Now in its third year, the Professional Builder Design Awards highlight beautifully designed projects that embrace and display new market trends.
By Kyle Clapham, Managing Editor; Susan Bady, Senior Contributing Editor; Lynne Fort, Associate Editor
The following is an excerpt from the article, published on March 25, 2014:
The annual Professional Builder Design Awards honor the best of the best in residential design. Now in its third year, the program highlights beautifully designed projects that embrace and display new market trends. This year’s winners exhibit many common features including multiple flex spaces, private outdoor living areas, community walkability, and low-maintenance materials and finishes, to name just a few.
Our panel of judges evaluated each submission based not only on its design excellence, but also on its sales and marketing success, construction quality, and cost efficiency. The winners demonstrate a wide range of innovative practices needed to meet the demands of today's dynamic homebuyers.
Entrant: Two Trails Inc.
Builder: Robert Arkin
Architect: Ari Sklar
Developer: Florida Green Home Design Group
Photographer: A Moment in Time
Size: 3,200 sf
Completion: November 2012
This sleek, modern project in South Florida features an abundance of concrete, glass, high-end European appliances, and high-tech bells and whistles. The LEED Platinum home boasts a minimal environmental footprint and on most days produces as much energy as it consumes. The team utilized a compact and efficient design to incorporate five bedrooms and bathrooms in just 3,200 square feet.
The layout sought to take advantage of the site's dimensions (58 feet by 120 feet) by making the main part of the home a cube and setting the house back from a busy street. An exposed masonry wall wraps around the north and west side, creating a private courtyard for swimming and a balcony with views of the golf course across the street. The home includes a dual 600-watt vertical axis wind turbine, geothermal heating and cooling system, and 7,000-gallon rainwater cistern, all of which help attain a HERS score of -8. The house also draws from an 11.5 kilowatt solar array on the roof composed of frameless photovoltaic panels.
Given the area's history of severe weather, the team made sure the project's renewable energy systems resisted storms. The solar panels can withstand winds of 160 mph, and the turbine can be collapsed easily amid high winds. In addition, the aluminum-framed, low-E windows are built for Category 5-strength hurricane winds, and the house maintains a backup battery system. The rainwater cistern and the home's reflecting pool are both lined with a nontoxic epoxy that renders the water potable in the event of an emergency.
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