For many prospective home purchasers, The New American Home appears as a tantalizing mirage: a custom palace decked to the gills in posh amenities but far out of reach for the practical consumer who doesn’t earn a lavish income. After all, the showcase home built annually for the International Builders’ Show to display the last homebuilding tech is just: that a showcase.
But the latest TNAH, on display last month in Las Vegas for IBS 2015, proved to be more than just a dream in the desert. Instead, visitors got to tour a residence that actually can be replicated in the real world of real estate and that boasts a more sustainable and attainable floor plan than any previous TNAH.
Built and designed by Las Vegas builder Blue Heron, this year’s 5,891-square-foot show home provides four bedrooms, and a bevy of green amenities, state-of-the-art technologies, and impressive architectural features, including:
• Photovoltaic solar panels; closed-cell foam roofing material with a highly reflective cool roof coating; open-cell spray foam insulation; high-efficiency water heaters; a weather-sensitive irrigation system that automatically calibrates usage based on immediate climate; intelligent fireplaces; hydronic air handlers; and sustainable building materials. These eco-conscious features, and more, combine to help the home achieve a net-zero rating and an astounding HERS -13 rating, meaning means the home actually produces more energy than it consumes.
• Spatially efficient open living areas designed to flow from one into one another, such as a bountiful kitchen that segues into indoor and outdoor dining areas; a multipurpose loft complete with an entertainment area, wet bar and wine storage/tasting area that connects via pocket doors to a rear deck and central courtyard; a two-story private casita with high ceilings, walk-in closet and access to a second-level balcony; and a sky deck with full views of the city and mountains.
• A backyard concept that utilizes an infinity edge pool and spa, outdoor kitchen and a built-in fire feature; the exterior space totals more than 2,300 square feet.
But perhaps the abode’s most notable feature is that, unlike past TNAHs – which each were one-of-a-kind, ultra-luxury custom creations, – it’s a pre-designed floor plan that is offered at a nearby subdivision. The deluxe furnished show home as constructed costs $2.5 million, but a smaller version of the design, with fewer upscale bells and whistles, can be built in the $800,000 range.
“The 2015 home demonstrates how the most cutting-edge building technology, products and materials can be integrated into a production community,” says Tucker Bernard, director of the Leading Suppliers Council of the National Association of Home Builders, host of the International Builders Show. “Those who want to see the future of home-design trends and technology make sure they tour The New American Home. This year’s show home offers a collection of ideas for the industry to take away and put into millions of homes across the country.”
Tyler Jones, co-founder and owner of Blue Heron, says TNAH 2015 reflects an increasingly popular style he calls “Vegas modern.”
“The architectural philosophy emphasizes clean, modern lines, large open spaces – including generous exterior living areas that seamlessly integrates with interior space – and casual comfort that places the focus away from traditional areas like formal living and dining rooms,” Jones says. “This home reflects contemporary buyer preferences for a fresher, more modern style. Here, for example, family and friends can enjoy more time outdoors without having to worry about a big landscaped yard that requires a lot of maintenance.”
Jones adds that the model he and his team built is not only the most technologically advanced and energy efficient TNAH home ever displayed, it’s also the most affordable and practical.
“This wasn’t designed to be some experimental prototype. It’s a real home for real people in a real neighborhood,” he says