Jan 31, 2012

zHome Becomes First Community of WaterSense-Labeled New Homes in the U.S.

U.S. EPA recognizes ultra-sustainable townhome development in Issaquah, Wash.

zHome, an ultra-sustainable, 10-unit townhome development in Issaquah, Wash., is the first community in the nation in which every home has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense label.

Modeled after the Energy Star program, the goal of the EPA’s WaterSense program is to significantly reduce water use nationwide to save water resources for future generations. A home certified to earn the WaterSense label will use at least 20% less water than a standard, newly constructed home, and WaterSense-labeled fixtures perform as well or better than their traditional counterparts.

The benefits of certification include:

• Lower utility bills for future residents;
• Reduced strain on water and wastewater systems;
• More water left in streams and aquifers for salmon, recreation and other uses; and
• Fewer greenhouse gas emissions due to reduced energy demands from water treatment and delivery.

zHome is the first townhome, zero-energy, carbon-neutral community in the U.S. Cascade Water Alliance provided WaterSense-labeled toilets, showerheads and bathroom faucets, as well as real-time use monitors for every unit to ensure maximum efficiency. Each zHome unit also includes a rainwater harvesting tank, ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,800 gal. The community received the Forest Stewardship Council’s 2011 award for the best residential project in North America.

zHome was made possible through a collaborative public/private partnership spearheaded by the city of Issaquah in conjunction with Built Green, King County, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.