Every great innovation begins with one thing: a profound knowledge of consumers and what they want — often before they even know they want it. That is the paradigm we bring to our work at KB Home every day and was a first principle as we collaborated with the group of partners and building science thought leaders to imagine the homes of 2020 and 2050 that make up the Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt.
The innovations in our concept home are a natural fit for KB Home. We offer new homes that are desirable (beautiful, customizable home designs located in attractive areas), reliable (built with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship) and – most importantly - attainable (fits within buyers' budgets). With the Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt, we’ve taken that concept into the future, stopping in 2020 to demonstrate the near-term net zero living that’s around the corner for California, and then on to the unknown landscape of 2050.
ProjeKt is a conceptual showcase for forward-looking technologies intended to inspire building professionals. Our approach, however, is different from many typical show homes. Rather than integrating innovation for innovation’s sake alone, the purpose of ProjeKt is to bring consumer-relevant innovation to the mainstream home-buying consumer. In other words, if a technology doesn’t create true value in terms of an easier and more satisfying life for the people who live in the home, it did not even make our consideration set.
KB Home is already an expert at bringing innovation to the mainstream market. We utilize our consumer and market knowledge to identify the highest-impact products and practices we can adopt, with the highest perceived value in terms of both dollars and lifestyle. We then work with our partners, many of them premier sustainability voices in their respective fields, to ensure that the innovations we implement are scalable and attainable. For us, as product innovators, it’s about creating the things people not only want, but can actually get.
The “cartridges” that are at the heart of the ProjeKt design are just one example of this approach. Componentized cartridges will be built offsite to include all finish materials, fixtures, and built-in appliances, as well as electrical and plumbing connections, and then will be integrated into the home’s structure onsite. These cartridges make the home more affordable by leveraging economies of scale and minimizing materials waste in a factory setting that also enhances quality and predictability. They also inherently lend themselves to being flexible and updateable canvasses that can be customized not only according to the current lifestyle, preferred design trends, and technologies, but also can be updated iteratively as the family and technology evolve. This “plug and play” approach also increases the durability and potential lifespan of the home with its combination of increased quality, premier materials, and adaptability to emerging technologies and changing lifestyle and environmental needs.
The Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt will be showcased Oct. 5 and 6 at the Greenbuild International Show and Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To see what next-generation consumer-driven innovation looks like, sign up to take a tour.