From a distance, both figuratively and literally, The New American Home (TNAH) 2009 appears contradictory to what’s being deemed appropriate in the current conservative housing climate: a nearly 9,000-square-foot estate with a multimillion-dollar price tag built in a market, Las Vegas, that is the poster child for the industry’s woes. Never mind that the house sold before it was finished, albeit at a slight discount to ­accommodate a lease-back deal allowing the builder, Blue Heron Properties, to use it as a model home for the 12 other lots of the new infill community in which it sits.

Never mind that, despite its size, the house far exceeds conventional resource efficiency standards, achieving a remarkable 76 percent energy-use savings compared to the DOE’s Building America benchmark and earning a Gold rating against the NAHB’s Green Building Program standards, thanks to a concerted combination of sustainable design concepts and building practices, and innovative, eco-friendly devices.

Never mind that the house updates and revitalizes modern style and celebrates the ­return (and value) of architect-designed housing with a desert contemporary aesthetic ­perfectly suited to its climate and buyer profile. That value is immediately evident as you turn into Agave Azul and see the house for the first time in full, and even more so once you walk up to and through the front door.

If you can put all of those accomplishments aside, then TNAH is reduced to just a big, beautiful house, reserved for a well-heeled slice of the market that enjoys casual elegance, appreciates a bit of hip Vegas nostalgia, plans to age in place, and likes to entertain—a lot. “It fits perfectly within its environment, both aesthetically and demographically,” says builder Tyler Jones. “There’s a growing market of buyers who are interested in a new, fresh style of housing.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.