Today, the National Association of Homebuilders’ annual hoedown, the International Builders’ Show, kicked off in Orlando and, with that, the doors were also opened to the event’s official show home, the New American Home 2012.
I haven’t been entirely fond of past New American Homes — this year will mark the 28th annual New American Home — but I'm liking the looks of this Phil Kean-designed and built infill project located outside of Orlando in the town of Winter Park. Described as a throwback to the "Modern White Box" style of home made popular by Le Corbusier and Richard Meier in the 1960s and 70s, the theme mostly works. And I say mostly because while I do love the exterior (check out that backyard!), the interior of the home, complete with a floating staircase, glass art, and Nelson Marshmallow Sofa, appears to be trying a bit too hard to achieve the ultimate in sleek, modernist cool. It's just a bit much.
Most notably, this year’s New American Home reflects what current and aspiring American homeowners are looking for in a theoretical dream home: energy efficiency, a slew of sustainable features, and a range of amenities and public transportation options within walking distance. Indeed, at 4,181-square feet, the New American Home 2012 is the smallest New American Home in “many years” and most certainly the greenest. In addition to boasting LEED Platinum certification, the two-bedroom solar-powered digs have achieved National Green Building Standard "Emerald" certification, EPA airPLUS qualification, Florida Green Building Coalition “Platinum” certification, and numerous other green stamps of approval from various national and local organizations. 
Overall, the two-bedroom home (four additional rooms can be converted to bedrooms if needed) is expected to consume 52 percent less energy than standard homes and use approximately 77 percent less energy for heating and 83 percent less energy for cooling compared to similar homes in the same hot n’ humid climate zone of south Florida. This all amounts to an estimated $1,536 in annual energy savings. Features that help the home reach this goal are a 4KW photovoltaic array (it provides the home with about 18 percent of its annual energy needs), solar water heating, LED and CFL lighting, an EnergyStar-rated roof covering that minimizes solar gains, low-e windows, motorized exterior solar screens, a high-efficiency 18 SEER air-source heat pump system, EnergyStar-rated appliances, and an extremely airtight thermal shell. 
Other sustainable features include WaterSense-rated fixtures, a rainwater collection system, the use of recycled and locally sourced materials throughout, indigenous landscaping, an energy recover ventilator, an ultraviolet light air treatment system, the use of low-VOC paints and finishes, and a whole lot more.
Despite the impressive green credentials of this home, it's hard to ignore the fact that it's still mighty large. Here's hoping that future New American Homes continue on with this shrinking trend — maybe next year they can get 'er down to 3,000-square-feet. Regardless, kudos to Phil Kean and everyone else involved in the creation of the home. Head on over to the New American Home 2012 landing page for lots more info along with photos. I’d love to hear any thoughts on the home from any IBS attendees who had the chance to check it out in the flesh.


Via [Jetson Green]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Behold, the New American Home 2012
The New American Home 2012, the official show home of the International Builders' Show, is revealed to be a boxy and modern beauty that's smaller and more effic