EPA's new specification for water-efficient homes works well for all sorts of builders and even remodelers Although EPA's criteria for WaterSense labeled new homes were only recently released, custom and production builders from Georgia to Arizona, from Montana to Hawaii, are signing up. With typical overall water savings of more than 20 percent compared to other homes, WaterSense homes are just that--sensible.A custom builder (and remodeler) perspective "Water is the next big issue," says Bill Christopher, Secretary/Treasurer of ILM Design and Build, Inc in Wilmington, North Carolina. "While the energy issue is sucking the air out of the room--and there is nothing really wrong with that--we should be paying just as much attention to water." Bill and his business partner, Matt Hosner, took a look at the specification for WaterSense labeled new homes and decided to do a field test of the specs on a LEED® for Homes Platinum gut rehab project, 3404 Talon Court, which they recently completed. They learned three things:
Bill also likes how WaterSense content and marketing approaches are a lot like the Department of Energy and EPA's ENERGY STAR® for New Homes. "WaterSense has the same flavor as ENERGY STAR. I hope that it develops the same kind of muscle; it sure deserves it." ILM Design and Build's first WaterSense labeled new home will be the Ferguson residence, a 2700 square foot home on a half acre lot at Lauralis Bluff, scheduled to break ground sometime in June. [NOTE: we will be spending more time on ILM's approach to WaterSense--from toilet selection to their rainwater harvesting--in future blogs; stay tuned.] A production homebuilder perspective The first national production builder in the country to sign on to EPA's WaterSense program in a commitment to build WaterSense labeled new homes is KB Home based out of Los Angeles, California. Craig LeMessurier, Director of Corporate Communications for KB Home, explains why KB Home made this move. "There are really two reasons we moved quickly to join WaterSense. First, our customer surveys show buyers want to reduce their carbon footprint AND their operating expenses. Second, our biggest competition is resale of existing homes; WaterSense is a huge differentiator for our company in the marketplace. It builds nicely on our 2009 commitment to build all of our homes to ENERGY STAR." KB Home has spent the last several months prepping for WaterSense. "We have already set up several mock inspections and our WaterSense service providers gave valuable feedback that will help us align our homes to the WaterSense for New Homes program; but they all went smoothly." LeMessurier feels that KB Home's Built to Order? approach and My Home. My Earth.? Program make the move to WaterSense easier for his company and his customers. LeMessurier went on to say that finding a single provider for one-point coordination of quality assurance across several programs in all of their markets may be an issue. When I asked LeMessurier how KB Home will get started on WaterSense, he replied, "KB Home plans to pilot this program in several markets with some WaterSense communities opening mid to late summer." We will be checking back with KB Home during the course of the summer. In the meantime, it seems as though WaterSense labeled new homes are a wave that any builder ought to catch.
In our case I think the air barrier (Huber's Zip sheathing) is vapor-impermeable to a significant extent. It is a coated...
The article suggests that from the air barrier location, the wall dries to interior within, and to exterior without. That's only the case when...
In regards to open-cell spray foam insulation it is a great choice epsecially in your application. With the right type of spray...
In our case I think the air barrier (Huber's Zip sheathing) is vapor-impermeable to a significant extent. It is a coated sheathing..." More...
Charles Wahl says, "
The article suggests that from the air barrier location, the wall dries to interior within, and to exterior without. That's only the case when the..." More...
GSA has sent us a statement that concurs with our reporting on this issue:
"The committee's vote serves as additional input in our overall..." More...
In regards to open-cell spray foam insulation it is a great choice epsecially in your application. With the right type of spray..." More...
I too have been trying to find a non-toxic sofa and am frustrated by the lack of options.
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