KB Home ProjeKt Looks at the Future of Green Building

Presented at the 2016 Greenbuild Expo, the KB Home ProjeKt was designed to serve as an unprecedented time-travel look ahead to the years 2020 and 2050 as a way to bring new perspective and strategic scenario-planning opportunities to builders and consumers alike.

The home which was presented by Hanley Wood in partnership with KB Homebuilder Magazine, KTGY Architecture + Planning, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Virginia Tech, incorporated a range of future and current technologies that are reshaping high performance homes.

The home is an example of how innovative technologies can help residential units meet rigorous green building standards that help them become “Zero Net Energy” (ZNE). A home is considered ZNE when it produces equal to or more than the energy it uses over the course of a year.

The demonstration home is designed to be sustainable, resilient and to meet certification requirements for both LEED and the National Green Building Standard.

In addition, the model home meets ZNE standards, as defined by the state of California’s 2020 goals. Residential new construction ZNE will soon be the standard in California. 

Natural Gas

Southern California Gas Co. used the home to showcase natural gas as a key element of green building, instrumental in achieving high-efficiency standards and green certifications while meeting home buyers’ preferences.

The home includes a state-of-the-art two pounds-per-square-inch natural gas internal piping and delivery system featuring corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), an integrated gas appliance load center and a natural gas fireplace. The model home also features an outdoor natural gas barbecue, a hybrid gas and electric heating and cooling (HVAC) system and a high-efficiency tankless water heater.

Click on the photos below for a photo gallery of the home.

 The ProjeKt home also includes an innovative residential-scale 1.5 kilowatt solid oxide fuel cell powered by natural gas that generates baseload electricity and heat for space and water heating requirements in the home.

Recent residential surveys reveal that 83 percent of SoCalGas’ customers prefer a dual-fuel ZNE home, if given the choice between electric-only or a combination of natural gas and electric technologies. In contrast, only six percent of survey respondents preferred an electric-only ZNE home, while the rest were undecided. Of those surveyed, 71 percent were homeowners and 29 percent identified themselves as renters.


The home features the Performance Series Heat Pump, Gas Furnace, Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) and its air purifier system from Carrier as well as the  Côr thermostat. The ERV provides a mechanism to filter fresh indoor air into a tightly sealed indoor envelope while the air purifier captures and kills common pathogens that contribute to indoor air pollution. The Côr thermostat provides homeowners with remote access to their home comfort system as it saves heating and cooling cost  for homeowners. The Carrier air purifier  can capture and kill indoor allergens, pollutants and pathogens.


The following KitchenAid and Whirlpool brand major appliances were used in the KB Home ProjeKt for maximum energy efficiency: KitchenAid 24" 5-Cycle/6-Option Dishwasher, Architect Series II: The KitchenAid Architect Series II dishwasher features the AquaSense Recycling System, which uses less water without sacrificing cleaning and drying performance.

KitchenAid 36" 5-Element Induction Cooktop, Architect Series II: This cooktop combines precision and speed. Electromagnetic technology directly heats the pan while keeping the cooktop surface cool to the touch.

KitchenAid 30" Single Wall Oven with Even-Heat True Convection: This 30" Single Wall Oven with Even-Heat True Convection provides consistent heating and even cooking. The oven’s bold design details are the perfect balance of elegance and functionality.

KitchenAid 20.9 Cu. Ft. 36" Width Built-In Panel Ready Platinum Interior Bottom Mount Refrigerator: While this built-in panel ready bottom mount refrigerator integrates seamlessly with cabinetry, its true beauty lies inside. The Platinum Interior Design features silver walls that harmonize with the metallic accents on shelves, crisper and baskets of this left-swing door refrigerator.

Whirlpool 4.2 cu. ft. Front Load Washer with Closet-Depth Fit1: Whirlpool Closet Depth Front Load Washer boasts eco-friendly designs to save space and energy. The innovative detergent dosing aid system in the Front Load washer stores up to 12 loads worth of laundry detergent, so families don’t have to worry about refilling for each load.

Whirlpool 7.4 cu. ft. HybridCare Heat Pump Dryer: The ENERGY STAR Certified high-efficiency electric dryer easily installs in more places thanks to the HybridCare true ventless heat pump technology. The HybridCare dryer merges both heat pump and ventless technologies to solve key challenges when it comes to dryers – energy usage, gentle care for clothing and identifying an appropriate space to vent outside.

Sustainable Wood Shingles

The interior and exterior feature a poplar shingle from Bark House at Highland Craftsmen, the first product to ever earn Cradle to Cradle Certified Platinum, the highest level awarded within the rigorous product standard.

Inclusion of Bark House wall coverings within the home illustrate the role biophilic design and natural elements can play in a more sustainable built environment.

The exterior of the show home features the Cradle to Cradle Certified Platinum designated poplar bark shingles, evoking a natural and organic texture to the structure. It is the first product to meet Platinum requirements across all five Cradle to Cradle certification categories, including: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

The interior will prominently display poplar and birch wall coverings around the fireplace and inside the bedroom, one of which has been awarded Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver.

Made from reclaimed tree bark from carefully managed forests local to the company, the entire Bark House wall covering product line is an important part of the spirit of integration with nature that the home intends to create.

It is not just because of its visual appeal that Bark House products have earned a place in the show home. Bark House shingles represent a high point in product design for its consideration of critical environmental and social factors, as validated by its Cradle to Cradle certifications and B Corp Best for the World status.

With artisan craftsmanship, Bark House transforms what was once a waste material into an elegant, handcrafted wall covering for exteriors and interiors. The product is maintenance-free, sustainably manufactured, and is fully recyclable at the end of its use.

Bark House is located in the mountains of North Carolina, creating a deep connection to the land and relationship with the community and the environment. As a locally produced product, Bark House wall coverings benefit Appalachia with jobs, bringing 70% of its income back into the local community.

Highland Craftsmen products with Cradle to Cradle certification are eligible as a path to compliance in Options 1 and 2 of the Materials & Resources credit of LEED v4. Bark House Poplar wall coverings (shingles and panels) come in standard-grade singles or in a thicker, premium grade that obtain course, deep furrows and a more pronounced shadow line. Sanded interior-grade wall coverings are also available.


Topics: Appliances, Bathroom, Building Green, Certification / LEED, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Energy Recovery & Heat Recovery, Heating & Cooling, Home Design & Plans, Prefabricated Homes / Systems Built Homes / Modular Homes, Sustainability Trends & Statistics

Companies: Carrier, Whirlpool Corporation

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