Washington — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft WaterSense specification for water-efficient, single family new homes in May 2008. As EPA refines its draft specification for WaterSense labeled new homes, the agency has been working with seven pilot builders to construct homes that meet EPA's water-efficiency criteria and developing tools to help builders across the country participate when the specification becomes final in 2009.
On Nov. 25, 2008, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced the first new home completed and certified to the draft specification. Built by Vanguard Homes in Chapel Hill, N.C., the home is designed to use 20% less water than similar new homes by incorporating WaterSense labeled products, Energy Star qualified appliances, and other water-efficient features and systems inside and out.
In other WaterSense new homes developments, WaterSense will be issuing two additional documents for public comment in the near future. A draft WaterSense New Home Certification Protocol should be posted sometime this month for public comment. A second draft of the Water-Efficient Single Family New Home Specification is expected in early 2009. At that time, WaterSense will also post responses to comments on the first draft of the specification.
Additional information about the WaterSense new homes program is available at www.epa.gov/watersense/specs/homes/htm.