While the designers of the “New American Home 2006” may bill it as “a real-world laboratory,” it appears that they have certainly gotten luxury down to a science.
After all, this 23rd NAH not only features high-end product and technology, but it also incorporates a vast amount of “green” design and Universal Design elements to create the ultimate in flexibility and repose.
These are the sentiments of John Orgren, senior design architect for Sunrise, FL-based WCI Architecture & Land Planning, Inc., which created the home in conjunction with Orlando, FL-based Saxon-Clark Furniture, Maitland, FL-based Redmon Landscape Architecture and Pittsburgh, PA-based Integrated Building and Construction Solutions (IBACOS).
Orgren feels the 10,023-sq.-ft. home is ideally suited for a successful, Baby Boomer-type clientele.
“The home is really built for someone who is approaching retirement, or at the age where they have an elderly parent living with them, or are anticipating being physically limited themselves,” explains Orgren.
Stylistically speaking, the home combines Spanish, British and Dutch colonial detailing and takes advantage of a sprawling, lakefront view, he points out.
“We wanted it to have a lighter flavor. We didn’t want it to be the typical Mediterranean house that you see [in Florida],” adds Donald Saxon, president of Saxon-Clark Furniture.
Introduced in concert with the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) recent International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Orlando, FL, the NAH features concepts, materials, designs and construction techniques that are meant to be replicated – in whole or in part – in housing built in any location or in any price range.
Indeed, among the features of the home are outdoor kitchens, two fireplaces, a HEPA indoor air filtration system and an elevator to make the home 100% wheelchair accessible.
“We felt we needed to put in some exclusive amenities in the home – both in the kitchen and the bath – as well as the summer kitchen areas,” elaborates Alex Hannigan, president of Orlando, FL-based Hannigan Homes, Inc., citing product from GE, Kohler Co. and Canac Cabinets, a Kohler Co.
Companies that also supplied products for the NAH include ClosetMaid, DalTile Corp., Formica Corp., Whirlpool Corp. and Progress Lighting, among a host of others.
Inspired by its surroundings, WCI created a long, shallow design, which is considered by the design team to be one of the home’s most unique traits.
But using the surrounding area posed an interesting design challenge, says Hannigan.
“There was an environmental swail behind the home, and I couldn’t put a screen enclosure on the back, so we had to put a fence around [it] for safety,” explains Hannigan. “We also included gas lights on the tops of the columns [of the fence]. It became an architectural embellishment and looked terrific.”
“We’re proud to have built a home that mixes cutting-edge design with environmental sensibility,” he adds. This year’s NAH, which pulls double duty as a showhouse and a “for sale” property, was sponsored by Washington, D.C.-based The National Council of the Housing Industry – The Supplier 100, and Builder magazine.
One of the key elements to the home – which is dubbed “Lake Burden at the Lakes of Windemere” – is its eco-friendly, or “green,” design, says Orgren.
“Since the home is only one room deep, it offers a lot of cross ventilation and daylight,” he notes.
Hannigan adds: “The home really offers three main benefits: energy and water conservation, environmental sensitivity and a healthy environment. One truly begets the other, and it was seamless.”
According to the NAHB, some of the green measures taken for the NAH include conditioning by four high-efficiency heat pumps, and zone control used to maintain ideal temperatures throughout the home’s six zones. In addition, three tankless, propane-fired water heaters serve the home and help to minimize piping and reduce stand-by loss.