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First Community of All WaterSense® Labeled New Homes in the Nation


zHome – the ultra-sustainable, 10-unit townhome development in Issaquah, WA that is redefining the future of housing – is also the first community in the Nation in which every home has earned the WaterSense label for new homes. EPA’s WaterSense program is modeled after its highly successful Energy Star program. The goal of WaterSense is to significantly reduce water use nationwide to save water resources for future generations.

A home that is certified to earn the WaterSense label will use at least 20 percent less water than a standard, newly-constructed home and the high-efficiency WaterSense labeled fixtures perform as well or better than their traditional counterparts. The benefits of the certification include:

  • Lower utility bills for future residents
  • Reduced strain on water and wastewater systems
  • More water left in streams and aquifers for salmon, recreation and other uses
  • Fewer greenhouse gas emissions due to reduced energy demands from water treatment and delivery

zHome was designed to push the limits of sustainable, production housing. It is the first townhome, zero-energy, carbon-neutral community in the United States, and also received the Forest Stewardship Council’s 2011 award for the best residential project in North America.

In addition, zHome strove to demonstrate a multitude of water-efficient technologies, with a net reduction of 70 percent in potable water use compared to a typical King County home. 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.

“EPA is proud to recognize the zHome project, built and developed by Ichijo USA and Seattle builder Matt Howland, as one of the leaders in the Pacific Northwest in helping to advance water efficiency,” said Paula vanHaagen, EPA’s Manager, Grants and Planning Unit in Seattle.

zHome was brought to life through a highly collaborative public/private partnership spearheaded by the City of Issaquah, in conjunction with Built Green, King County, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.

“We are extremely excited that the zHome units received the new WaterSense New Homes certification,” said Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger. “We hope zHome inspires homebuilders and homeowners to take advantage of the same water-saving benefits with their projects.”

Cascade Water Alliance, a long-time WaterSense promotional partner, is a non-profit corporation with the goal of providing safe, clean, and reliable water to its 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses. Cascade is made up of the cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Tukwila, the Covington Water District, and the Sammamish Plateau and Skyway Water and Sewer Districts.

To find out more about Cascade Water Alliance, visit: www.cascadewater.org

To find out more about WaterSense, visit: www.epa.gov/watersense

To find out more about zHome, visit: www.z-home.org

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