KB Home is one of the largest home-building companies in the United States. So when it came out with a home design, the ZeroHouse 2.0, which claimed to result in zero electricity bills, people took notice. There have been plenty of concept homes that claimed to be zero-energy consumers, but this is the first time that such a home has been made widely available by such a large company. So, how'd they do it? First, keep in mind that KB Home creates custom-built homes, so it's all about how energy efficient you want to be. If you choose to go all the way, you'll be getting a home that has additional insulation, dual-pane windows, solar panels on the radiant barrier roof and an upgraded, energy-efficient HVAC system. KB Home claims that these homes can be up to 130 percent more efficient than houses that are just 10 years old, and they're up to 85 percent more efficient than the requirements houses must meet to get Energy Star-certified.
In addition to all of these features, the homes are built with recyclable or recycled materials, and you can specify even more environmentally sustainable materials in your home build. KB Home isn't constructing these everywhere yet, but the company plans to add more across the U.S. in their communities throughout 2012.