Star Power

Propane factors prominently in a BUILDER magazine Concept Home, influenced by Martha Stewart's design expertise and KB Home's commitment to green building.

You know you've hit the big time when propane and Martha Stewart are mentioned in the same sentence. Add KB Home, BUILDER magazine, and net-zero and you've got a sure-fire winner.

This month, BUILDER magazine announced that it has partnered with KB Home and Martha Stewart to feature the first net-zero energy, single-family house in the magazine's Concept Home Series. Stewart will lend her considerable design expertise while KB Home, the country's fifth largest builder, will take care of the construction end of the project. The home will be unveiled at the January 2011 International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla.

The KB Home GreenHouse™: An Idea Home Created with Martha Stewart is designed to demonstrate that an environmentally friendly home not only saves energy and water through the use of solar and thermal systems, but it can also save money for years to come through the reduction of energy bills.

That's where propane comes into the equation. Confirmed propane applications include a Lennox fireplace and KitchenAid grill in the outdoor living area; a Generac standby generator; an underground propane tank; a Lennox indoor fireplace; and a KitchenAid slide-in dual-fuel range and oven in the kitchen.

"If you're going for a high-performance home, propane is the fuel of choice," says Boyce Thompson, BUILDER's editorial director. "Plus, Martha wouldn't cook with anything but gas. A gas cooktop was essential."

The KB Home GreenHouse is the 13th in a series of forward-thinking "concept" homes produced by BUILDER in conjunction with IBS. Since 1998, the Concept Home Series has exposed the housing industry to any number of cutting-edge trends, including energy- and resource-saving materials and methods.

"Teaming up with KB Home, one of the country's premier homebuilders, and incorporating Martha's incomparable style and eye for functionality has been a fantastic experience," says Thompson. "We're always looking for new ways to showcase the latest and greatest in building technology and KB Home's efficient designs and industry leadership in the field of green building have allowed us to do exactly that."

For more information and free online training courses on how to incorporate propane into building and remodeling projects, check out the new Propane Training Academy. The topics mentioned in this article are explored in the following courses:

Innovations with Propane Gas for Outdoor Residential Use

Expanding Outdoor Living

Specifying Propane Standby Generators

Propane Gas Underground Systems

Go Green with Propane


Case Study: Whole-House Conversion to Propane
 
Are Energy Retrofits Really Cost Effective?
 
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