Sustainable -- And Attainable
D.R. Horton Breaks Green Barrier for Environmentally Friendly Homes With Provence in Natomas
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 7, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) — Buying an environmentally friendly home once came with a unfriendly financial burden, but a new neighborhood planned for Natomas breaks the green barrier in both respects by introducing all-solar, sustainable homes priced within reach of most first-time home buyers.
Built by D.R. Horton, Provence will showcase how sustainable homes can also be attainable homes. The community will eventually build out to 187 homes offered in three different floor plans constructed with the latest solar and energy saving technology. D.R. Horton will also qualify as the first Sacramento-area production home builder to qualify for silver certification granted by LEED — the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design initiative by the U.S. Green Building Council.
A Nov. 10 grand opening is planned at the site of the green community, east of Del Paso Boulevard between Arco Arena and Interstate Five off of East Commerce Way.
New homes equipped with solar technology typically sell for $400,000 and up, but D.R. Horton will price homes in Provence starting in the upper $230,000s and topping out in the high $240,000s.
Provence homes will also qualify for SMUD's SolarSmart program, which awards credits to home-owners on their utility bills if their solar systems produce more energy than they consume and will have the opportunity to qualify for a one-time $2,000 tax credit for the solar program.
"Our goal is to empower any home buyer with the power to make every positive difference they can to achieve a sustainable lifestyle. Achieving this required
groundbreaking innovation at every level, literally from the ground up," said D.R. Horton Division President Tom Harding.
The state-of-the-art solar technology multiplied through an entire community will make a powerful difference. The high-efficiency solar electric power system in each home will average 2,400 kilowatt-hours a year. Combined with energy efficiency features, it will spare the atmosphere from absorbing a total of 4,700 pounds of CO2, the equivalent of not burning 244 gallons of gasoline a year.
D.R. Horton partnered with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) on the neighborhood. As a partner, SMUD provides incentives to buy down the cost of the PV systems and provide rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. These rebates and incentives, along with attractive tax credits, will make solar electric systems a more affordable option for more homebuyers. The community benefits as well. Less electricity will be needed to serve the homes, especially at peak demand times, like hot summer days, when power is most expensive.
Solar power in Provence homes is generated by all-black SunPower solar roof tiles which blend seamlessly into the homes' tile roofs. Manufactured by solar industry leader SunPower Corporation, which makes the highest efficiency solar cells on the market today, the SunPower solar electric power systems at Provence include technology that allows homeowners to monitor their solar power output and overall electric usage online through SunPower's Web site.
Solar technology is just one of the sustainable design elements in the homes, which will include technology that optimizes energy savings and minimizes environmental impact.
Some builders install solar panels and required efficiency features and stop there, instead of continuing with energy saving features that can redouble the effectiveness of alternative energy, said Mark LaLiberte, with Building Knowledge Inc., a green-building practices consulting group.
"D.R. Horton is unique in that it's a large-scale builder that is offering state-of-the-art green technology within reach of the average homebuyer. Right now, that's the most intelligent thing we're trying to do as an industry," LaLiberte said. "In Sacramento, there aren't a lot of builders who have undertaken the whole-house concept as far as sustainability."
In the case of Provence, D.R. Horton's Healthy Home Advantage program employs design recommendations from a number of organizations, including Environments for Living, Building America through the Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Indoor Air Package Program. The result is a home design that combines special framing techniques, improved insulation and duct work, air pressure balancing, moisture control and air filtration to achieve superior durability, greater comfort, lower utility costs and indoor air quality levels that exceed outdoor air quality.
For example, the homes' air filtration systems keep fresh air circulating and prevents any carbon monoxide from car exhaust in the garage from entering the home. And many of Provences' energy saving features overlap. Fluorescent lighting not only consumes less electricity, but generates less heat, which in turn takes pressure off the air conditioning system.
"The design process for Provence didn't stop with what's healthy for the environment, but continued into what's healthy for homeowners. That's why we invested a lot of attention into the air filtration and ventilation systems in Provence homes," said Rich Coyle, vice president of building science for D.R. Horton's Sacramento-Reno Division. Based in Dallas, D.R. Horton was founded in 1978 by Donald R. Horton. In 1987, D.R. Horton began expanding operations into the Nation's most active homebuilding markets and today is geographically diversified and active in 83 markets and 27 states across the United States. Additionally, D.R. Horton provides mortgage and title insurance services in many of its markets. For more information, visit D.R. Horton online at www.sac.drhorton.com.