Orlando, Fla. — Some of the best building products on the market went into the nation's newest showcase for the well-appointed, high-tech, energy-efficient home, unveiled Jan. 8 ahead of the International Builders' Show.
Visitors can't see the major plastic contributions, but they are just behind the Tuscan-style canyon stone facade of the 2018 model of the New American Home in the Bella Collina golf community just outside Orlando in Montverde.
Constructed by Legacy Custom Built Homes for the National Association of Home Builders, which puts on IBS, the five-bedroom residence has 6,600 square feet of air-conditioned living space and about 10,000 square feet under its roof. One of the goals was to take an open floor plan and make it airier. The great room opens to the dining room, which opens to the kitchen, and these three spaces "daisy chain" into the master bedroom, a game room and tiered backyard, said Greg Hyatt, president of Hyatt Design.
"When I design houses, I don't have a lot of halls. One room transitions to the next. It's very simple. It makes sense. There are passage ways but the spaces are linked so the transition throughout the house is comfortable," Hyatt said. "This house has one hall if you could call it that. It's more of a mudroom."
The house feels warm and inviting with a lot of creams and grays in upholstery and carpeting and shimmers of gold and silver in art works, tile accents, furniture and even metallic-looking porcelain wall coverings in one of the five full bathrooms and half bath, courtesy of decorator Kate Clarke of Legacy Design. It also has three stone-enclosed natural gas fireplaces.
The property is 30 feet higher at the street than the rear, which overlooks Lake Apopka, so the builders brought in tons of dirt to level off parts of the yard and create the tiers. The first level has the pool, a hot tub and sitting areas, including one that flows into the master bedroom. The green spaces by the pool have a synthetic turf.
"You don't want to lug a lawn mower up different tiers. This will be low maintenance and your dogs can use it. It's a great product," said Legacy President Michael Rowen said.
The use of other plastic building materials isn't so obvious but it's there. What lies beneath?
For starters, there's Zip System sheathing by Huber Engineered Woods LLC. Unlike oriented strand board, these wood panels have a protective coating, or "tough, phenolic resin-impregnated overlay," that doubles as a water-resistant barrier and eliminates the need for a building wrap.
"This is one step. It doesn't take another subcontractor to set up scaffolds and apply another product over an existing product," Rowen said, pointing out the faster installation.
Panel seams are covered with an acrylic Zip system tape and the building is ready for a wide range of claddings to finish the exterior.