The New American Home 2009®
Las Vegas builder Blue Heron and architect Danielian Associates collaborated with interior designer Robb & Stucky Interiors to create a home that is elegant, functional, and efficient, and green - the home scored at the gold level under the NAHB National Green Building Program.
"The New American Home has been a leader in green building for years, but this latest edition is built to be the most energy-efficient home in the history of this series," said Bill Nolan, chairman of The New American Home Task Force. "Builders, architects, engineers - anybody with an interest in housing construction will be fascinated by the natural gas-powered heating and cooling system, the photovoltaic cells and the solar water heating. Even the insulation in this home is exciting.
"The whole package of energy-efficiency products work together to make this a near-zero-energy home," said Nolan, who runs The Nolan Group, a housing industry consulting firm in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Tremendous effort has gone into the details of this home, including design aspects related to:
- Site development;
- Resource, energy and water efficiency;
- Indoor air quality; and
- Operation, maintenance, and homeowner education.
The New American Home was sited to optimize solar resources and incorporates landscape design that helps limit water and energy demand. The development avoided environmentally sensitive areas. Soil erosion and disturbance was kept to a minimum with storm water pollution prevention plans and continued on-site monitoring and implementation of best management practices.
To minimize the quantity of materials used and reduce waste, the builder employed advanced framing techniques including pre-manufactured trusses and floor systems, and used building materials that don't require additional on-site finish resources. Manufacturers and suppliers were selected that could provide recycled building materials, or new materials manufactured from renewable resources or requiring fewer resources to produce than traditional products. During construction, a recycling and waste management program included on-site bins for collecting and sorting materials to be recycled off-site.
The New American Home benefits from a comprehensive design approach to achieve extraordinary energy efficiency. A proprietary gas-powered heating and cooling system with a SEER rating of 18 combined with other energy-efficient features such as low-E windows, advanced insulation, vertical and horizontal solar overhangs and window louvers enabled the home to achieve a Five Star-Plus HERS rating of 57. This is before factoring the installation of a 12,000+ khz solar panel system striving for a net-zero level of electrical consumption.
Insulated concrete forms (ICF) were used predominately for the basement and structural walls which provide exceptional insulating properties with R-values up to 50.
"The design concepts, construction techniques and materials used in The New American Home 2009 can be adopted for use in any home," Nolan said. "In a sense, this showcase home is a collection of ideas for the industry to take away and put into any new or remodeled home."
"From the architects who designed the home to the skilled tradesmen who completed the final details, everyone involved welcomed the challenge of producing the home," said Blue Heron principal Tyler Jones. "The end result was worth the effort. I think this house is going to absolutely blow people away."
Sponsored by the National Council of the Housing Industry (NCHI) - The Leading Suppliers of NAHB and Builder magazine, The New American Home is one of NAHB's most successful and visible programs. NCHI is made up of the leading product suppliers of the residential construction industry, and the show home provides an excellent way for NCHI members to highlight their products.
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