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First WaterSense House Unveiled by Vanguard Homes in Chapel Hill

The nation’s first WaterSense-labeled new home has been unveiled in Chapel Hill, N.C. by Vanguard Homes.

Celebrating the milestone last month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson joined Vanguard President Kip Guyon for a tour of the home and a news conference highlighting the importance of encouraging more water-efficient construction.

Homes built to the WaterSense draft specification are designed to use about 20% less water than conventional homes by including WaterSense-labeled products and Energy Star-qualified appliances, as well as water-efficient features and practices. The homes can potentially save their owners more than 10,000 gallons of water per year.

The Chapel Hill home’s water-efficient products  include WaterSense-qualified dual flush toilets and filtered water faucets, in addition to low-flow shower heads and a solar hot water heater. Energy-Star rated clothes and dishwashers, a whole-house filtration system and a hot water circulation pump work in harmony to save water. The exterior landscaping is maintained using rainwater captured in cisterns.

Vanguard Homes was chosen as one of seven builders in the country to participate in the EPA's WaterSense pilot program, in which home building industry professionals tested components including a landscaping water budget tool, which has been revised since the pilot to incorporate suggested changes from NAHB and other interest groups.

The water budget tool is open for public comment at the EPA Web site until Dec. 19 and a new protocol for the WaterSense program is expected to be introduced early next year.

In addition to being the first home in the nation to receive the WaterSense label, the Vanguard home also achieved Gold level certification from the Green Home Builders of the Triangle, a program based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines.

“This WaterSense label is a milestone for us as a builder and leader in the industry, and we strive to achieve that kind of excellence every day,” Guyon said at the press conference.

For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132. 

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