Building sustainable and energy-efficient structures has been evident in the construction industry for more than a decade. However, it has reached a tipping point and is now an integral part to business success. Homebuilders, for example, are delivering more energy-efficient homes than ever before.
Consider the example of PulteGroup, which is incorporating eco-friendly practices into homebuilding and offering long-term benefits to its clients. Today the company is integrating technologies into projects that deliver energy efficiency and sustainability.
One example is Atlanta’s Smart Neighborhood. The first phase of the project brings 46 townhouses to Atlanta, with the grand opening scheduled for July of this year. Here’s what will be inside: technology includes rooftop solar panels, in-home battery energy storage, and enhanced energy-efficient building features throughout, including improved insulation, advanced heating and cooling systems, LED lighting, and a higher efficiency electric heat pump water heater.
The homes will also include the company’s Smart Home offering. With this, homeowners can choose between different options to control lights, thermostat, security systems, appliances, and more. The use of the smart-home technology can help reduce costs and enhance energy efficiency.
Similarly, in Florida, Pulte Homes is part of the environmentally innovative Babcock Ranch master planned development, which is a fully solar town powered entirely by more than 300,000 solar panels. Embedded in this town’s infrastructure is modern smart-grid digital-electric distribution technologies to help optimize energy efficiency and lower utility costs.
Finally, the builder is also involved in a Zero Net Energy Home in Northern California, which provides data monitoring and KPI (key performance indicators) to meet California’s Zero Net Energy compliance. This demonstration program is testing new technologies that can reduce overall energy use, while examining construction practices to deliver homes faster.
As another instance, KB Home has leveraged technologies for sustainable homes and communities as well. In its annual sustainability report, it shows that these homes are estimated to have cumulatively reduced utility bills by $730 million for homeowners and reduced CO2 emissions by 4.5 billion pounds (equivalent to removing 420,000 cars from the road), and annually conserved an estimated 1.4 billion gallons of water (enough to serve the water needs of nearly 17 million Americans for a single day), and generated an estimated 45 million kilowatt hours of renewable solar energy.
Builders are demonstrating that sustainability is no longer just a buzzword, but rather it is a way of building projects in an age that is all about providing the buyer with the information they need—when and where they need it.
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