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It was a race against the clock, but the family-run building company Blue Heron and some of the most experienced tradesmen in Las Vegas completed The New American Home 2009 on Oct. 27, just in time for a scheduled photo shoot.
“The last month was very challenging and very satisfying," said Kris Oesterling, the Blue Heron project manager on the home. “We were working with a lot of great people in the building trades and National Council of the Housing Industry (NCHI) members who provided the products that went into the home. There was a real sense of teamwork.”
“Everyone was driven to do this correctly and within the spirit of The New American Home,” Oesterling said. “They supported the green construction in a big way. They supported the build. This is more challenging than most people realize.”
It also helped that Oesterling had experience working on a labor-intensive, high-stakes project before. In 2004, he was involved in building a home for the television show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
“That was a blur,” Oesterling said. “To build a home in five days was a big challenge.”
“While ‘Extreme Makeover' is about helping one family, and that is great, building The New American Home was every bit as satisfying,” Oesterling said. “The New American Home is about helping the housing industry move forward with the latest technologies.”
Oesterling said the home included many products that he had not worked with before, and he was particularly interested in the home’s solar energy systems ― particularly its photovoltaic cells and the solar water system.
“We’re finding that ‘green’ has a domino effect if you do it well,” Oesterling said. “When you have state-of-the-art insulation, a state-of-the-art HVAC system, state-of-the-art solar systems and energy-efficient appliances, it all works together to make a very energy-efficient home.”
Tucker Bernard, NCHI executive director, said images from the photo shoot last month are excellent. “The photographer did a great job. But as good as the photos are, they don’t begin to do justice to the home. You have to see this home.”
Oesterling said he looks forward to seeing visitors tour the home during the 2009 International Builders Show in January. He’ll be around, working on other homes in the same community. And he had nothing but praise for Tyler Jones and the folks at Blue Heron.
Renderings by RM Design Studio