by Jodi Summers
To our health. You gotta love that California has been pushing policies for green development all millennium. Now that we’re climbing out of the recession, expect new homes to be those space-age models of energy efficiency that we have previously only imagined. As the economy gains momentum, so is the green building revolution.
New green homes by major developers are light years ahead of where they were before the recession. Motivated by government initiatives like New Solar Homes Partnership.
KB Home has made solar systems standard on new houses in Southern California. Lennar, Pardee Homes and Pulte Homes offer solar home projects. ABC Green Home of Newport Beach is will be building a net-zero home to showcase green technology for consumers. Clarum Homes in Palo Alto is a custom builder that has gained praise for incorporating energy efficiency and passive solar features into homes with modernist flourishes.
The New Solar Homes Partnership adopts a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030.
Beyond solar, green new home efficiency benefits include tankless hot water heaters, adjustable thermostats, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, as well as other economical perks. Live efficiently and your electricity bill from Southern California Edison Co. can be close to zero.
Designs like the ZeroHouse model by Los Angeles builder KB Home exemplify the housing industry’s attempt to move beyond the one-off LEED vanity project and make subdivision building a green practice. New net-zero homes are so green they produce at least as much juice as they consume.
Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Our CalGreen construction codes have influenced the world…now perhaps our homes will as well.