Builder Focus: First Look at the 2014 New American Home

2014-01-25T11:45:00Z Builder Focus: First Look at the 2014 New American HomeMichelle Krueger Times Correspondent
January 25, 2014 11:45 am  • 

When it comes to fresh ideas in the homebuilding industry, thousands of conference attendees look forward to touring the New American Home during the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show.

The 31st edition of the NAHB and BUILDER magazine show home is nearing completion in anticipation of this year’s IBS February 4-6 in Las Vegas. A multigenerational desert contemporary situated on a terraced mountainside, the New American Home puts an innovative elevation and family-style living for now and in the future on display.

Serving as a construction technology laboratory with the latest innovations in green building and construction technology, the 6,700-sq-ft show home offers lessons for builders of all types and sizes.

According to the NAHB, as builders and guests walk through the lavishly appointed home, they can imagine how it will make life easier for the home’s occupants, envisioned as a busy, extended family made up of children, parents and grandparents. Design elements from architect Jeffrey Berkus and interior designer Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interior Design provide grand spaces for entertaining, areas for homework and schooling, quiet spots for meditation, and multiple outdoor living spaces.

These must-see features include:

• The indoor/outdoor experience. The home’s open layout fuses the indoors with the outdoors and provides the owners with many spaces to live and work outdoors. These include an outside office space that doubles as a meditation center and a rooftop terrace.

• Design for multigenerational living. The home will comfortably accommodate a three-generation family, with the option of locating the master suite either upstairs or downstairs. A carriage suite with separate access will connect to the house through an elevator. (One side of the elevator opens to the carriage suite; the other opens to the main home.)

• Distance learning opportunities. In a nod to the growing trend of online learning platforms and home schooling, the house will accommodate distance learning. A double island in the kitchen offers space to cook on one side and an informal area on the other so that kids can work on schoolwork while still interacting with the family and being a part of the home’s social sphere.

• Public and private spaces. The house is designed to be both dynamic and soothing, with high ceilings in public spaces, and lower ceilings to create a more intimate feel in the family areas, according to Berkus. There’s also a long gallery that can be used either as a transition space or as a large entertaining space. Prime views are afforded from the dining room, first-floor master suite and rooftop terrace.

• Dramatic floor plan. Custom touches include a water wall, a poolside meditation room and a second-story circulation bridge connecting the core spaces. “This house is based around the idea of flow,” Berkus, who took over the project’s design when his father, Barry Berkus, passed away in November 2012, said. “You’re going to see a lot of ‘memory points’ in the house, as dad would call it—where you walk through and turn a corner and say, ‘Wow.’”

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