California's first-ever zero carbon home hits market as developers push for more sustainable living

The developers believe they have created a blueprint for sustainable and responsible home building practices.
MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- California's first-ever zero carbon home is officially on the market.

Most people can't afford a $32 million home, but experts in design, engineering and carbon planning who built this six-bedroom, nine-bath ultra-luxury home are hoping everyone can benefit from what they've done.

"We're reaching out trying to make this the norm," said Jennifer Hoppel, the President of Burdge & Associates Architects. "This is not just for one luxury homeowner. This is for everything from this point forward."

The 14,429-square foot home is the first in the MariSol Malibu Zero Series which will eventually total four zero carbon homes in the Santa Monica mountains.

The developers believe they have created a blueprint for sustainable and responsible home building practices.

"We are making a huge commitment to accelerate zero carbon construction, and the way we do that isn't by just building one or two or three or four homes, but it's by showing to other people that they can do it too," said Scott Morris, the director of carbon sequestration for MariSol Malibu.

So what can be learned? It starts with low-carbon cement.

Cement accounts for about 8% of global CO2 emissions, but there are a variety of lower carbon approaches to making cement and the cost is the same as traditional concrete, but you need to request it.

The city of Malibu might soon make that a requirement, according to Mayor Paul Grisanti.

"When you find out that there's a solution out there that is not only stronger, more waterproof, has a nicer finish and it doesn't cost any more than regular concrete, why wouldn't require it?" he said.

The home is all electric, complete with solar energy. The saltwater pool uses an electric heat pump and even the outdoor barbeque pit is electric. There's even a beautiful fireplace that doesn't require actual fire. It's water vapor enhanced by lights to make it look just like a real fireplace.

"It is about 50% less than a traditional fireplace," said Morris. "Half the cost, better for the planet, safer, doesn't emit any CO2."

The low carbon elements don't stop there.

The rebar used in this home is from a Seattle plant that uses hydropower.

Typically, rebar is forged in a coal-fired plant. The lumber used was certified from sustainable forests and the insulation has low global warming potential.

These are all moves you can make by simply asking for the similarly priced, low carbon options.

"You can make an impact on your own level, whatever scale that is," said Hoppel. "Whether that's a remodel in your backyard or whether that's a brand new home or whether it's a home like this, any level of construction, you can put the thought into it and make an impact."

Protecting the environment can be a beautiful thing.

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