When the International Builders Show, the largest light construction show in the world, returns to Orlando, FL, February 7 to 10, the more than 105,000 expected attendees will likely be in search of answers—ways that home building professionals can build better; build stronger and build safer both for a home’s inhabitants and for the community at large.
These professionals are likely to find the answers at the NextGen First to the Future Demonstration Home, a complete, 2,700-square-foot, two-story home constructed in the parking lot of the Orange County Convention Center that aims to give today’s builders an up-close look at the future of home construction.
The lessons to be learned in the First to the Future home come at an appropriate time. The United States is in the midst of the largest home-rebuilding effort in recent history. According to the American Red Cross, 850,791 housing units were damaged, destroyed or left inaccessible in Hurricane Katrina’s wake, one of the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of this country.
“The rebuilding is starting, and the focus is naturally not just on replacing these homes, but on learning from this disaster and replacing them with stronger, greener, more efficient and more connected homes,” says Paul Barnett, president of iShow, producer of all the NextGen projects.
This is the fifth year a NextGen Home will be built at the show, and this year it will feature the latest, innovative window coverings products from Sunland Shutters, Long Beach, CA, providing interior shutters, and Somfy Systems Inc., Cranbury, NJ, providing motorized treatments including a motorized exterior awning.
Following the tremendous success of last year’s home, this year’s model will be bigger and better. The formerly one-story home will now reach to two, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience how seamlessly the latest technologies and features fit within a fully designed and furnished home, and then climb the stairs and get a rare look at the hidden assets of the home such as framing and insulation, through extensive models and cutaways.
STANDING UP BETTER
The goal of the NextGen projects is to demonstrate to homebuyers and builders alike, the complete next generation home. The home will feature strong partnerships with organizations such as the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), PATH (Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“By building this house to our Fortified…for safer living ® standard, everyone who visits will see that we have the know-how and ability to build homes that will stand up better to whatever hazards they face, and that it can be done affordably and without compromising the beauty of the structure,” says Chuck Vance, Fortified program manager at IBHS.
Approximately 15 technological advancements chosen by PATH specifically for this demonstration home will also be showcased. “The technologies were chosen to address not only a one-time disaster, but longer term issues like moisture, mold and durability,” explains Carlos Martin, a PATH researcher.
The First to the Future demonstration home is being constructed by Anderson Construction, Seattle, WA, and will be constructed with a combination of insulated concrete forms and structured insulated panels that are “green,” disaster resistant and energy efficient.
Sunland Shutters, Long Beach, CA, produces shutters using its co-extruded aluminum core technology, which creates straight, sag-free louvers in extremely solid, rigid shutter panels.
This means homeowners can enjoy plantation-style window coverings that look like elegant, quality wood, yet are superior because unlike wood Sunland’s Poly CORE shutters will not split, chip, warp, crack or discolor. They insulate three times better than wood, are easy to clean and maintain, and are moisture- and fire-resistant.
Adding to the value of Sunburst shutters are that they are quality custom-built and fully framed, offer superb light, noise and temperature control, and boost the value of any home.
Other features and benefits include:
• Cost effective. Although unprocessed wood is less expensive, it takes so much processing to make it look as good that wood shutters typically cost 15 to 25 percent more per square foot.
• PolyCORE doesn’t harm the environment because it is 100 percent recyclable. Because it is a poly, not a wood, it helps save trees.
• The aluminum core makes wide louver lengths possible, making the option of wide panels available for a cleaner and less obscured view out of the window.
• Hard material surface, reduces the likelihood of dings and dents.
• PolyCORE has strong joints at the stile and rail. The screw together format is the strongest possible format for assembling shutter panels, also allowing for simple unscrew to replace a louver if it becomes damaged.
• Colors have been developed to match customers’ decor and are more versatile. Sunland Shutters offer beautiful bright white and a neutral off-white.
• No rubber flap between the stiles that require closing the shutter panels at the same time, often becoming stuck together after not opening the shutters for a long length of time due to the heat and the paint. The Sunland Shutters’ stile has precise bevel allowing for the open and close of each panel independently, yet still coming together for a tight close.