KB Home is “well on its way” to improving the energy efficiency of its average home by ten percent this year, according to the company’s 2010 sustainability report.
The energy efficiency target is one of several 2011 sustainability goals that KB Home is set to achieve, the report said. Others include building a net-zero energy concept home in every division and increasing by ten percent the number of new-home communities in which the company recycles job site waste.
According to the report, KB Home decreased its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per home built by four percent in 2010, from 2.4 to 2.3 metric tons per home. GHGs per revenue dollar also fell by four percent, from 0.0000112 to 0.0000107 metric tons per dollar.
Last year KB Home recycled or diverted from landfills about 29 million pounds of waste. The percentage of KB Home communities incorporating recycling into their standard job site processes went up to 71 percent last year, from 44 percent in 2009.
In 2010 KB Home earned the first WaterSense certification, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) label for homes that use 20 percent less water than the average new residence, for the builder’s Springwood community near Sacramento, Calif.
The company says that when completed, the development will be the first in the country where all homes are WaterSense-certified. And the company is building other WaterSense communities in central Texas and central Florida.
The builder now includes WaterSense faucets, showerheads and toilets as standard in all new homes.
Another standard feature on KB homes is radiant barrier roof sheathing, which the company says can lower attic temperatures by as much as 30 degrees and save homeowners up to 17 percent off their monthly cooling bills. The company has started offering, as an optional feature, garage pre-wiring to accommodate electric vehicle charging stations.
In 2010 KB opened a prototype home at its Alamosa community in Lancaster, California, using a 4 kW solar photovoltaic system and 10 kWh energy storage battery system as well as energy-efficient LED lights from Chinese manufacturer BYD. These features, along with a cool roof, low-E3 windows, a 14 SEER air conditioner and additional insulation, gave the house a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index score of 39 – well below the typical Energy Star score of 85 or less.
In January the company unveiled the KB Home GreenHouse, a prototype net-zero energy, Platinum LEED home near Orlando, Fla. It bills the model house as “an idea home created with Martha Stewart”.
In December Calvert Investments ranked KB Home as the greenest of the ten largest listed homebuilders in the U.S. (scroll down article).
KB says it is the only national homebuilder to report annually on its sustainability initiatives.