It's a green home-building feature particularly fitting for Southern California: a concrete tile roof that neutralizes the smog-forming nitrogen oxides spewed by automobiles.
Hoping to attract environmentally concerned homebuyers, KB Home, based in Los Angeles, has joined forces with Boral Roofing, the Irvine, Calif., manufacturer of what is being called "smog-eating tile."
KB Home, a national homebuilder, in January began offering the tile in all of its housing developments in Southern California. In a few communities, the roof comes standard, but in most it's an upgrade available for an extra $800 or so.
"Obviously, in California pollution from cars is a concern. This is the right thing to do. It is cutting edge," said Steve Ruffner, president of KB Home's Southern California division.
According to the manufacturer, the concrete tile roof on a typical 2,000-square-foot house can annually break down the same amount of nitrogen oxides as a car's engine typically produces during 10,800 miles of driving.