LANCASTER, CALIF. — While many homebuilders shy away from advanced mechanical systems, KB Home has unveiled its ZeroHouse 2.0 in Los Angeles County at the builder's Dawn Creek community here. The newest ZeroHouse 2.0 is the first KB home designed to achieve both net-zero energy status, and zero freshwater irrigation use by a family of four or more. Dubbed the “Double ZeroHouse” for its emphasis on both energy and water efficiency, the home is equipped to recycle drainwater on-site and reuse it for landscaping, minimizing the home's overall demand for new water and eliminating the household's need to use freshwater for the home's established low-water landscaping.
KB Home estimates that the Double ZeroHouse 2.0 at Dawn Creek can conserve 150,000-gal. of water each year when compared to a typical resale home and landscaping, a reduction of approximately 70%. In addition, the ZeroHouse is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes, potentially yielding an electric bill of $0.
“We laud KB Home for the environmental leadership and performance achieved by its ZeroHouse 2.0 model,” said David Hochschild, commissioner of California's Energy Commission. “KB Home's extensive sustainability initiatives have already led to the construction of thousands of solar-powered homes and millions of dollars in energy savings for its customers. The cooperation of KB Home and businesses like it will be instrumental as we continue the important work of building a better, more energy-efficient California.”
The first-of-its-kind KB home features an advanced water recycling system, a water recycling dishwasher, a graywater heat recovery system, super-efficient air ventilation and purification systems as well as a “fuel forward” garage with both an EV charger for electric and hybrid vehicles and a CNG fueling station for natural gas powered cars.
The home's water recycling system treats graywater from bathroom showers, tubs, sinks, and washing machines to near-potable quality, and reuses it on the landscape. KB Home's ZeroHouse 2.0 at Dawn Creek is the builder's first to showcase this technology that, according to manufacturer's estimates, can help a family of four recycle up to 40,000-gal. of water annually.
“With drought conditions currently affecting every corner of California, KB Home recognizes the importance of embracing innovations like the advanced graywater recycling system demonstrated in this ZeroHouse 2.0 that leverage the technology of the future to address the problems of today,” said Tom DiPrima, executive vice president of KB Home's Southern California division.
Water-recycling technology is also featured in the home's dishwasher, which uses 33% less water than other highly-efficient dishwashers by saving water from the last rinse cycle for use in the first pre-rinse cycle of the next load.
In addition to its ability to recycle water on-site, KB Home's Double ZeroHouse 2.0 employs a variety of state-of-the-art energy-efficient elements. For example, enhanced insulation and sealants help maintain desired internal temperatures, and advanced heating and cooling systems minimize the home's energy use while also creating a comfortable climate inside.
The home's graywater heat recovery system extracts energy from drainwater and uses it to preheat water for the home's tankless water heater, further reducing water heating costs.
Two specialized systems in KB Home's Double ZeroHouse 2.0 optimize the home's indoor air quality. An advanced ventilation system introduces fresh outdoor air into the home, while a whole-home air purification system combines electronic technology with a highly efficient filter to significantly improve indoor air purity and increase airflow.
With the inclusion of solar technology, these and other components of KB Home's Double ZeroHouse 2.0 together contribute to an estimated $4,452 in energy and water savings annually.
The ZeroHouse is connected to real-time water and energy monitoring systems that can track the water and energy used by the house from smart phones and tablets. Home automation technology included in the home puts the power to control its lighting, thermostat and security functions at its owners' fingertips, and the home's ‘smart' refrigerator further reduces the home's demand for energy by shifting energy-intensive functions to off-peak times.
The City of Lancaster, where KB Home's Double ZeroHouse 2.0 is located, is committed to becoming the Alternative Energy Capital of the World, as well as the nation's first Net-Zero City.
"KB Home's groundbreaking efforts to incorporate the latest water- and energy- saving technology into homes have been simply astounding," said City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. "This management team is extremely proactive. They knew the technology was out there and rather than waiting for someone to map it out for them, they blazed the trail, discovering how to implement this wonderful energy-saving, clean power-producing equipment into their homes. These are exactly the type of partners we need in our journey to become the nation's first Net-Zero City."