Builder Concept Home 2010: A Home for the New Economy

NEW FOUNDATION: The Concept Home offers a more buildable and sustainable model for reviving the housing industry. The finished virtual house will be open for online tours on Jan. 19, 2010

NEW FOUNDATION: The Concept Home offers a more buildable and sustainable model for reviving the housing industry. The finished virtual house will be open for online tours on Jan. 19, 2010

If you’ve never taken a personal, pri-vate tour of a national show home, the 2010 Builder Concept Home is your chance. Presented exclusively online as a photo-realistic virtual experience, the Home for the New Economy affords builders the opportunity to walk through an adaptable, sustainable, livable, and buildable 1,700-square-foot house from the comfort and convenience of their own desktop.

“Our goal this year is to respect and reflect what’s going on in the industry right now and present what we believe is the model for the future,” says Builder’s editorial director Boyce Thompson.

One of several New Economy Homes created by Miami designer Marianne Cusato (of Katrina Cottage renown), the two-story house strips away the gratuitous trimmings and trappings of the McMansion era—things such as tacked-on porches, masonry façades, and palatial master suites—and returns the house, its floor plan, and its finishes back to a human scale. “McMansions promised a better life, but they didn’t deliver,” says Cusato. “We need to get back to basics and create comfortable, livable housing that’s sustainable.”

To define “sustainable,” Cusato goes beyond reducing a home’s carbon footprint with a concept for housing that serves the owners’ needs from first-time buyer to empty-nester—a distinct paradigm shift from the recent past. “Whenever people experienced a major lifestyle change, such as a child or an at-home business, they had to move because the house didn’t suit them anymore,” she says. “This house adapts to whatever your personal economy happens to be.”

Cusato also engaged building scientist Mark LaLiberte to add his perspective on the subject of sustainability. Minneapolis-based Room & Board served as the interior designer and furnishings supplier, while Christian Wagley of Alys Beach, Fla., designed the landscape plan.

Of course, opening a concept house as an exclusively virtual experience presents its own shift for a legacy of Builder-sponsored show homes that date back to 1998. “The wealth of content we can provide online in a 24/7 context is far more than any sticks-and-bricks show home,” says Thompson.

The Builder Concept Home 2010: A Home for the New Economy will open for virtual tours beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, the opening day of IBS, and remain open through June. Builder will feature the home in its January 2010 issue, and the house will be the focus of the Hanley Wood booth (#C2128) at IBS 2010.

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