LA Times reports: KB Home hopes building green turns luxury condo sales red hot

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

May 17, 2011

KB Home, a major home builder, is hoping energy saving, eco-friendly features will help drive sales of luxury condos.

When it opens Tuesday, the company’s Primera Terra residential development in Playa Vista will include a host of green essentials: A white “cool roof” to deflect sunlight and heat, electric vehicle charging stations in the garage and storage space for bicycles.

The condo complex with 52 units also has its own community garden. Each condo has a tankless water heater and hi-tech showerheads that save as many as 2,700 gallons a year.

Residents can save more than 40% on their energy bill compared with a typical new home of comparable size, executives said. Condo owners can monitor energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and electricity costs through their computer, iPad or iPhone using a device connected to each unit’s electrical panel.

The construction was also environmental friendly, company executives said. More than 95% of the waste generated during construction was recycled. Builders used nontoxic paints and carpeting.

KB Home said Primera Terra is among the largest residential communities in the state to be awarded Platinum certification — the top rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.

The complex is among the first of its kind to land the certificate without including solar panels in the design, executives said.

In February, KB Home launched its Energy Performance Guide, a label included with all model homes that displays the new property’s expected energy efficiency and estimated electricity bill.

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