Project Green House showcases prototype homes that have significant sustainable, renewable, energy-efficient, characteristics. These homes may be built to adhere to a particular green certification program or use cutting-edge green technologies or principles. The intent is to educate builders on new methods and the quality of results that can be achieved by incorporating green into their projects.
A green future comes to an historic California city with a golden past.
Folsom, Calif.-based builder RJ Walter Homes  teamed up with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory  to design and build the Sacramento area's first LEED  Platinum Home.
The “Home of the Future” in Folsom, Calif. uses the latest energy efficiency innovations and is designed to deliver combined energy bills of less than $24.
"Home of the Future" back patio.
"Home of the Future" interior.
SMUD's so-called “Home of the Future" is located in Folsom , a Sacramento suburb, at an infill redevelopment site that dates back to the 1850s and California's great Gold Rush. It’s blocks away from the Folsom historic district.
The home will also meet NAHB’s National Green Building Guidelines for a gold certified home.
The home features energy-efficiency innovations that result in low energy bills and a small carbon footprint. Monthly combined electric and gas bills are estimated to total less than $24.00 a month, compared with $140 for a home built to current new-home standards, according to NREL. The house is tightly insulated so that it should be easy to heat or cool regardless of outside temperature.
View a video of insulation being installed in the Folsom Home of the Future: View Video
The home is meant to demonstrate to both builders and home buyers that attractive, ultra-energy-efficient homes can be built and marketed at reasonable prices.
“Builders can take different ideas from the home and implement many of them today,” said Bob Walter, founder of RJ Walter Homes. “SMUD really wants to show this off to the building community.”
The 1,940-square-foot bungalow features:
It also features a home automation system that monitors home energy use, solar energy production and water use and remotely controls the home’s lights, thermostat and window blinds. The home’s framing was pre-assembled at a local factory instead of on site, eliminating much of the hammering, sawing and debris typical of new home construction.
View a video that shows the installation of the solar photovoltaic system on the RJ Walters Homes "Home of the Future": View Video
The home meets rigorous criteria in terms of low energy and water consumption, the use of environmentally preferred materials and being located and built in a socially and environmentally responsible way. It would be only the third home in California to earn LEED Platinum status.
Construction on the craftsman style bungalow began in April as crews poured the foundation for the home and a separate garage, which includes a 740 square-foot guest quarters on its upper level. The architecture and size match the style of homes in the city's historic residential district.
The home was completed in September and the builder expects the home to be listed at $679,000.
View a slide show that takes you behind the walls of the Home of the Future: View Slideshow
SMUD began partnering with home builders to build energy-efficient homes with solar electric systems in 2001 and has since partnered on more than 4,000 solar-powered homes in the SMUD territory.
RJ Walter Homes "Home of the Future" Photo Gallery 
Contrast in Utility Cost Savings
The Folsom Home of the Future is projected to have an average monthly utility cost of $23.55, which is substantially lower than other homes built to Title-24 code.