This summer KB Home unveiled a new housing development, the Sea Cliff community in Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego, that is the first in the nation to offer advanced on-site water recycling systems for "gray water" in each home. The gray water systems collect, treat, and reuse the water from bathtubs, sinks, and washing machines for gardens and lawns.
Combined with state-of-the-art water-conserving faucets and appliances, hot water recirculation pumps, and drought-tolerant landscaping, the homes can use on average 70 percent less water, saving each homeowner up to 100,000 gallons a year.
Collectively, the 52 KB homes planned at Sea Cliff are projected to save 5,200,000 gallons of water in aggregate each year, the equivalent of 520 residential swimming pools, or more than 150 million gallons over the next 30 years.
Last year, KB Home unveiled its first ever home to use the advanced water-saving technologies farther to the north, in Lancaster, California. The Sea Cliff housing development marks a step up in KB Home's commitment to building water-efficient homes in drought-ridden California.
"This is the kind of technology that I think is going to lead the way," Dave Cogdill, President and CEO of the California Building Industry Association told CBS8. "It's going to take a number of different approaches, not only do we need to add our supply...but we're also going to have to do a better job at conserving."
The cost of plumbing and the installation of the recycling system cost less than $10,000 per home, and the price is expected to go down as more homebuilders follow KB Home's lead.
"KB Home is constantly seeking new ways to maximize every drop of water used by the homes we build because we recognize that clean, accessible water is essential to the health and well-being of communities," said Larry Gotlieb, VP Government and Public Affairs at KB Home. "It's also why we are a member of Ceres' Connect the Drops campaign. Sensible policies like California's AB 1463, can help drive water-saving innovation and put California on a path towards a more sustainable water supply."
AB 1463 would require California's Water Resources Control Board to establish water quality standards, along with distribution, monitoring and reporting requirements, for onsite water recycling systems. KB Home was one of 8 companies to voice its support for the bill in a letter to legislative leaders earlier this summer.
In addition to their extreme water efficiency, all KB homes at Sea Cliff will be ENERGY STAR® certified, providing potential energy cost savings for homeowners and helping them to minimize their impact on the local environment. For example, KB Home estimates that at current residential electric rates, homeowners living in a 3,918 square foot KB home at Sea Cliff would save $101 each month on energy costs compared to a typical, similarly-sized resale home, or more than $1,200 annually. Solar power systems are also available at Sea Cliff to help homeowners further reduce their energy consumption.