260,000, the Meritage development are making energy efficient homes available at a more affordable price.

The opening of the Gilbert development follows on the heels of announcements by KB Homes and Lennar that they will be developing green home lines. KB Homes has also said that every home it builds will now be Energy Star compliant, and recently passed the 55,000 mark. A study last year found that Energy Star compliant homes reduced utility bills by $250 million in 2008.

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