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Illustrating what’s selling in today’s tough marketplace and some of the features that prospective buyers are looking for, three modular homes will be assembled in the parking lot of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and open for tours during the 2012 NAHB International Builders’ Show Feb. 8-11.
Sponsored by Professional Builder magazine, the homes comprise the 13th annual Show Village, where building systems manufacturers and suppliers show off their latest products and designs.
In addition to being open for visits by show attendees, the homes will serve as the venues for special events for clients, suppliers and dignitaries during the week.
Nationwide Homes’ “Cape Cod” and Palm Harbor Homes’ “Infill Duplex” and “Net Zero Eco Home” represent distinct styles for distinct buyers. All three homes have been presold and will be moved to various building sites in Florida once the show is over.
Cape Cod Technology
At nearly 3,100 square feet, this home is targeted to the home owner who wants the comfort of a traditional design with the cutting-edge technological features that were once only available in custom stick-built homes.
The home comes with three bedrooms, but is packed with additional space that gives home owners plenty of places to create rooms to fit their lifestyle.
Merchandised at the Show Village with a library, loft, recreation room, study, mud room and dining room, the house plan provides the flexibility to accommodate various consumer needs and family sizes.
The Cape Cod brings the outside world into the home through dramatic use of windows and design.
The plan works well for lots that overlook water, woods or mountain vistas; and the home’s high-performance modular systems enhance its energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.
Targeting Two Markets
The model holds the greatest appeal for buyers in the 55+ active-adult segment of the housing market.
Increasingly, municipalities are allowing such “backyard bungalows” to be installed without requiring a zoning change — or in some cases even a building permit — notes the manufacturer.
When being used in the resort market, the site is typically coastal or on a body of water and the home is often elevated on stilts.
The model also appeals to an upscale, altruistic and green-minded buyer with the patience to wait for the net-zero energy features to reach the point where they pay for themselves by eliminating or minimizing utility bills.
The floor plan is spacious for its 399-square-foot size and features dozens of hidden storage elements that make it livable on scale with larger dwellings.
As a secondary living facility, the home can provide a guest house, mother-in-law suite or home for the “boomerang kid” returning to live with parents after graduating from school.
The model can also be adapted for accessible housing for the physically challenged or shaped into an art studio or expansive home theater.
Among the home’s green features:
- Full spray closed-cell insulation
- R-21 sidewalls, R-21 floor and R-33 sealed roof cavity and a reflective metal roof
- No-duct mini split air delivery
- 100% LED lighting
- 5 KW photovoltaic panels to supply electricity, solar shades on windows and a back-up gas generator
- On-demand gas water heater
- Cork and bamboo flooring
- WaterSense-rated bath fixtures, including a dual-flush toilet
- Low-E windows and doors
- No-VOC paints and caulks
- Energy Star-certified appliances, ceiling fans and exhaust fans
- Recycled glass countertops
Offering Flexibility and Rental Income
The floor plans featured at the Show Village model are designed for an owner who wants to live in one half of the property and rent out the other.
The design features master bedrooms on the rear to take advantage of a possible view, particularly for coastal or canal locations.
The owner-occupied side of the home features two master suites configured to allow for shared ownership or roommate accommodations and geared to reducing living costs or maximizing revenue.
Overall, the home is geared to enabling an owner to reside at a higher-end location than would otherwise be affordable.
The kitchen opens up to a living room and a den in the plans for both halves of the duplex, and front and rear porches facilitate connectivity with the neighborhood.
Maximum energy-efficient and storm-resistant construction techniques combined with low-maintenance materials are expected to help ensure that the duplex meets both National Green Building Standard and Builders Challenge certification requirements.
“The strength, speed and beauty of modular home construction are really catching on with builders and buyers alike,” said Kevin Flaherty, a vice president with Genesis Homes and Champion Home Builders and the interim chair of the Building Systems Councils’ (BSC) Modular Homes Council.
“If you’re intrigued by modular home construction, IBS is the ideal place for builders to learn how to adopt modular construction practices,” Flaherty said. The BSC is sponsoring a Modular Homes 101 educational session, followed by a free, informal ‘Meet the Experts’ reception, where builders can discuss modular construction with the manufacturers themselves. Flaherty will these sessions.
Modular Homes 101 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center on Friday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 a.m. in West 304F.
Throughout IBS, attendees also can stop by the BSC’s booth W33 just outside of the exhibit hall to meet industry representatives, see videos explaining the benefits all building systems technologies and pick up brochures and directories featuring the leading manufacturers in the industry.