First Community of All WaterSense Labeled New Homes in the Nation
In January 2012 the zHome community in Issaquah, WA was acknowledged as the first community of homes in the Nation in which every home had earned the WaterSense label. It is the first townhome, zero-energy, carbon-neutral community in the United Sates, and in addition to the homes each earning the WaterSense label, also received the Forest Stewardship Council’s 2011 award for the best residential project in North America.
zHome has even gone above and beyond the WaterSense specification for new homes by including a multitude of WaterSense products and water-efficient design, with a net reduction 70 percent in potable water use compared to a typical King County home. 2010 WaterSense Partner of the Year Cascade Water Alliance provided WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and bathroom faucets, as well as innovative, 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 gallons) that is used for clothes washing and toilet flushing.
The water savings continue outside as well. In addition to choosing plants that provide habitat for birds and wildlife the landscaping uses drought-tolerant plants that don’t require watering once they’re established and are enhanced by using nutrient-rich compost that helps hold water, improve soil quality, and reduce runoff. In the end the landscape didn’t cost more, it justa took smart landscape design.
The zHome community is not only a stellar example of water-efficient building practices, but also represents the true spirit of strategic collaboration and support by WaterSense partners – Ichijo USA, the City of Issaquah, King County (Washington) and Cascade Water Alliance, and stakeholders Built Green, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.