2030May 20, 2011
Guest Author: CR Herro – VP, Environmental Affairs
The Home of Tomorrow has been captivating each of us since we were twelve and dreaming about a home of our own. Our big master bedroom, living room with a big TV and comfy couch, a kitchen stuffed with our favorite foods, and living down the street from our friends. I personally believed in having a tunnel that ran directly between our houses.
In April, Mental Floss published an article titled “4 Eco-Fabulous Places to Live in 2020” detailing four communities around the world that could exist by 2020 filled with solar panels, electric vehicles, and recycling systems. The US Department of Energy has a goal to pursue advancements in energy efficiency and renewable energy that enables buyers to reduce their energy demand and generate renewable energy so that a home could eliminate their utility demand by 2030. And that makes sense – when we were twelve, we weren’t looking forward to high utility bills. I planned on having a dolphin in a pool in the middle of the living room.
But 2030 is 19 years away, and we have all been faced with the harsh realities of traditional construction. High utility bills. Maintenance of old appliances. Dusting. I continue to be personally thwarted by HOA rules regarding tunnel construction and by PETA against dolphins as pets. In response to traditional homes not measuring up to our 12 year old ideals, Meritage Homes began earnestly preparing for these Homes of Tomorrow. We worked for two years with the EPA, DOE, Engineers, and trades. We began using new technologies in Low E2 windows, spray foam insulation, advanced framing, CFL lights, Energy Star appliances, and weather sensing irrigation. I looked into tunnel construction on my own time.
In 2010, Meritage opened the community labeled as eco-fabulous places to live in 2020, the future 10 years early. On April 22nd, 2011, Meritage Homes announced the first publically available, cost effective, energy neutral homes in the US, 19 years before the DOE goal. Now each of us can have the home you wanted when we were twelve: big master bedroom, living room with a big TV and comfy couch, a kitchen stuffed with our favorite foods, and living down the street from our friends. All with less utility bills, new appliances, and less dust.
Tomorrow is finally here. I’m naming my dolphin Peaty.