Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Hoping to educate as well as impress, the Showcase of Better Built Homes will consist of five homes, built side by side, using six construction methods.
|A subcontractor screws steel floor joints to joist rims in one of the homes in the Showcase of Better Built Homes in Omaha, Neb.
When builders and buyers think of showcase homes, they probably think of homes designed and built to impress. Typically, it is the opulence — the luxury, amenities, architecture and square footage — that is on display. At the Showcase of Better Built Homes in Omaha, Neb., however, focus is more on the means than the end.
Hoping to educate as well as impress, the Showcase of Better Built Homes will consist of five homes, built side by side, using six construction methods. Organized by Paul Foresman of Omaha-based Design Basics Inc., one of the nation’s largest home plan design firms, the showcase highlights the use of insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), the Well-Connected House system, steel framed floor systems and roofing, engineered wood components and panelized construction.
"We receive thousands of inquiries a year regarding these methods of construction," says Foresman. "Finally, people will be able to see firsthand all of the leading construction methods and compare the benefits for themselves."
Foresman adds that his office averages 25-30 e-mails a week from builders interested in learning about different types of construction. He says that although the home building industry is usually thought to be slow to change, labor shortages, material shortages and costs, and other considerations are causing builders to consider such alternatives as ICFs, SIPs and engineered wood. Toward that end, the Showcase of Better Built Homes, which is planned to run in late June or early July, will host a builders-only day at which home builders can get a closer look at the methods used in the five homes. Throughout the show, the garage of each home will include detailed displays explaining the methods, materials and products used.
The homes, built on spec by five local builders and ranging from 2,200 to 2,600 square feet, will be sold after the show at prices from $300,000 to $500,000. All of the homes are well-appointed with quality, high-end products, and were designed and built with attention to energy efficiency; safety and structural strength; environmentally friendly construction; improved indoor air quality; and labor and material savings.
All proceeds from the Showcase of Better Built Homes will benefit Jan’s House of Hope, a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.
For more information on the Showcase of Better Built Homes, go to www.designbasics.com