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KB Home Debuts Water, Energy-Efficient ‘Double ZeroHouse’

KB Home has built a “Double ZeroHouse,” designed to achieve net-zero energy usage and conserve as much as 70 percent of the freshwater that would traditionally be used in a typical resale home, in California.

The house, at KB Home’s Fiora at Blackstone community in El Dorado Hills, includes renewable energy generation and storage capabilities provided by SunPower, high-tech and energy-efficient products from Ford’s MyEnergi Lifestyle initiative, and network-connected, resource-efficient appliances from Whirlpool.

Like KB Home’s previous ZeroHouse 2.0 models, the Double ZeroHouse 3.0 at Fiora is designed to achieve net-zero energy usage — the result of a whole-home approach to first reduce the energy load of the home by incorporating advanced features and systems like increased insulation, upgraded HVAC units, high-performance windows and LED lighting.

The home earns its Double ZeroHouse title through its dual emphasis on water as well as energy efficiency. The WaterSense labeled house is equipped with an integrated home water and energy recycling system called the eWater Recycler by Nexus eWater. Warm grey water, which studies have indicated may account for two out of every three gallons of indoor water, is normally treated as waste and sent straight to the sewer.

The eWater Recycler recycles the energy in this warm water and treats the water on-site for reuse in nonpotable applications. In the case of the Double ZeroHouse 3.0 at Fiora, the eWater Recycler will supply recycled drainwater to all of the home’s toilets, meaning they will use zero freshwater in a household of four or more, and recycled energy to heat the home’s fresh water.

The home’s other water-conserving features include a first-of-its-kind KitchenAid Architect Series II water-recycling dishwasher, WaterSense labeled fixtures, and a touchless kitchen faucet.

— KB Home estimates the house can conserve as much as 70% of the freshwater that would traditionally be used in a typical resale home.

The Double ZeroHouse 3.0 employs zero-VOC paint, low-VOC carpeting, and formaldehyde-free insulation, which contain fewer toxins than their traditional counterparts, and help enhance the home’s indoor air quality.

With the inclusion of solar technology, together with the home’s other energy- and water-efficient elements, KB Home’s Double ZeroHouse 3.0 at Fiora provides an estimated energy and water savings of up to $4,500 annually compared to a typical resale home, the company says.

Last year, KB Home had the highest volume of GreenPoint Rated projects — more than 1,000 in the pipeline, 600 of which were slated for 2014 — and for that won Community Builder of the Year, one of seven GreenPoint Rated awards for 2013.

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