Technology today is truly amazing, and we expect it to keep getting better. We expect our smart phones to get smarter, our computers to get faster and our TV screens bigger. But what about your home?
Not everyone has had the opportunity to live in a house that has just been built. And therefore we’re used to spending a certain amount on heating, electricity, water, and more. We’re used to windows that stick when you try to open them, drafts under doors or trying to cool the house with a ceiling fan (if you’re lucky!) on a hot California summer day.
But did you know that new home builders are actually working every day to make homes smarter? We spoke with Craig LeMessurier, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at KB Home, to find out how.
“What buyers don’t always know is that when you move from an apartment that is maybe 20 or more years old into a brand new KB home, it’s ENERGY STAR qualification provides savings on your utility bills month after month,” LeMessurier explained. “For the last 5years, all of our homes have been Energy Star qualified, and we also have added WaterSense®-certified fixtures.” Other features that come standard with the Energy Star construction include a radiant roof barrier that keeps the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
With each new development, whether it’s a condominium in San Francisco or a single-family home in Sacramento, buyers can visit the KB Home studio where they can select from thousands of different options, from flooring, cabinetry and fixtures to upgraded insulation to add even more energy efficiency to their home.
KB Home is the fifth-largest home builder in the country, and the largest in the San Francisco Bay area—and the state of California. They have an ongoing research and development project that they call their Double ZeroHouse 3.0. This is where the company tries new products that might not be viable right now, but may become affordable a few years down the line.
“Four years ago, we installed solar panels on our first ZeroHouse , and now we offer it as a standard feature in Southern California,” said LeMessurier. “Today we’re developing a water recycling system that will help homeowners save money and help the environment too.” The system takes “grey water” from a home’s bathroom sinks, showers, bathtubs and washing machine, funnels it into a holding tank and then through a filtration system. The water is then used to flush toilets and water landscapes.
How about getting a text from your refrigerator to tell you that someone (probably your teenaged son) left its door open? The smart home technology that KB Home is trying out in their Double ZeroHouse will do that, and more—allowing the homeowner to remotely control items like lights, appliances and temperature. In the near future a homeowner will park and plug in their electric car, and its remaining battery power could be used in the home, and it is recharged after midnight using power saved in the home’s battery that was collected during daylight by the solar panels.
“Buyers are asking for these features more and more, and understand them better than they did five years ago,” LeMessurier recounted. “That’s why we try to be on the cutting edge of technology—we know that there’s more to think about than just a mortgage when you’re buying a new home.”
For more information on KB Home, visit their website, kbhome.com. Are you interested in finding a new construction home in the San Francisco Bay Area? Search our website for a home in the best community for you, or call us on 800-529-4767 to schedule a customized tour of new homes.