SOURCE: K. Hovnanian Homes

K. Hovnanian Homes

February 19, 2009 13:51 ET

K. Hovnanian Breaks Ground on Home to Study Energy Efficiency, Other Facets of Sustainable Building

OCEANPORT, NJ--(Marketwire - February 19, 2009) - K. Hovnanian Homes today began building a home that will help builders learn more about constructing homes with increased energy efficiency, better interior air quality and sustainable building practices.

Commissioner Joseph Fiordaliso of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Joe Wiehagen of the National Association of Home Builders Research Center joined K. Hovnanian officials in the ceremonial start of construction. The new home is being built in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy Building America program and the NAHB Research Center.

Prior to turning over the first shovel of dirt, Fiordaliso congratulated K. Hovnanian on the forward-thinking leadership demonstrated by the company with the construction of the home.

"A recent study said that by the end of this century, the sea level will rise one to two feet," Fiordaliso said. "Lower Manhattan will flood in a storm. The New Jersey coastline is in danger. The average temperature will rise between seven and nine degrees. I don't know what's going on with our planet -- I don't have that kind of scientific knowledge -- but I do know that it's something we are all addressing in our quest to live more energy efficiently. K. Hovnanian is helping address it by building this high performance home."

Wiehagen explained some of the features of a high performance home, including better insulation, an improved duct system that delivers air more efficiently and makes the home more comfortable overall.

"Efforts like the one K. Hovnanian is making with the construction of this home will lead us toward our ultimate goal of Zero Energy Homes," he said.

Dean Potter, vice president of quality assurance for K. Hovnanian Homes, said the high performance home is not a one-time initiative, but a part of the continuing path towards making every home more energy efficient.

Barry McCarron, division president of K. Hovnanian Homes, said it is more important than ever to explore ways to build additional value and quality into homes.

"Today value and quality mean making sure that our homes use resources efficiently, provide healthy living spaces and that our building methods, while also efficient, reflect the concern we all share about our environment."

McCarron said the Building America home is the latest in a series of study homes and experiments the company has been conducting. The home is being built at K. Hovnanian's Jockey Club, the first community by a major builder to offer solar panels. In addition, a home built in Barnegat was designed to meet several standards for sustainable building and universal access. Most K. Hovnanian homes built in New Jersey have met New Jersey Energy Star standards since 2001.

The new home is based on the popular Monmouth floor plan, one of the homes offered in the 44-home active-adult community. The standard home offers about 2,350 square feet of living space on one floor, including three bedrooms and two baths. The home also has a two-car garage.

The modified home, which will be sold with the same warranty as every other home in the community, will have more efficient windows, more insulation, low-flow faucets and toilets, highly efficient heating and air conditioning and will use compact fluorescent light bulbs. The home will be structurally modified to allow the heating and cooling systems to fit into the environmentally conditioned parts of the home, although the changes won't be intrusive or noticeable. In addition, some of the construction processes and materials will be a little different from the usual homes built.

"The trick to this kind of program is to take products and processes and evaluate them before you use them so you know you can trust them in a home with your name on it," said Dean Potter, vice president of quality assurance for K. Hovnanian Homes. "The bottom line on this home is it must be competitive and must meet the expectations of a homebuyer who is purchasing a K. Hovnanian Home."

McCarron and Potter said the next step for the company is to evaluate what has been learned from the different study homes and determine what lessons can be incorporated into the company's building practices.

"This has been an ongoing process since our company was started 50 years ago," said McCarron. "There's a lot more attention on what we're doing these days because of the interest in sustainability. It's healthy that people are taking an interest in how their homes are built."

Building America is described by the U.S. Department of Energy as an "industry-driven research program, sponsored by the (department), designed to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technologies in new and existing homes." More information is available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/building_america/.

K. Hovnanian Homes is the largest homebuilder in New Jersey and sixth largest homebuilder in the nation. Founded in 1959 by Kevork S. Hovnanian, chairman, the company sells homes in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The parent company, Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., is headquartered in Red Bank, N.J., and delivered 11,281 homes during Fiscal 2008 under several names. Of those, 1,412 were delivered in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Additional homes in those states were sold through joint ventures. The company reported $3.3 billion in total revenues in Fiscal 2008. K. Hovnanian builds planned communities that include single-family, townhomes and garden homes. In addition, it constructs homes in mid-rise, high-rise and mixed-use buildings. The company also is well known for its active-adult homes, branded as K. Hovnanian's Four Seasons, and its expertise in community redevelopment and environment rehabilitation. More information is available at www.khov.com or at 888-KHOV-HOME.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Doug Fenichel, APR
    K. Hovnanian Homes
    (732) 623-6979
    Cell Phone: (973) 769-0688