Courtesy BHI Media/KB Home

Builder Concept Home 2011

Partnering with KB Home and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, our latest concept home is an affordable jewel box that achieves net-zero energy performance.

The KB Home GreenHouse: An Idea Home Created With Martha Stewart, the latest in the annual Builder Concept Home series, tackles the challenge of making high-performance housing affordable and stylish.

Built in Orlando, Fla., the home’s lofty goals start with the plan, as the 2,669- square-foot, single-level layout is perfectly oriented to optimize the sun. Facing east, a deep, covered lanai leads to a wide-open kitchen/great room arrangement along the back, while the home’s set-back front porch protects the entry from the harsher afternoon sun. Meanwhile, the long, south-facing roof expanse features a 9kw array of solar panels that seamlessly integrate into the flat concrete roof tiles.

Behind a fiber-cement and stucco finish is a weatherized and insulated CMU wall fitted with high-performance windows and doors, while the wood-truss roof is insulated with a closed-cell foam—a basic yet thermally efficient shell that reduces the energy demand on the home’s right-sized HVAC equipment.

Those savings, in turn, allow a higher level of finish and style, such as stainless steel appliances, tile and wood flooring, and upgraded (yet EPA WaterSense–rated) plumbing fixtures. “It really captures the concept we envisioned and is something that we can see production homes moving toward in the future,” says George Glance, president of KB Home in Central Florida.

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RM Design Studio

The New American Home 2011

The longest-running show home program combines luxury living with a commitment to energy and resource efficiency.

The New American Home 2011 presents a classically designed, 8,500- square foot manor home in an established downtown Orlando, Fla., neighborhood that also achieves a high level of energy and resource efficiency.

Set back on a lot reclaimed after a pair of bungalows were “deconstructed,” the home’s setting enables an impressive approach with a full view of the two-story façade. A columned front porch leads to a great room featuring 24-foot-high volume and a view to the courtyard beyond.

The U-shaped floor plan sets the generous master suite on one side of the great room, creating enviable privacy from the rest of the house. The opposite end of the entry flows into the dining room. Like the hub of a wheel, the dining room opens to the kitchen and family room, the main staircase, and a library.

The home’s five-car garage, set back and featuring a clever tandem design, is topped by an elegant guest apartment. In addition to a full bath and kitchen and two sleeping rooms, the apartment’s open center leads to deep balconies on both ends.

Unlike the 27 New American Homes before it, the 2011 version was designed and built with homeowners attached from the beginning, meaning it will not suffer the fate of so many large luxury spec homes now waiting to be sold.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL, Los Angeles, CA.