Pardee's Contemporary Farmhouse model for the Responsive Homes BUILDER project.

It may be sound conjecture that millennials will buy one out of three homes sold during 2016. But here's a few qualifying thoughts about that.

  • It may not prove true for all the "aforementioned" reasons--college debt, slow income recovery, need for geographical nimbleness, etc. 
  • If it is true, it may not be new--the projection, after all, covers for resales as well as new home construction 
  • If it is new, it may not be you--the projection, after all, doesn't account for who stands out among the choices and who doesn't.
Obstacles to homeownership, Trulia.

If those three reasons were not enough, add the gorilla-in-the-room question of absolutes. Let's say it does happen that one in three homes sold in 2016 is to a millennial. Isn't it somewhat important to know what the ratio means in real, actual, absolute numbers. One in three of 5.8 million total (existing and new) vs. one in three of closer to 6 million or closer to 5 million makes a big difference in calculating the absolute amount of business there is to draw from for the millennial consumer.

Which is why "outliers" won't leave anything to chance. Best-of-breed builders--our outlier group--are ones whose operational practices, business cultures, and vision-and-strategies set them apart from "the rest." Millennials, at best, will buy homes "at the margins," ones of exceptional value, exceptional price, exceptional location, or exceptional something or other. Exceptional is not "the rest."

"The rest" may depend on cyclical favoring forces and policy accommodations to navigate their way across what we expect will be a rugged 2016 landscape--where little missteps can blow up into monster issues thanks to the slipstream of velocity, capital resource commitment, and labor capacity unevenness, and consumer hyper-sensitivity to event-based dislocations--global, domestic, human-caused or the havoc nature can wreak.

It would be inadvisable, we think, to remain among "the rest" in 2016, and much more healthy and wise to choose and work to be an outlier among peers. We've had the pleasure of working at close hand for much of 2015 with a team we believe fits this category.

The assumption going into the Responsive Home project was that--despite cyclical progress that would bring more young adults off the sidelines into the new home market ... which has happened--more, dramatic, game-changing work needed to be done to help "flip the switch" in young buyers' minds. To compel them to aspire to homeownership, particularly new homeownership, home builders would have to inspire them, with design, with function, with livability, with operability, with practicality, and with a touch of alchemy. (Pre-register now for the Responsive Home virtual tour, which goes live online in mid-January).

One of the vectors the Pardee team fully exploited is the intersection of practicality and something more in our Responsive Homes' "Living Smart" approach to performance, water conservation, health, resource and materials preservation, etc.

One of the values we've been hearing a lot about as regards Millennials career plans, purchase behavior, and living arrangements, is the desire to have these dimensions of their life all orbit a "purpose-driven" central point of focus.

As you can see in the description below of the BUILDER Pardee Responsive Home project's "Living Smart," program for the two homes, the program stretches the builder's resources and investment to gain a return that speaks to Millennials' "purpose driven" values in their housing choices.

Here, from Pardee and its TRI Pointe Group parent company, is a full description of the "Living Smart" elements embedded in our Responsive Homes, counting down to our "big reveal" on January 18, 2016, during the International Builders Show. The unveiling will take place at the Henderson, Nv., master planned community Inspirada.

LIVING SMART and THE RESPONSIVE HOMES The Millennials’ focused Responsive homes built by Pardee Homes of Las Vegas, a division of The TRI Pointe Group, represent the latest in sustainable living. Combining good design with the environment in mind has taken LivingSmart™, a sustainable building program introduced by Pardee Homes--Las Vegas over 15 years ago, to the next level.

Two homes, The Contemporary Farmhouse and The Transitional Home showcase nearly Net Zero Electricity reducing the carbon footprint significantly over homes built only to code. The homes’ building envelope is well insulated, sealed and efficient creating less demand for energy even in the extreme climate conditions of Las Vegas, Nevada. This combined with Solar Photo Voltaic panels which produce electricity, results in low to zero electricity bills for the homeowner.

In addition to the features described below, these homes will appeal to the technology savvy Millennial because of the electronic controls for temperature, lighting, and home automation by Savant ™ . The state of the art software and hardware works with many of the products in the home to enable the homeowner to actually manage the home’s energy use and comfort from a tablet or personal device. By putting these systems under the control of the homeowner, even greater savings can be achieved.

Note the sustainable features in each home as described below.

The Transitional home- larger home, at 3194 square feet, includes the following LivingSmart features:

EnergySmart
  • Starting with the architecture by Bassenian and Lagoni Architects this clean design has taken the site and orientation of the home into consideration when it comes to energy efficiency. The tall walls in the front north facing elevation allow the sloping roof line to continue to deep overhangs in the south facing side of the home to help shade the home from the sun in warm months. The covered patio on the rear of the home can accept a large solar array while also providing shade and comfort. 
  • With a HERS score of 11, this home is able to achieve Zero Electricity. It features a combination of energy efficient building practices and products that are anticipated to result in no electrical bills with normal usage. 
  •  The key to sustained energy efficiency is the building envelope of the home. This home features 2x6 framing combined with exterior continuous wall insulation allowing for more insulation (overall R-25.2 in walls and R30 in the ceiling). This energy efficient wall design is made even more efficient by the extensive caulking and sealing of the ceiling and exterior penetrations such as electrical plumbing connections, significantly reducing air gaps and again maximizing energy efficiency. 
  • Though this beautiful contemporary design features lots of light and glass, Andersen Windows with low emissivity (the transfer of heat) glass have been used throughout to keep the home cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months. 
  • Weyerhaeuser Radiant Barrier roofing panels reflect heat and energy transfer keeping the attic cooler and reducing the energy required to cool the home. 
  • LED lighting is used throughout this home and is the most energy efficient lighting currently available. Each LED bulb uses approximately 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and lasts 35-50 times longer. The recessed lighting system used in this home is by Hubbell Lighting™ and features a specialized LED light and housing unit with a color temperature of 3000K. The light will be warm and pleasing to the eye, and of course, dimmable throughout the home. Additionally, LED light is cooler in temperature which means less heat in the warm summer months saving even more energy in cooling loads. 
  • A .95 energy efficient Rinnai Tankless Hot water system-This new model, RUR98 in the Ultra Series includes recirculating technology that saves both energy and water and is one of the most energy efficient models on the market today. The Rinnai Tankless Hot water heater only heats water when needed and offers a continuous supply of hot water for multiple uses. This results in plenty of hot water even with lots of houseguests. The new technology in this model includes a built in recirculating pump which brings hot water to the end use minimizing water waste. 
  • The Carrier HVAC system is a 19 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) variable speed fan, heating and cooling system. This highly efficient system conserves energy in part by utilizing fan speeds that can be very. This helps keep the temperature more constant and minimizes the system from having to turn on and off at maximum power. 
  • Energy Star Whirlpool appliances. 
  • Car charger by Schneider Electric is located in the garage and will provide a faster efficient charge for an electric or hybrid car. 
  • The 9.6 Kw south facing PV system by Solar City will produce about as much electricity as the house requires.

WaterSmart

  • Water has emerged as one of the most scarce and critical resources in today’s southwest regions. This home helps homeowners save water by including features and products designed to reduce water waste. 
  • WaterSense ™ Faucets and fixtures by Danze/Gerber are water efficient. Toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush, kitchen and bath faucets-1.5 gallons per minute, and showers at less than 2.0 gallons per minute. WaterSense™ is a certification developed by the EPA to certify qualifying water efficient products. 
  • Rinnai RUR98 brings built-in water saving recirculating technology to tankless hot water heating helping to waste less water while waiting for hot water to get to the end use. 
  • Demonstration drought tolerant landscaping shows how to save water and still have a beautiful landscape. Extensive use of pavers in the driveway and patio elements allows water to percolate back into the earth. The plant palate has been chosen for its water saving attributes and the Rainbird ™ irrigation controller only waters when needed. Rain sensors on the roof of the home tell this smart controller when it has rained and will turn off the irrigation during a rain event.


HealthSmart

  • Architecturally the Transitional Home has been designed with ample cross ventilation allowing for fresh air whenever the outside temperature allows. 
  • Sherwin Williams low VOC (Volatile Organic Carbons) paint has been used throughout the home. 
  • Cabinets are finished offsite leaving the off gassing to occur in a manufacturers controlled setting well before the product enters the home. 
  • Hard surface DAL flooring material helps to minimize dust and fibers associated with carpet and contains recycled content. 
  • The Central Vacuum system installed in this home carries dirt and dust to the garage where the canister can be easily emptied into the trash outside. This helps to keep dust particles down inside the home for longer periods of time.


Earth Smart

  • Andersen Windows ™ 100 series shown in this home demonstrates a contemporary look and uses 40% recycled content in the window and door frames. 
  • Trust Joist Engineered wood contributes to the strength of the home without warping or cracking. It also saves wood by using more of the tree in its production. 
  • Recycling cabinets in the kitchen to help homeowners conveniently sort household trash


The Contemporary Farmhouse at 2514 square feet includes the following LivingSmart features:

Energy Smart
  • The architecture by Bassenian and Lagoni Architects on this home is charming and yet very efficient. The basic rectangular footprint and simple ridge roof design allows plenty of area for Solar Photo Voltaic panels on any side of this home. In its simplicity it is versatile and flexible and can be plotted on any site and still have a west or south facing PV solar array. 
  • With a HERS score of 28 this home’s electrical bills will be significantly reduced over a home built strictly to code. 
  • The key to sustained energy efficiency is the building envelope of the home. This home features 2x6 framing and exterior continuous wall insulation using 1” foam for an R25.2 factor in the walls and R30 in the ceiling. This energy efficient wall design is made even more efficient by the extensive caulking and sealing of ceilings and exterior penetrations such as electrical plumbing connections, significantly reducing air gaps. 
  • Weyerhaeuser Radiant Barrier roofing panels reflect heat and energy transfer keeping the attic cooler and reducing the energy required to cool the home. 
  • Though this beautiful Farmhouse design features lots of light and glass, Andersen Windows with low emissivity (the transfer of heat) glass have been used throughout to keep the home cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months. 
  • LED lighting is used throughout this home and is the most energy efficient lighting currently available. Each LED bulb uses approximately 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and lasts 35-50 times longer. The recessed lighting system used in this home is by Hubbell Lighting™ and features a specialized LED light and housing unit with a color temperature of 3000K. The light will be warm and pleasing to the eye, and of course, dimmable throughout the home. Additionally, LED light is cooler in temperature which means less heat in the warm summer months saving even more energy in cooling loads. 
  • Delivering the most energy-efficient performance in this product line, the Ultra Series RUC 98 model used in this home, features a condensing design with two heat exchangers to maximize heating value to enhance reliability and durability and reduce maintenance. 
  • The Carrier HVAC system is a 16 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) heating and cooling system. 
  •  Car charger by Schneider Electric is located in the garage and will provide a faster efficient charge for an electric or hybrid car 
  • A 6.97 Kw West facing PV system by Solar City which will produce nearly as much electricity as the house requires. 
  • Energy Star appliances by Whirlpool


WaterSmart

  • Water has emerged as one of the most scarce and critical resources in today’s southwest regions. This home helps homeowners save water by including features and products designed to reduce water waste. 
  • WaterSense ™ Faucets and fixtures by Danze/Gerber are water efficient. Toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush, kitchen and bath faucets-1.5, showers at less than 2.0 gallons per minute WaterSense™ is a certification developed by the EPA to certify qualifying water efficient products. 
  •  Demonstration drought tolerant landscaping shows how to save water and still have a beautiful landscape. Extensive use of pavers in the driveway and patio elements allows water to percolate back into the earth. The plant palate has been chosen for its water saving attributes and the Rainbird™ irrigation controller only waters when needed. Rain sensors on the roof of the home tell this smart controller when it has rained and will turn off the irrigation during a rain event.


HealthSmart

  • Architecturally each room of the Contemporary Farmhouse has been designed with multiple points of ventilation allowing for fresh air whenever the outside temperature allows. 
  • Sherwin Williams low VOC paint 
  • Cabinets are finished offsite leaving the off gassing to occur in a manufacturers controlled setting well before the product enters the home. 
  • Hard surface DAL flooring material helps to minimize dust associated with carpet and contains recycled content. 
  • The Central Vacuum system installed in this home carries dirt and dust to the garage where the canister can be easily emptied into the trash outside. This helps to keep dust particles down for longer periods of time.


Earth Smart

  • All flooring materials carry a green label indicating recycled content has been used to make the floors 
  • Trust Joist Engineered wood contributes to the strength of the home without warping or cracking. It also saves wood by using more of the tree in its production. 
  • Recycling cabinets in the kitchen to help homeowners conveniently sort household trash