The Case of the “Shrinking” New American Home
On an infill lot in Winter Park – one of the tonier communities bordering Orlando, Florida – a well organized construction crew has been applying its skills to The New American Home 2012, a showcase for new materials, fixtures, comfort-control systems, and homebuilding expertise that will be open for tours during the International Builders’ Show in February.
The National Association of Home Builders says that the two-bedroom modernist home is “leaner, greener, smarter than its predecessors.”
Leaner because it is a mere 4,181 sq. ft., which is still huge for a two-bedroom house (four other rooms in the house can be adapted to a variety of uses, including bedrooms) but is also almost 2,000 sq. ft. smaller than the previous two TNAHs.
Greener because it is designed to qualify for “Emerald” certification under the National Green Building Standard rating system.
And smarter because the house is wired with an electronic control and monitoring system. Designed and installed by local firm Architectural Electronics, the system will help operate everything from building’s mechanicals to its lighting, motorized screens, and security.
Built for Florida’s mild winters and semi-tropical summers
Central Florida’s long seasons of mostly nice weather contrast pretty sharply with its summer months, when heat and humidity blanket the state and energy use increases accordingly. TNAH 2012, which includes exterior walls built with insulated concrete forms that offer R-27 thermal resistance, is designed to partially offset those costs. As an Emerald-certification contender, the house must provide energy savings of 60% or more over a comparable structure built to code.
The project designer, Phil Kean, of Phil Kean Designs, told NAHB that he also is aiming for other green certifications for the home, including a LEED for Homes rating; the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Platinum certification; the Department of Energy’s Energy Star certification; the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods designation; the Florida Water Star designation; the Energy Home Advantage Program; and the DOE’s Builders Challenge.
A take on architectural modernism, The New American Home 2012, now under construction in Winter Park, Florida, will showcase a number concept products, including an elaborate electronic control and monitoring system.
Insulated concrete forms help bring the exterior walls to R-27.
Some of the low-voltage wiring that integrates the home’s mechanical, security, audio, video, and lighting systems.
The New American Home 2012 is design to qualify for "Emerald" certification under the National Green Building Standard rating system.