“The 2012 New American Home”

Each year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) puts together a “New American Home” featuring the latest and greatest for single-family homes. Here are the features of the 2012 New American Home:

Phil Kean of Winter Park, Fla., the architect and builder of the 2012 home, seeks to honor the architecture of the past while taking advantage of current technologies and design trends. Kean is focusing on functional and transitional spaces and attention to detail instead of square footage and the design uses space efficiently to create a calm and serene living environment.

The latest green building products and methods are factored into every aspect of the home’s design. Kean designed the home to achieve “emerald” status under the green building certification process administered by the NAHB Research Center and based on principles set forth in the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard™ certified by ANSI – “Emerald” is the highest of the four levels of achievement a home can attain…

Kean has designed The New American Home 2012 to take maximum advantage of Florida’s friendly climate. Walls of movable glass panels and motorized screens provide a seamless flow from the indoor to the outdoor spaces.

At 4,181 square feet, the home will be the smallest in The New American Home series in many years. It will be displayed as a two-bedroom floor plan that will appeal to empty nesters, and will have four additional rooms that could be converted to bedrooms if needed.

Kean is building The New American Home 2012 on an infill site in an older neighborhood close to downtown Winter Park. Amenities within walking distance include shops, restaurants and a public library.

See videos of the home here. A quick discussion of some of these themes:

1. While the Wall Street Journal suggests this home provides evidence that “the love affair with supersized McMansions is waning,” the home is still 4,181 square feet, significantly larger than the average new house size of about 2,400 square feet.

2. There is a continued push to go green. I didn’t even know there was an emerald level…

3. This sounds like a New Urbanist type of setting: it is a new home but is in an old neighborhood so residents could walk to a historic downtown. I wonder what the neighbors think of the new home; while it isn’t a teardown, I imagine it might be different than some other nearby homes?

4. The design and furnishing of this home seems modern, following in the footsteps of “Le Corbusier and Richard Meier.” Perhaps this works better in Florida but I wonder if the average wealthy homebuyer would be interested.

5. And how much would this particular house cost in its current setting or transplanted or built elsewhere? There appear to be some cool features such as a suspended staircase, an art gallery, and a waterfall table on the back patio but I’m sure those things add up.

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