Sixty miles north of Los Angeles, California, the Dawn Creek subdivision of Lancaster contains a new home like no other in the country. A “Double ZeroHouse” that is so energy efficient it slashes water use by over half and can produce as much electricity as it uses.
Unveiled recently by homebuilder KB Home, the Double ZeroHouse could be a blue print for the energy-conserving home of the future, especially out in Lancaster’s arid scrubland where rainfall averages only six inches a year.
The Double ZeroHouse’s signature feature is a graywater recycling system that takes the water used in sinks, showers, and washing machines, and reuses it for outdoor applications. Since outdoor water use typically accounts for 50 to 70 percent of a family’s water use, the system can provide massive savings when used in combination with drought-tolerant landscaping and precise water monitoring systems. For a family of four, the savings can add up to roughly 150,000 gallons per year, or approximately 70 percent.
As climate change continues and water scarcity grows, the market for energy-efficient houses is poised to grow as well. Houses like the Double ZeroHouse may become the norm, and it’s a change the landscaping business will have to adapt to.
A shift towards efficiency and working with all available resources is a trend that is not only underway, but accelerating. Those who can get ahead of the curve will likely be the ones to reap the benefits.