Custom home builder Blue Heron is building the New American Home for the International Builders Show coming to Las Vegas in January, the second time the company has been selected as the featured builder for the industry's largest show.
The three-story, 6,712-square-foot home in the Marquis Seven Hills community showcases the latest in construction techniques, design trends and sustainable building materials.
It has integrated water features that help humidify and cool the air in the summer, and strategic openings throughout the home for cross-ventilation, said Tyler Jones, president of Blue Heron.
"The biggest difference with this home is the architectural design and interior design," Jones said. "We just really continue to push the envelope in the indoor-outdoor relationship with a lot of pocket doors and disappearing glass walls."
Blue Heron chose a "holistic" design, not only for the floor plan of the home, but also for the site the home sits on, seamlessly developing interior and exterior spaces side by side, Jones said.
"It's just the most dynamic architectural model with a neat relationship between indoor and outdoor living space and the way the space flows and connects," he said.
In 2009, Blue Heron built the 9,000-square-foot New American Home at 6755 Agave Azul Court, backing up to Sunset Park, that was featured in Builder Magazine. The company was selected by the National Association of Home Builders, organizer of the International Builders Show.
Jones said he has been able to "eke out" a small profit selling custom homes during the recession. Business has really picked up in the past six months as clients are making buying decisions based on optimism rather than fear, he said.
The company is building 33 homes at Marquis Seven Hills, ranging in price from $750,000 to more than $3 million. Seventeen of the homes are sold and two residents already have moved in, Jones said.
The New American Home, expected to be completed in August, is striving for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification by using windows with high energy-efficiency ratings, LED lighting, photovoltaic solar panels and solar-assisted mechanical systems.
Heat gain during the summer months is mitigated by site orientation, high windows for natural lighting and deep overhangs.
The exterior finish looks like a wood product but is a new material from Germany made of recycled rice husks and mineral oil, Jones said.
Blue Heron architect Michael Gardner said the overall goal of the design was to achieve an "ecological and aesthetic harmony" between the home and its natural environment.
"We wanted to have no clear distinction between inside and outside spaces," he said. "This philosophy makes the outside spaces as much of the design solution as the interior of the home."
Jones, a Las Vegas native, founded Blue Heron in 2004 with his father, Steve Jones, owner of custom home builder Merlin Contracting, and childhood friend Tommy Iola.
Merlin Contracting built the New American Home at The Lakes community for the 2004 International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Insulated concrete forms, structural insulated panels and low-emission windows enabled the home to use less than half the energy for heating and cooling when compared to traditional construction methods, Steve Jones said.
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