Water Conservation: Proud Green Home of Louisville

Water Conservation: Proud Green Home of Louisville

Water is just as precious a resource as energy in the Proud Green Home of Louisville, and its designers plan for the home to give as much as it takes.

Known as Su Verde, or "About Green" in Italian, the high performance home in the Norton Commons development in Louisville is seeking certifications from multiple organizations, including DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, LEED, Passive House, National Green Building Standard, Living Building Challenge Petal Certification and the LBC Net Zero Certification.

The goal for the home was not only to meet certification standards, but also be a socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative home, according to the builder, Sy Safi, of UberGreen Spaces & Homes.

The home is sited in the Norton Common development, an urban, mixed-use development in Louisville, Kentucky. It consists of approximately 600 acres and will have about 3,000 homes, residential homes and over 560,000 square feet of commercial space when it's built out.

It reflects the growth of New Urbanism, which focuses on the creation and the restoration of communities that are diverse, walkable, and foster a sense of sustainability and community in an integrated style.

To reflect the community's focus on sustainability, the architect and builder targeted water usage as one of the key areas for the home.

"Water efficiency in my mind is grossly undervalued as a target for any home or commercial building," said Clive Pohl, the home's architect with Pohl Rosa Pohl in Lexington, Kentucky. "For me the important piece is not depleting the aquifers."

Water Usage

The most basic step for water conservation is to install WaterSense-rated plumbing fixtures that reduce water use. The home features WaterSense-rated plumbing fixtures throughout by Delta and Kohler.

The home also incorporates two NORWESCO underground rainwater collection tanks from Kentucky Tank Company for a 3,100-gallon cistern to capture and re-use grey water on the site. The reclaimed water will initially be used for irrigation and in the future for flushing toilets and when, code allows, for potable use.

"Just like with renewable energy, we want to gather the water that we’re allotted and give it back to the extent that we can," Pohl said.

Hot Water Generation

For domestic hot water, the home uses a hybrid heat pump water heater and pre-heat storage tank from Bradford White and taps the Hydron Module geothermal HVAC system from Enertech Global LLC to preheat water during the times of the year when the system is in the cooling mode.

"The domestic hot water system in the cooling mode can provide hot water for a family of four for free," said Ron Neal, a comfort designer with Allgeier Air in Louisville. "It’s a byproduct of excess heat from the compressor that we tap off with another heat exchanger and preheat water with it."

The geothermal system can replace the water heater for about half the year, which reduces energy use and improves the life of the water heater.

Water Filtration

To ensure the home's occupants have clean, safe water to drink, a CWL Spectrum whole-house water filtration system from Environmental Water Systems cleans allwater of toxic chemicals commonly found in drinking water.

The home reflects the builder's and architect's passion for creating a uniquely beautiful and highly livable home that is also very resource efficient. They view water as a finite resource that requires vigilant stewardship and a creative approach to helping others understand their responsibilities toward that resource.

"Extending the concept of beauty, projects are meant to inspire others within a region and community," Safi said. "Part of that inspiration comes from active efforts to educate others about the decisions made for the project and its aspirations, motivations and design."

Topics: Appliances, Bathroom, Going Green, Interior Design, Kitchen, Proud Green Home of Louisville, Radiant Heat, Tankless Water Heaters, Water Filtration & Water Quality, Water Heaters, Water Saving Devices, WaterSense

Companies: Bradford White Water Heaters, Kohler, Sherwin-Williams, Enertech Global, LLC, GeoComfort Geothermal Systems, Zehnder America, Huber Engineered Woods, STEP Warmfloor

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