The modern home bristles with safety and home protection devices and technology. Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors, burglary alarms, and electrical circuit breakers just to name a few. But the most prevalent property insurance claim is damage caused by a failure of civilization’s greatest convenience, indoor plumbing.
The builder KB Home just unveiled their newest project, the ZeroHouse 2.0, which is located in Los Angeles County, CA. The home is also called “Double ZeroHouse” since it is both water and energy efficient. This home is the first built by this contractor to have both net-zero energy status, and zero freshwater irrigation. According to KB Home estimates, the ZeroHouse 2.0 is capable of conserving 150,000-gallons of water per year, which is a 70% reduction compared to a typical home. ZeroHouse 2.0 is also capable of producing all the energy it needs.
Team Middlebury is one of the twenty teams chosen to compete in this year’s US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition and their entry is the design and building of a socially and environmentally sustainable house called the InSite house. The team is made up of more than 100 Middlebury College undergraduate students from over 25 different academic disciplines. The finished two bedroom and one bathroom house will measure 956 square feet, while the building costs are $250,000.
Charles Pickering, the founder and CEO of architectural and engineering firm Pickering Associates, recently received a LEED-Platinum rating for his project at 12 Faith Meadows in Williamstown, WV. This is the first LEED Platinum certified home in West Virginia, and boasts of 11 kWDC of generation capacity. The solar system is located in an optimal array on the house and garage roof, and provides all the energy usage needs for the household, with some to sell back through the power grid. The house received a LEED Point Score of 113 and a HERS rating of .43.
Marc Rutenberg, the CEO of the Florida company Marc Rutenberg Homes, has recently successfully designed and built a luxury home that complies with and even surpasses all Energy Star standards and is LEED Platinum certified. The Castaway III, as the house is called, measures 4,552-square feet, which is about 3,100 square feet larger than the average zero-energy home. This house proves that there is no need to sacrifice comfort and luxury to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
Last April, I mentioned the introduction of 1G by Toto USA and now have more detail. Toto just launched Drake II 1G throughout North America at the MSRP of $580. To be clear, this isn’t like the dual-flush Maris or others you may have seen elsewhere. The two-piece, ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant toilet uses a mere 1.0 gallons with each flush using two jets and a Double Cyclone system to clear waste. There is no pressure assist in the Drake II 1G; it’s a gravity-fed flushing system with a “quiet flush every time.”