Aug 01, 2008

EPA Works with Builders On WaterSense New Homes Program

Five builders will participate in pilot program by building homes that are 20% more efficient than regular new homes

As part of its efforts to encourage water efficiency across the country, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that five builders will participate in the Water-Efficient Single-Family New Homes Pilot Program. The builders will construct homes designed to meet the WaterSense program’s draft specification for new homes.

“Building green means saving green and blue,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s assistant administrator for water. “Water-efficient homes are the wave of the future; they save water, energy and money, and that makes sense for families seeking high-performing housing.”

Five innovative builders are joining EPA in the “blue wave” by committing to build and certify a total of 35 to 50 homes by 2009 in various regions of the country:
• Anderson Homes; Raleigh and Chapel Hill, N.C.;
• Aspen Homes of Colorado; Windsor, Colo.;
• Cleantech Homes; Beverly, Mass.;
• Dorn Homes; Tubac, Ariz.; and
• Tim O’Brien Homes, Inc.; Waukesha, Wis.

In addition to demonstrating the benefits of WaterSense labeled products, other water-efficient fixtures and design features, outdoor water systems designed for efficiency and Energy Star-qualified appliances, the builders will help EPA test the process for inspecting and certifying new homes to receive the WaterSense label. EPA expects builders to complete homes to the draft specification and report on the results of the WaterSense New Homes Pilot Program in early 2009. Results will shape the final Water-Efficient Single-Family New Homes Program.

WaterSense labeled new homes will be designed to be at least 20 percent more water-efficient than similar new homes being built today. Once the specification is finalized, builders across the country will be able to earn the WaterSense label for new homes certified to the specification. Homeowners who purchase a WaterSense-labeled new home can save more than 10,000 gal of water per year, as well as realize significant energy and financial savings due to the reduced amount of hot water used. Residential water use accounts for more than half of publicly supplied water in the U.S.