This article was featured in our December 2014 issue of BUILDER Magazine.
Every year, the New American Home wows thousands of International Builders’ Show attendees by showcasing the latest products, technologies, and design trends in home building. This year’s home, co-sponsored by the NAHB and BUILDER, is focused more than ever on providing plenty of takeaways for production builders, at every price point.
Under construction in the ritzy Sky Terrace development outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev., the four-bedroom, 5,891-square-foot desert contemporary is designed to exude a comfortable, clean aesthetic, says Tyler Jones, owner of Blue Heron, the Las Vegas–based design/build firm overseeing the project. The efficiently designed floor plan—one of the most compact in the show home’s 32-year history—makes use of every square foot, with a large, open kitchen that flows into the dining area, multiple seating and entertainment spaces, and a rooftop deck.
“We want to make sure the house looks and feels like an over-the-top custom home, but that it’s designed in a way that can be put together efficiently and quickly in the field,” Jones explains.
Situated to capture views of the Las Vegas Strip and nearby mountains, the home facilitates outdoor living with sliding pocket doors that open up to courtyards, decks, and balconies. A second-floor entertainment loft with a wine tasting area will give residents and their guests a prime place to gather.
Show attendees will have a chance to learn about the systems and technologies that run the house, which is expected to achieve the highest level of certification from the National Green Building Standard. These include a rooftop solar array, high-efficiency tankless water heaters, advanced framing, closed- and open-cell spray foam insulation, and an energy management system. The house also boasts a weather-sensitive irrigation system that automatically adjusts usage relative to the climate, hydronic air handlers, and intelligent fireplaces. The show home’s project team is aiming for a HERS rating of 22 and to meet the requirements of both the Energy Star and DOE Challenge Home green building programs.
The home’s stunning finishes and impressive green package will be inspirational for the production builders who tour it, says Jones. “The options shown in the house can be immediately rolled into mass production,” he says. “This year, we are taking a very sophisticated technology and design and package and making it into something that could be sold in a way similar to production homes."