Sustainability is a critical component of KB Home’s strategies, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it is good for our business. That is what true sustainability means to us: a company that doesn’t just do good, but also does well in the process and creates a healthy, growing business that can have long-lasting positive impact and continue to foster innovation into the future.
An ENERGY STAR® certified KB home is up to 73% more efficient than typical resale homes, which can equal more than $14,000 in savings in the first 10 years, an important factor in affordability for our core first-time and first move-up homebuyers.
In 2017, we delivered 10,909 homes, which means the positive impact of every increase in energy efficiency we make really adds up. The total cumulative carbon reduction of the more than 115,000 ENERGY STAR certified homes we’ve built since 2000 is nearly 4 billion pounds, the equivalent of removing 382,000 cars from the road or planting 46 million trees.
Today’s sustainability innovations are driven more and more by technology. The advanced building science, high-performance construction materials and integrated technologies that foster sustainable innovation also offer direct consumer benefits, enabling our homebuyers to live better, healthier and more efficient lives.
Preserving natural resources and reducing waste through creative production techniques and efficiencies also reduces our cost to build, supporting our priority on maximizing affordability for our homebuyers to the extent possible.
Sustainability helps save our homeowners money and can also offer an enhanced quality of life, which provides us with a significant advantage compared to both typical resale and new-home competitors. Our plan-specific Energy Performance Guide® (EPG®), which we publish for all our home designs, is a strong tool for demonstrating this potential advantage to homebuyers. In fact, 89% of our 2016 homebuyers reported satisfaction with the energy-efficient and water-saving features of their homes nearly a year after purchase, which we believe shows the importance of sustainability to prospective buyers of our homes.
As drought conditions have increased in parts of the U.S. in recent years, building homes that conserve this precious resource and reduce homeowner utility costs is becoming more important, which is why we were the first national builder to adopt EPA’s WaterSense® efficiency standard.
What happens upstream of our construction sites impacts the sustainability levels of our homes as well. One of our most important criteria for selecting our national suppliers is a shared commitment to conserving natural resources, allowing us to leverage their innovations and sustainability efforts to increase our own.
Because of our scale and operational discipline, we can generally incorporate sustainable features into the new homes we build at a lower cost, which helps bring energy efficiency within reach for more families across our markets.
Our eDifference sustainability platform takes a holistic approach, spanning four major areas: energy efficiency, water conservation, healthier indoor environments and smart-home capability. Additionally, we have made waste reduction and greening our operations an internal priority. We measure our sustainability progress against a set of long-term strategic goals for each major area of our eDifference platform. These goals have remained consistent over many years and provide a clear road map for us to work toward day in and day out and evaluate our successes, shortcomings and opportunities.
We will leverage our economies of scale and position as an industry leader to continuously increase the energy efficiency of our homes and help reduce the total cost of ownership, while always maintaining a focus on affordability for our core first-time and first move-up homebuyers.
We will continue our leadership in building water-efficient new homes using both existing technologies and new innovations, and raise awareness of the energy-water nexus both with homebuyers and within our industry.
We will expand our focus on raising homebuyers’ awareness about existing healthier products and techniques and increasing our offerings of optional and standard products that contribute to the wellness of our homeowners and the greater community in order to help give them an increased quality of life, in addition to saving them money and energy.
We will take a leadership role in our industry in demonstrating and implementing intelligent efficiency capabilities and home technologies in order to increase resource efficiency and provide an integrated, seamless experience that enhances our homeowners’ quality of life.
We will monitor, measure and continuously seek to reduce the waste resulting from our construction operations as well as raise awareness of waste reduction within our supply chain, with a long-term goal of reaching zero landfill waste.
We recently purchased a beautiful KB home. Since our new KB home is actually 30 percent larger than our last home, we were concerned that we would need a much higher budget for energy costs. We were thrilled when our first energy bill came and it was almost one-half of our previous bills. We are so impressed with the energy-efficient details of our home—ENERGY STAR certified, radiant barrier in the attic, super-efficient insulation, double-pane windows and energy-efficient appliances. We are definitely KB customers for life.
Linda and Bob Martin
Winter Garden, Florida