If Sater has learned anything from his successful stock plan business, it’s that the master bedroom is overrated and that it’s best kept on the main level. “It’s a bedroom for sleeping and a place for privacy,” something he insists applies across all buyer profiles, not just boomers. By contrast, he says, a second-level master suite with a deck and a view isn’t appreciated as much as one might think—especially as the owners age.
The plan still offers enviable retreats, anchored by the master on the main floor and supplemented by a trio of suites that deliver the kind of privacy the owners and their teenage (or older) kids, guests, and/or live-in parent want.
The master suite exudes luxury. The simple, square bedroom (above) is a testament to Sater’s ethic of not over-thinking the obvious. Across the vestibule, interrupted just slightly by a walk-in closet and a coffee bar, the master bath’s sea-foam color scheme and thoughtful features—a jetted, soaking tub and separate walk-in shower, dual vanities divided by a glass panel and pebble waterfall, his-and-her water closets, an in-wall fireplace—trigger multiple senses. “It’s a spa-like experience,” says interior designer Ron Nowfel. “The feeling is light and airy, with clean furnishings and finishes that don’t weigh down the space.”
Green is the rage these days, but what does it really mean (or matter) to folks who have enough scratch to afford expensive homes? Ego, pure and simple. And perhaps a dash of guilt at the notion of trading youthful idealism for an adulthood of excess.
Regardless, the goal of The New American Home throughout the years has been to push the mainstream envelope of performance and efficiency, and this year’s version is no exception. In its design, construction, and on-going operation, the house leverages its location and orientation. It’s built tight and ventilated right, deploying insulation, high-performance windows, and a zoned approach to indoor air conditioning that not only saves energy and money, but also creates a comfortable environment.
As a result, it is the first home certified under the NAHB’s new Green Building program scoring method, achieving a gold level. The house also is modeled and monitored by the IBACOS Consortium of the federal Building America program to use 42 percent less energy compared to a similarly sized home in the same climate, including a 62 percent reduction in cooling energy demand.
Within a systematic approach to energy and resource efficiency, the project called for autoclaved, aerated concrete block for portions of the first-floor exterior walls (below). It’s a lightweight, more workable solution than poured concrete or concrete masonry units, and it achieves an R-8 insulating value prior to rigid foam panels on both sides of the walls.
Adding to the overall efficiency are an unvented, insulated attic achieved with R-20 expanded foam insulation on the underside of the roof sheathing (right), a trio of high-efficiency heat pumps, and a roof-mounted solar thermal collector for tankless water heaters. And in a nice touch, the panels are concealed smartly behind the cupola, out of view from the street.