Every year the home builders get together for the monster International Home Builders Show; last year they moved it to Las Vegas because Orlando wasn't big enough, just in time for the biggest meltdown of the residential construction industry ever. Now they could hold it in a triple garage in Peoria. At TreeHugger we always had great fun criticizing the New American Home, the model homes that are the highlight of the show. But not this year; the developer building the big model ran out of money and it is unfinished, and they didn't even try to build "The home for the New Economy", a modest 1700 square foot, four bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house. (and why does a modest house need 3.5 bathrooms?)
Designer and TreeHugger fave Marianne Cusato says "I'm excited to be part of the most innovative home never built."
I suspect that Bucky Fuller and quite a few others might take issue with that statement; It wouldn't take long to come up with a list of more innovative homes that were never built that topped this one. But we look forward to "photo-realistic renderings and state-of-the-art movie software that enables a customizable experience for each visitor" without having to go to Las Vegas to see it.
Builder Magazine describes what's coming on the 19th:
The two-story house strips away the gratuitous trimmings and trappings of the McMansion era--things such as tacked-on porches, masonry façades, and palatial master suites--and returns the house, its floor plan, and its finishes back to a human scale. "McMansions promised a better life, but they didn't deliver," says Cusato. "We need to get back to basics and create comfortable, livable housing that's sustainable."
Of course, having a virtual model home begs the question of why they don't all save their money and carbon and make the whole thing virtual.
More in the Wall Street Journal
Past New American Homes:
Big Green House at International Builders Show
What Not To Build: The New American Home
Building Industry Goes Out With A Bang, Not a Whimper
More on Marianne:
Katrina Cottage Wins People's Choice Design Award
Katrina Cottage: The New Urbanist Response