KB Home, the sixth-largest company on the 2023 BUILDER 100 list, was included on Fortune’s 2023 Change the World list, recognizing the home builder for its sustainability leadership.
The list highlights 50 companies that “have created a positive change impact on society through activities such as sustainability that are part of their core business strategies.”
“We’re honored to be named to Fortune’s Change the World list, the first and only home builder to make this distinguished list,” says KB Home chairman, president, and CEO Jeffrey Mezger. “Sustainability has long been a key operational driver, and this recognition underscores our company’s industry-leading environmental initiatives, including building the first microgrid communities in California.”
KB Home was honored for building the first residential microgrid communities of all-electric, solar-, and battery-powered homes in California. KB Home says it collaborated with SunPower and the University of California, Irvine to “reimagine what a new-home community would look like if built to reduce carbon emissions, cut energy costs, and provide new ways of producing reliable and resilient energy.”
With a $6.65 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, microgrid design and engineering support from Schneider Electric, and collaboration with Southern California Edison, the homes are now available. The energy-efficient and resilient homes are located in KB Home’s Oak Shade and Durango communities in its Shadow Mountain master plan in Menifee.
Each KB energy-smart connected home in the two communities will be equipped with smart technologies and a backup battery to provide a self-supporting energy system that powers a specific neighborhood with a community battery. KB's homes will also decrease energy usage by 40%, lower energy costs, feature electric vehicle chargers, lower environmental impact, and feature app-based, real-time monitoring of energy usage and storage, according to the builder.
KB Home says its project partners will conduct research to measure the energy efficiency of each community in comparison with traditional residential solar communities. The builder’s goal is to explore how to build all-electric homes “that will more effectively meet the requirements of future energy codes.”
“The work KB Home does help support the American dream by delivering highly energy-efficient new homes at an affordable price that are designed to lower the total cost of homeownership through potential monthly utility savings while also reducing their environmental impact,” Mezger says.
KB Home says when it formalized its sustainability commitment over 15 years ago, it was considered a “luxury in home building.” The builder is hoping to bring sustainability to the production new-home market.
“We saw an opportunity to help protect the environment while reducing the overall cost of long-term homeownership for our customers through lower utility bills,” says Dan Bridleman, senior vice president of sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing at KB Home. “We determined that energy efficiency would be the foundation of our program, helping to keep the dream of homeownership attainable while reducing the impact on our environment. Since then, we have expanded our view of sustainability beyond energy efficiency to encompass water efficiency and healthier indoor environments.”
KB Home says for the future, the company continues to plan to “get out ahead of evolving market conditions” by developing and refining best practices and “learning how to deliver tomorrow’s homes better, faster, and more cost effectively and sustainably than other builders.” To that end, KB Home recently announced every new home built in Arizona, California, and Nevada communities will be WaterSense labeled.