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2013 Professional Builder Design Awards

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2013 Professional Builder Design Awards

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 March 25, 2014
A winner in the 2013 Professional Builder Design Awards
This article first appeared in the PB January 2014 issue of Pro Builder.

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.

Single-family Production - over 3,100 SF

  • Alta Del Mar, Plan 3; Del Mar Mesa, Calif.
  • Alta Del Mar, Plan 2; Del Mar Mesa, Calif.
  • Zero Energy America, Castaway III; Palm Harbor, Fla.
  • Park Place; Scottsdale, Ariz.

Single-family Production - 2,001 SF - 3,100 SF

  • Bellasol at Rosecrest; Herriman, Utah
  • The Watershed at The Colony; Fairhope, Ala.
  • 10 Morning Stroll at The Pinehills; Plymouth, Mass.
  • Greengate at The Pinehills, Portico C; Plymouth, Mass.

Single-family Production - 2,000 SF or below

  • Greengate at The Pinehills, Portico A; Plymouth, Mass.
  • National Village, American Eagle; Opelika, Ala.
  • 6306 Nyla Dr., The Landing; Killeen, Texas

One-of-a-kind Custom Home

  • Skyline Spec House; Austin, Texas
  • Mision Lago; Thonotosassa, Fla.
  • Monroe House; Arlington, Va.
  • Broom Way Residence; Los Angeles, Calif.


  • Vashon Island Glidehouse and Pod; Vashon Island, Wash.
  • Habitat for Humanity House of the Immediate Future; Seattle, Wash.
  • Johnstown Two-Story; Johnstown, Pa.

Multifamily Residential

  • Arista Uptown Apartments; Broomfield, Colo.
  • Centered on Capital; San Jose, Calif.
  • Stella Apartments; Marina Del Rey, Calif.
  • AVA H Street; Washington, D.C.


  • 2020 Alton; Miami, Fla.
  • Severna Park Breezehouse; Severna Park, Md.
  • 2013 New Southern Home; Belle Isle, Fla.
  • Zero Energy America, Castaway III; Palm Harbor, Fla.

New Community

  • Greengate at The Pinehills; Plymouth, Mass.

Urban Infill

  • Chancellor's Row; Washington, D.C.
  • Heritage Oaks; Oakdale, Calif.
  • Superinsulated Mini; Steamboat Springs, Colo.

On the Boards

  • Melford Village; Bowie, Md.
  • New Carrollton Station; New Carrollton, Md.
  • Vue on MacGregor; Houston, Texas

Best Revised Plan

  • University House; Fort Worth, Texas


The Judges


(left to right)
William Barbour 
CAD Designer
TK Design and Associates 
Donald F. Evans
Founder, President
The Evans Group
Orlando, Fla.
Larry W. Garnett 
Larry Garnett Designs
Glen Rose, Texas

Single-Family Production - over 3,100 SF



Alta Del Mar, Plan 3

Del Mar Mesa, Calif.

The community of Alta Del Mar occupies a secluded plateau and features dramatic vistas of wooded canyons and the Pacific Ocean. Although close to markets, services, and freeways, the site feels entirely removed from developed surroundings. This luxury neighborhood strives to blend production estate houses with custom home sites and offer value in plan forms, architecture, and amenities.



Entrant: Open Line Public Relations
Builder: Pardee Homes (developer)
Architect: Bassenian Lagoni
Interior designer: Pacific Dimensions, Inc.
Land planner: Latitude 33
Photographer: Eric Figge Photography
Size: 5,184 sf
Sales price: $1.85m-$2.4m
Completion: March 2013 
Density: 2 units/acre
In Plan 3, room orientation takes advantage of a large lot and affords flexible spaces for family life and social occasions. The home’s turret creates a classic entrance and allows for through-plan views that strengthen arrival. The social core of the house gains interest and light from a central courtyard as well as Palladian and casement windows.
An intimate dining room opens to a garden, and the kitchen successfully bridges formal and casual functions. A bedroom suite, den, and drop zone are also part of this first level. The second floor consists of a luxurious master suite in addition to two more bedrooms, and an optional clubroom  offers a retreat and play area. Plan 3 models opened in March 2013 and to date all seven homes with this layout have been sold.



Alta Del Mar, Plan 2

Del Mar Mesa, Calif.

Alta Del Mar is a community of  luxurious homes that capitalizes fully on its exceptional site: a secluded plateau with vistas of wooded canyons and the Pacific Ocean. A skillful utilization of the footprint, massing, and roof plan strengthens the estate character of the single-story homes.


Entrant: Open Line Public Relations
Builder: Pardee Homes (developer)
Architect: Bassenian Lagoni
Interior designer: Pacific Dimensions, Inc.
Land planner: Latitude 33
Photographer: Eric Figge Photography
Size: 4,458 sf
Sales price: $1.85M-$2.4m
Completion: March 2013
Density: 2 units/acre
In Plan 2, a formal entry sequence extends from the gate through the portico and a gallery framed in classic three-point arches, combined with hipped roofs, box bays, arches, and stonework representing chateau styling. Alternate elevations evoke Spanish haciendas and Tuscan villas. These richly authentic interpretations reflect the grandeur of California’s Golden Age, dating from 1915 with the Pan Pacific Exhibition in San Diego.
The floor plan preserves formal/casual distinctions. Through-plan views and 16-foot ceilings invite leisurely discovery and illuminate progression through the home. Enhanced by direct access to courtyards or patios, all bedrooms incorporate walk-in wardrobes and luxuriously appointed private baths. The versatile third-bedroom suite with a sitting room can flex into an office or casita with kitchenette.


Zero Energy America, Castaway III

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Castaway III is the first model home of Zero Energy America, a project by Marc Rutenberg Homes. It is open to the public to showcase the company’s work and as an example of net-zero energy and extreme green building in a 4,552-square-foot luxury home.


Entrant: Marc Rutenberg Homes (builder, developer, land planner)
Architect: Marc Rutenberg Design, Inc.
Interior designer: Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc.
Photographer: Sargent Architectural Photography
Size: 4,552 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $208/sf
Sales price: $1.4 million
Completion: November 2012
The home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as a study, game room, and three-car garage. It also features an outdoor pool, a covered deck, and landscaped outdoor areas. Each bedroom and bathroom has a different color scheme, from muted natural colors to the contrast of black and bright yellow.
Among other certifications and ratings, this project has received a LEED Platinum certification and qualifies as an Energy Star home. The sales price is listed at $1.4 million, and the house is one of four homes that will be constructed as part of the Zero Energy America project.


Park Place

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Park Place offers an option for homeowners seeking homes that maximize indoor and outdoor entertaining. With a goal of updating the luxury-home market, the end product is a mix of Spanish Colonial architecture, 1930s vintage style, and industrial elements. The home can be replicated in other areas of the valley, making it a versatile option for potential buyers.


Entrant: Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes, LLC (builder, architect)
Interior designer: DeCesare Design Group
Photographer: Boisclair Photography
Size: 4,076 sf
Sales price: $1.7 million
Completion: April 2012
No. of units: 4
Density: 3 units/acre
Both reclaimed and classic elements are incorporated in these model homes, including vintage hardware and fixtures, a gray-white-taupe color scheme, painted coffered ceilings, custom stainless steel kitchen hood, black glass-panel cabinetry, wood beams, and hardwood floors.
The focal points of Park Place homes are the great room and kitchen. The former has 19-foot ceilings, 8-foot panel doors, and large clerestory windows. The kitchen has an entertaining island, gourmet appliances, wine storage, bar/serving space, and a separate mudroom.



Single-Family Production - 2,001 SF - 3,100 SF



Bellasol at Rosecrest

Herriman, Utah

This project produced the first net-zero energy (NZE) house in the U.S. to achieve a HERS rating of 0 in Climate Zone 5. NZE homes built in Climate Zone 5 in the past had only reached a HERS score of 5, and they could not be reproduced at an economical price point. Bellasol at Rosecrest took cutting-edge technologies traditionally found in expensive custom-built homes and made them work for an affordable production house.


Entrant: KTGY Group, Inc. (architect)
Builder: Garbett Homes (interior designer, developer, land planner)
Photographer: John Bare Photography
Size: 2,637 sf (+ 1,687 sf basement)
Hard cost (excluding land): $90/sf
Sales price: $400,000
Completion: August 2013
No. of units: 1
Density: 3 units/acre
The residence also became the first project in Utah to receive certification for the Department of Energy’s Challenge Home program, which recognizes builders for leadership in constructing zero-energy-ready houses that are efficient and integrate high-end finishes, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability. Bellasol at Rosecrest will virtually eliminate a homeowner’s electricity bill—typically $300 per month in the area—by drawing power from a 10.29-kilowatt solar photovoltaic energy system and using smart-home technology to track energy flow in and out of the house with real-time analytics.
Nestled in the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains, Bellasol at Rosecrest affords panoramic views of the Salt Lake Valley. The master-planned community features open spaces, more than 10 miles of improved trails, and even a lake to support its residents’ active lifestyles.



The Watershed at The Colony 

Fairhope, Ala.

The Watershed is a collection of 10 homes within The Colony at The Grand in Fairhope, Ala., a single tax colony situated on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Watershed is an extension of The Grand Hotel Resort, a favorite destination of vacationing families since 1847.


Entrant: Ingram & Associates
Builder: John O. Freeman, Jr.
Architect: Walcott Adams Verneuille
Interior designer: Barbara Haas Interiors
Developer: Point Clear Partners, LLC
Land planner: Daniel Corporation
Photographer: Meg McKinney Photos
Size: 2,489 sf
Sales price: $554,034
Completion: October 2012
Average sales per month: 1.66
No. of units: 10
Density: 2.5 units/acre
The perfect union of art and architecture, homes in The Watershed have the feel of 1920s Craftsman homes, with an abundance of natural light and open floor plans. But it’s the details that inspire the imagination, such as white-washed cypress walls; 5-1/2-inch heart-pine flooring; 8-inch cove crown moldings; mahogany exterior doors; and custom built-ins in the kitchen, pantry, laundry room, and bathroom vanities. Heart-pine staircases with stained rails lead to an oversized den/office. Gracious porches overlook one of the resort’s golf courses.
The site, with its adjoining wetland buffer, yielded a fairly low density but also provided the opportunity for several acres of green space with a pond and fountain.


10 Morning Stroll at The Pinehills 

Plymouth, Mass.

Inspired by the gingerbread cottages of Martha’s Vineyard, this home is situated in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood—Summerhouse Cottages—that is close to numerous shops and service within The Pinehills. It is 2,229 square feet with two master suites and 2.5 bathrooms.


Entrant: Pinehills (developer, land planner)
Builder: Mackenzie Brothers (interior designer)
Architect: Yarosh Associates
Photographer: Eric Roth Photography
Size: 2,229 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $170/sf
Sales price: $690,000
Completion: April 2013
Average sales per month: 3
No. of units: 32
Density: 5 units/acre
Each of the bedrooms has its own master bath and either a barrel ceiling or tray ceiling. A custom kitchen features Bosch appliances, granite countertops, and islands. The floor plan is open, with the kitchen, dining, and living areas at the front of the home so they overlook the pocket park. Other features include wood floors, a natural fieldstone fireplace, and beadboard ceilings. The home is set in a landscaped area that incorporates mature trees and native plantings. There is no lawn so homeowners have less area to maintain. But residents have plenty of opportunity to enjoy their own outdoor space with a front porch and two side courtyard patios.


Greengate at The Pinehills, Portico C

Plymouth, Mass.

These homes are less than 500 feet away from the center of downtown Plymouth. Only 40 miles from Boston, the Portico homes are designed for buyers who are seeking an active lifestyle and want to avoid home maintenance as much as possible. These homes are built at higher density because of their downtown location, but owners still have privacy and their own outdoor living space.


Entrant: The Green Company (builder, developer)
Architect: Bassenian Lagoni
Interior designer: Yolanda Landrum
Land planner: VHB
Photographer: Rixon Photography, LLC
Size: 2,126 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $150/sf
Sales price: $460,000
Completion: November 2012
Average sales per month: 1
No. of units: 29
Density: 6 units/acre
Each Portico home features an enclosed courtyard and well-lit, interconnected rooms with flexible uses as studies, guest rooms, and dens. Owners access garages from the back of the homes, and there are no roadways in front.
The Portico C plan has an airy great room and a dining room with 9-foot ceilings and windows on three sides. Several rooms face the private enclosed courtyard, providing lots of natural light. Each home has a small, landscaped front yard, a white picket fence, and a front porch that overlooks planted open space and walkways.



Single-Family Production - 2,000 SF or below



Greengate at The Pinehills, Portico A

Plymouth, Mass.

The homes at Portico are literally steps away from a downtown neighborhood center that includes such services as a full-size supermarket, a hotel, restaurants, and shops. Located approximately 40 miles from Boston, Portico is a suburban community where every home has privacy and outdoor living space. Homeowners there enjoy an active, involved lifestyle with little-to-no home maintenance.


Entrant: The Green Company (builder, developer)
Architect: Bassenian Lagoni
Interior designer: Yolanda Landrum
Land planner: VHB
Photographer: Rixon Photography, LLC
Size: 1,503 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $150/sf
Sales price: $375,000
Completion: November 2012
Average sales per month: 1
No. of units: 29
Density: 6 units/acre
Each home has an intimate, enclosed courtyard and light-filled, interconnected rooms that flex as studies, guest rooms, or dens. Garages are accessed from the rear so there is no roadway in front.
The Portico A plan features an open and airy great room and dining room with 9-foot ceilings and large windows; a first-floor master suite tucked into the rear of the home; a second bedroom that’s perfect for a home office or guest space; and a large, open kitchen with a 7-foot granite island for casual dining.
All of the primary living areas face the courtyard. The cozy front porch overlooks a small, landscaped front yard delineated by a white picket fence and a lantern. From the porch, homeowners view lushly planted open space and walking paths that wind through the neighborhood.


National Village, American Eagle

Opelika, Ala.

National Village is a community catering to all types of homebuyers, with Craftsman-style houses on wooded lots and 300 acres of open green space, a resort-style pool complex, tennis, nature trails, and fishing. It’s also right next to the Grand National Golf Course, which was voted the No. 1 public golf course in the U.S. in 2010.


Entrant: Ingram & Associates
Builder: Conner Bros.
Designer: Larry Garnett Designs
Interior designer: Kay Green Design
Developer: The Retirement Systems of Alabama
Land planner: Goodwyn/Mills/Cawood
Photographer: Meg McKinney Photos
Size: 1,585 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $96/sf
Sales price: $253,900
Completion: June 2012
Average sales per month: 2+
No. of units: 41
Density: 2 units/acre
The three–bedroom, two-bathroom homes have open floor plans and lots of natural light. But to give them unique charm, thoughtful details such as hardwood floors, screened-in porches, custom kitchen cabinets, and granite countertops were added. Homeowners can choose between gas and electric ranges, and between a side porch and a side-yard patio. Other features include 9-foot ceilings, double carports, and fully equipped kitchens with stain appliances.


6306 Nyla Dr., The Landing

Killeen, Texas

Geared toward first-time buyers, these single-family homes incorporate an open-concept floor plan. Archways, volume ceilings, and large windows comprise some of the features. Multiple exterior elevations allow the floor plan to translate to various neighborhoods throughout Central Texas.


Entrant: Stylecraft Builders (builder, architect)
Interior designer: Mary DeWalt Design Group
Developer: W&B Development (land planner)
Photographer: Ron Walley Photography
Size: 1,868 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $77/sf
Sales price: $165,400 (includes land)
Completion: June 2013
Average sales per month: 4
No. of units: 3
Density: 4 units/acre
The flow of the home was designed to accommodate family life and entertaining, with unique spaces such as a flex room and an office alcove. With a price tag of $165,000, this home is ideal for first-time homebuyers who have conservative budgets but are looking for quality and style.



One-of-a-Kind Custom Home



Skyline Spec House

Austin, Texas

This long, linear house is tucked between mature live oaks on a sloping site, creating a strong connection to nature and establishing a unique sense of place. Its form follows the natural topography and orients the home toward views of downtown Austin. Sliding glass doors pocket completely into the walls, creating a 40-foot-wide opening between the living area and outdoor spaces.


Entrant: Dick Clark + Associates (architect, interior designer)
Builder: Jon Luce Builder (interior designer, developer)
Land planner: Benchmark Landscapes (landscape design)
Photographer: Paul Bardagjy Photography
Size: 5,012 sf
Completion: November 2012
Stucco, stone, and zinc create a low-maintenance exterior, while floor-to-ceiling glass and deep roof overhangs create spaces that are both dramatic and comfortable. From the gray porcelain-tile floors to the extensive black-walnut built-ins, the home was designed to be easygoing, flexible, and flawless. It functions just as well for a large party as it does for a quiet moment while taking in the sunrise.
The artistry of the design is evident in such details as a stair landing that becomes a bench and the structural steel column on the deck.
The home attracted attention even before it was complete, and sold within a month of being placed on the market. With its contemporary sensibilities, it captures the attention of visitors the moment they walk up to the front door, and continues to intrigue by revealing a series of subtle surprises and unique elements.


Mision Lago

Thonotosassa, Fla.

This Florida estate, which encompasses more than 8 acres, overlooks a freshwater lake east of Tampa. The owners travel frequently to Southern California and Mexico and grew very fond of Santa Barbara-style haciendas. The design of their home—perched 40 feet above the lake—allows for large family functions and charity events and even includes built-in steps down the hillside to take advantage of the natural views.


Entrant: Dahlin Group Architecture Planning (architect)
Builder: Sterling Bay Homes
Architect of record: Gritton & Associates Architects
Interior designer: Artisan Design
Photographer: Rixon Photography
Size: 21,044 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $267/sf
Sales price: $7.4 million
Completion: January 2013
A private gated entry ensures all visitors approach the house from the west, so they can see the low-rise Santa Barbara-style façade punctuated by landmark towers. The arched gateway opens into a large entry courtyard, which exposes many of the home’s rooms to sunlight, waterscapes, and fresh air. In fact, this area serves as an interior space for the entire year given Florida’s gentle winters.
The front door gives way to handcrafted tile work fashioned after ornate rugs, which leads into the great room. Two fireplaces open this space to a view of the lake as well as the kitchen and breakfast areas. The formal dining room, with adjacent wine-tasting area, reflects thoughtful Mexican interior finishes.
The owners each enjoy a personal space—her craft and sewing room grants views of the entry courtyard and the lake through double French doors, and his lifelong collection of sports memorabilia lies next to the outdoor dining area. Together the family enjoys watching films in a lower-level movie theater resembling the historic Tampa Theatre, which was built in 1926.


Monroe House

Arlington, Va.

When choosing a site for their new house, the homeowners knew they wanted to be surrounded by nature but still live within the Washington, D.C. area. They also wanted their house to be LEED qualified. Despite its size of 8,000 square feet, the home achieved LEED Silver certification.


Entrant: Moore Architects, PC (architect)
Builder: Ironstar
Interior designer: Michael Robertson Interior Design
Structural engineer: Consulting Engineers, Corp.
Landscape architect: Jordan Honeyman Landscape Architecture, LLC
Photographer: Hoachlander Davis Photography
Size: 7,800 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $200/sf
Completion: October 2012
In order to minimize the mass of the house, the architects designed load-bearing roofs to reduce the height from above. In addition, they brought up the ground plan by specifying local Carderock stone for the foundation walls. Retaining walls surrounding the house also used the same stone. Other outdoor areas on the property were heavily landscaped with climate-appropriate vegetation, retaining walls, and minimal turf.
LEED elements include LED lighting, geothermal heating system, heat-pump water heater, FSA-certified woods, low-VOC paints, and high R-value insulation and windows.


Broom Way Residence

Los Angeles, Calif.

These homeowners had originally planned to expand their house but, in the end, decided to demolish it and rebuild from scratch. The neighborhood had strict regulations that dictated humane modernism. This design reflects a contemporary interpretation of that ideal, with a greater focus on sustainability than the original house.


Entrant: nonzero/architecture (architect)
Builder: Greeniron Constructs, Inc.
Interior designer: Laurie March
Photographer: Juergen Nogai Photography
Size: 4,200 sf
Completion: January 2012
The home consists of a large, open, glass core for the shared living spaces, wrapped by a solid band of smaller rooms that maintain the owner’s privacy from the street. Above the opaque walls, a transparent clerestory is in keeping with the project’s historic surroundings.
Photovoltaic glass panels power the house as well as shade it, and the placement of operable windows encourages natural ventilation. A glazed steel post-and-beam structure facilitates the structure’s indoor-outdoor relationship. Views of the canyon, trees, and the distant ocean and shoreline are located throughout the house.



Systems-Built / Modular



Vashon Island Glidehouse and Pod

Vashon Island, Wash.

Nearly 30 years ago, the clients bought a piece of land on Vashon Island with views of Mt. Rainier and the Pacific Ocean. On the verge of retirement, the couple decided to build an eco prefab house for this unique property. They figured a prefab design from Blu Homes would take advantage of the scenery, while the home’s low-maintenance materials and systems would allow them to enjoy the island setting.


Entrant: Dadascope
Builder: Blu Homes (architect, land planner)
Photographer: John Swain Photography
Size: 1,680 sf (+ 280 sf guest house)
Completion: October 2011
Given the location, a ferry delivery became the only option for transporting the house from the factory to the island. The construction team worked closely with the Department of Transportation on the details in order to decide ferry locations, times, and availabilities—as well as determining if the trucks would fit on the boat. After a lengthy upfront planning process, the ferry carried the home’s modules across Puget Sound to Vashon Island.
The construction team opted for an unusual “roll set” because the ferry could not accommodate a crane large enough to finish the set. They raised the house off the truck and then slid it via rollers onto the foundation. Although the team chose an atypical set, the operation proved to be a success. The clients enjoy how the expansive windows and doors let in sunlight and cool breezes—saving on energy costs—and how radiant heating keeps the bamboo floors warm during the rainy Pacific Northwest winters.


Habitat for Humanity House of the Immediate Future

Seattle, Wash.

The House of the Immediate Future was conceived to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The project was meant to give a nod to the housing exhibits at the fair, which were neat but exuberant modular assemblages. Originally built by volunteers at Seattle Center, the House of the Immediate Future was later disassembled and moved to the Columbia City neighborhood in south Seattle.


Entrant: Method Homes (builder)
Architect: The Miller Hull Partnership
Developer: Dwell Development
Land planner: Julian Weber A+D
Photographer: Chi Duong
Size: 1,400 sf
Completion: October 2013
The building is a net-zero energy structure as a result of its super-tight, super-insulated double-stud envelope matched with a high-efficiency air-to-water heat pump, a solar array, and a flexible, compact floor plan. All of the plumbing and heating elements are concentrated in prefabricated wet-cores built off-site. These two compact packages were delivered to the site, ready to plug in.


Johnstown Two-Story

Johnstown, Pa.

This two-story home was constructed for owners who had bought two homes in the past and now wanted to build. The foyer, hall, staircase, and dining room all have hardwood floors, and the kitchen features upgraded 7 PC Shaker Spice Maple cabinets with Mocha Glaze. In addition, the kitchen features multiple storage solutions including two pull-out spice racks, corner-cabinet lazy Susans, multiple drawers for pots and pans, and full-extension, roll-out pantry shelves.


Entrant: Ritz-Craft Corporation
Builder: DB Homes (architect)
Interior designer: Amy Burke
Photographer: Stashak Photography
Size: 3,650 sf (+ 1,536 sf basement)
Completion: January 2012
On the home’s upper level, there is a master suite with a walk-in closet. The master bathroom includes a 48-inch glass-door shower with ceramic surround, a large drop-in tub with cabinet fronts and tile decking, and his-and-hers vanity sinks. This house is Energy Star-qualified and has a geothermal heating and cooling system. It is 48-percent more energy-efficient than a home built to code.


Multifamily Residential



Arista Uptown Apartments 

Broomfield, Colo.

Arista Uptown Apartments targets young professionals looking for high-end design, a high level of community amenities, and an affordable price, all in the right location. Located equidistant between Denver and Boulder, the transit-oriented community sits on 6.7 acres and fits seamlessly into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood.


Entrant: KTGY Group (architect, land planner)
Builder: Catamount Constructors, Inc.
Interior designer: Styleworks
Developer: Smith Jones Partners
Photographer: Teri Fotheringham Photography
Size: 566 sf-1,092 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $50-$100/sf
Sales price: $566-$1,092/month
Completion: June 2013
No. of units: 272
Density: 40.72 units/acre
The project re-envisions and updates the typical three-story walkup. Unit configurations are wider to allow more light to reach all parts of the interior, but the square footage is smaller (mainly in the 700-square-foot range) to keep rents affordable. The design takes advantage of surrounding street parking so on-site parking ratios shrink, which achieves higher density. Parking is mainly hidden, allowing the  buildings to front the streets.
Entry stoops to ground-floor terraces and steps leading to the stairways  bring the buildings close to the sidewalk and street, creating a greater sense of community and a strong corner presence.
The apartments have balconies and terraces that capture mountain views. There are tuck-under garages, a community clubhouse and fitness center, and an 11,000-square-foot deck with a pool, spa, private cabanas, barbecue grills, and a 1.5-acre private lawn with an off-leash dog area.
Arista Uptown offers convenient access to the freeway, public transit, employment centers, walkable retail, a hotel, multiple parks, and a 6,500-seat entertainment venue. Seventy-five percent of the units were leased prior to completion.


Centered on Capital

San Jose, Calif.

The city’s density requirements forced the design team to formulate a plan that would be compatible with the existing neighborhood but could also capitalize on the opportunity for new sustainable housing near transit. The site lies equidistant between two light-rail stations, which can be reached within five minutes by foot, and remains close to a large shopping center.


Entrant: KTGY Group (architect, land planner)
Builder: Trumark Homes (developer)
Interior designer: Design Line Interiors
Photographer: Look Photography
Size: 1,450 sf-1,714 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $50-$100/sf
Sales price: $584,000-$676,000
Completion: June 2013
No. of units: 94
Density: 21.9 units/acre
The development’s 94 townhomes feature eight distinctive lifestyles built around open floor plans with great-room living. The houses range from 1,414 to 1,986 square feet and from two bedrooms/two baths to four bedrooms/three-and-a-half baths. Each residence contains a two-car, direct-access garage with a variety of living areas on one, two, or three levels. These homes possess dynamic interior spaces with ceilings up to 11 feet, extra windows to permit more sunlight, and second-story living rooms with bi-fold doors that open to large decks perfect for entertaining.
The exterior design incorporates traditional brick elements but also integrates custom iron details on balconies and canopies to provide contemporary appeal. A spacious WiFi outdoor living room with a fireplace, water fountain, and myriad structures to amuse children of all ages serves as the core of the neighborhood. Centered on Capital, which is currently seeking Build-It-Green certification, boasts Energy Star appliances, low-E windows, quality insulation, radiant barrier roof sheathing, and efficient tankless water heaters.


Stella Apartments

Marina Del Rey, Calif.

This apartment complex, retail space, and parking garage are located at the convergence of three major roads. The team encountered some major challenges during construction, including methane mitigation, groundwater contamination, and a high water table. The design team shaped the foundation like a ship’s hull, which curves up and allows methane to migrate to the exterior. This solution also helped eliminate groundwater contamination issues.


Entrant: DesignARC LA (land planner)
Builder: GLJ Builders West
Developer: GLJ Partners; Merlone Geier Partners
Photographer: Lawrence Anderson/Esto
Size: 945 sf avg.
Hard cost (excluding land): $220/sf
Completion: March 2013
No. of units: 244
Density: 67 units/acre
The lower level of the building contains 9,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Above that, two L-shaped residential blocks are oriented to maximize light and views. Between the blocks, there is an Olympic-sized pool, sand beach, a gym, and yoga and spa rooms. Extensive plantings on the outdoor deck form a green roof and a storm-water filtration system. The project is pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented, and provides many essential services and entertainment opportunities.


AVA H Street

Washington, D.C.

The AVA H Street apartments were created with Millennials in mind. Situated in an emerging, youthful, and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, the apartments are customizable and have specialized amenities.


Entrant: KTGY Group (architect, land planner)
Builder: Avalon Bay Communities, Inc. (developer)
Interior designer: Degen and Degen Architecture & Interior Design
Photographer: Bob Narod Photography
Size: 439 sf-1,066 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $300-$350/sf
Sales price: $1,457-$2,936/month
Completion: March 2013
No. of units: 138
Prior to construction, nearly 24,000 tons of soil contaminated by petroleum were removed, and hundreds of thousands of gallons of contaminated water were treated and cleaned. The use of a combination of brick, metal panels, and cement siding reduced construction costs. This choice of materials also created a contemporary look designed to appeal to a young market.
Units feature walk-in closets with 12-to-16 linear feet of customizable slatwall, a GearWall to store bicycles and other bulky items, a chalkboard wall, a sliding wall for customizing living and sleeping spaces, and expandable track lighting. The community includes outdoor kitchen spaces and an open-style lobby to facilitate socialization among residents. Apartments were 99-percent leased and 98-percent occupied at the end of June 2013.





2020 Alton

Miami, Fla.

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.


Entrant: Two Trails
Builder: Robert Arkin
Architect: Ari Sklar
Developer: Florida Green Home Design Group
Photographer: A Moment in Time
Size: 3,200 sf
Completion: November 2012
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.


Severna Park Breezehouse

Severna Park, Md.

For their home on the Chesapeake Bay, the clients chose a modular design based on its family friendly and eco-oriented features. The home’s indoor-outdoor connections especially appealed to the clients, who are avid gardeners and kayakers and eventually plan to make it their retirement residence.


Entrant: Dadascope
Builder: Blu Homes (architect, land planner)
Photographer: John Swain Photography
Size: 2,850 sf
Sales price: $1 million
Completion: August 2013
Despite some weather challenges, the home was unfolded in three days on the site, generating a minimal amount of waste in the building and construction process. Green features include non-off-gassing materials; low- or no-VOC paints; formaldehyde-free materials; FSC-certified wood products, including flooring; a high-efficiency HVAC system; energy-efficient appliances; water-conserving fixtures; dual-pane, low-E windows and doors; and recycled countertops. Solar PV is planned for a future installation.
The home has a screened porch with a wood-burning stove that extends outdoor-living opportunities into chillier seasons. A large deck connected to the porch faces the water. There is also a garden with a chicken coop and beehives, and kayak storage on the lower level.


2013 New Southern Home

Belle Isle, Fla.

The inspiration for this home came from the Florida Panhandle’s Seaside Chapel. A modern two-story house, the home was designed with two master bedrooms—one on the lower level and one with elevator access on the second level. The kitchen has recycled eco stone countertops and an open design. To facilitate entertaining both inside and out, there is a folding and sliding glass door that opens the entire kitchen to the outdoor living area.


Entrant: Keesee and Associates (architect)
Builder: NWC Construction
Interior designer: Design Studio 15
Land planner: Bonnett Design Group
Photographer: Uneek Image
Size: 4,024 sf
Sales price: $699,000
Completion: July 2013
The wood-frame home was built on a raised foundation to resemble the farm-house style in keeping with the neighborhood. The house features high-efficiency HVAC, spray foam insulation in the walls and ceiling, low-E windows, and advanced framing techniques to save materials. Exterior hardscapes are covered with 100-percent recycled granite pavers. The solar orientation was considered when the home was built, and the house received a LEED Silver certification.


Zero Energy America, Castaway III

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Castaway III is the first of four homes Marc Rutenberg Homes intends to build in the Tampa Bay area that demonstrate extreme green building with net-zero electric bills. This house, which is a luxurious 4,552-square-foot structure, was built to be both beautiful and as green as possible. Castaway III fits seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood.


Entrant: Marc Rutenberg Homes (builder, developer, land planner)
Architect: Marc Rutenberg Design, Inc.
Interior designer: Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc.
Photographer: Sargent Architectural Photography
Size: 4,552 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $208/sf
Sales price: $1.4 million
Completion: November 2012
The project verifies that every subcontractor uses low-VOC paints, stains, adhesives, grouts, and sealers. With four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a three-car garage, study, game room, swimming pool, and plenty of landscaping in the outdoor areas, the home employs conventional design practices while minimizing energy output.
Castaway III has received LEED Platinum certification, NGBS Emerald Rating, Energy Star for New Homes qualification, and a Florida Green Building Coalition Green Home Certification, among other ratings and awards. The home is open to the public.


New Community



Greengate at The Pinehills

Plymouth, Mass.

This community lies steps from the center of downtown Plymouth. Although it is still suburban given its 40-mile distance from Boston, the community is in the center of activity in Plymouth, with a nearby supermarket,  restaurants, hotel, shops, and a full-service gas station.


Entrant: The Green Company (builder, developer)
Architect: Bassenian Lagoni
Interior designer: Yolanda Landrum
Land planner: VHB
Photographer: Rixon Photography, LLC
Size: 1,503 sf-2,126 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $150-$213/sf
Sales price: $300,000 and up
Completion: November 2012
Average sales per month: 1
No. of units: 29
Density: 6 units/acre
The Portico homes in this community were created for homeowners who want an active lifestyle and low-maintenance living, as well as rich exterior color palettes. Each home’s street-side façade features expressively painted doors and walls.
Greengate at The Pinehills is designed for high density, but there is unique outdoor space for each home. Walkways lead to porches through a small landscaped front yard, which is bordered by a white picket fence. Each home’s porch overlooks either the Greengate Common or well-planted open space with walkways that wind throughout the neighborhood.


Urban Infill



Chancellor’s Row

Washington, D.C.

Chancellor’s Row is a 10-acre redevelopment of a 20-acre century-old Catholic college campus in Washington, D.C. Just steps from the Brookland Metro station on D.C.’s Red Line, this transit-oriented location offers easy access to the downtown business district as well as onsite car- and bike-sharing services. Countless shops, restaurants, and other neighborhood amenities reside within walking distance.


Entrant: EYA (builder, developer)
Architect: Lessard Design
Interior designer: Carlyn & Co.
Land planner: Vika
Photographer: Thomas Arledge Photography
Size: 2,004 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $83/sf
Sales price: $769,900
Completion: September 2013
Average sales per month: 2
No. of units: 237
Density: 29.6 units/acre
The team carefully planned this site with respect to the environment while also maximizing views and quality of life for the residents. The builder plotted homes and parks in an attempt to preserve old-growth trees and rooftop views, adding character to the neighborhood. A network of front porches and courtyard areas encourages homeowner interaction, and native drought-tolerant plants minimize water requirements.
Chancellor’s Row offers 80 different exteriors among its 237 homes, and features stone façades on the buildings flanking the historic college. A simple mix of five floor plans provides choice and variety for homebuyers while also minimizing hard construction costs for the builder. Purposely conceived small footprints in the townhomes boast three-to-four bedrooms in an average of 1,800 square feet. The compact design embraces openness on the main living level and reduces wasted space in less prominent areas such as stairwells, foyers, and laundry rooms.
EYA built the neighborhood to LEED-ND standards, and the houses have earned LEED for Homes certification. Unit prices have jumped 35 percent since opening for sale in 2010 and—at a pace of six units per month—approximately 90 percent of the community has been sold. The neighborhood appeals mostly to young professionals and empty nesters who crave a walkable lifestyle.


Heritage Oaks

Oakdale, Calif.

The Heritage Oaks development resides between existing senior housing and a mobile-home park, and lies across the street from single-family housing. The community is designed for active, working seniors ages 55 and up. Its homes, which are affordable to low-income residents, have transformed an urban infill site with the use of new urbanism and smart growth.


Entrant: KTGY Group (architect, land planner)
Builder: Adroit Development, Inc.
Interior designer: Interior Consultants
Developer: Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing 
Photographer: John Bare Photography
Size: 625 sf-908 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $124/sf
Sales price: $483-$787/month
Completion: May 2012
No. of units: 50
Density: 33 units/acre
Amenities include a theater, game room, fitness center, craft room, meeting room, and technology and learning centers. The outdoor living area includes seating with landscaping, a water fountain, outdoor kitchen, covered dining area, and bistro table. Heritage Oaks was created as a result of both private and public partnerships and unites the residential development with local agencies that serve residents. This senior living community offers residents low utility bills thanks to its LEED Platinum certification.


Superinsulated Mini

Steamboat Springs, Colo.

The Superinsulated Mini is located in the mountain community of Steamboat Springs, a ranching and mining community now focused on outdoor recreation. The house sits next to older mining homes built in the city in the early 1920s. The house has a resilient building shell due to the harsh mountain climate and the severe diurnal swings.


Entrant: workshopL, Limited (builder, architect, interior designer, developer)
Photographer: Tim Murphy Photo
Size: 650 sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $220/sf
Completion: February 2013
Conceived as an updated version of a mountain mining cabin, the exterior uses a material palette to reflect a modern sensibility. The design is composed of two bedrooms, 1.5 baths, laundry, kitchen, living room, and mechanical room—all in 650 square feet. The building envelope is super-insulated and airtight in order to minimize the need for active mechanical systems. A gas fireplace is the sole source of heat for the home, with electric radiators (typically off) for redundancy.


On the Boards



Melford Village

Bowie, Md.

Melford Village is a master-planned community designed to fill a 70-acre hole in a doughnut of office buildings and industrial facilities where development had stalled during the economic downturn. The project is located halfway between Annapolis, Md., and Washington, D.C., at the intersection of two state highways. Because the property was originally designed to be an office/industrial park, no provisions were made for a residential component; in fact, residential was prohibited.


Entrant: Martin Architectural Group, P.C. (architect, land planner)
Developer: St. John Properties
Size: 950 sf-3,400 sf
Sales price: $200,000-$500,000
Density: 30 units/acre
It was the designer’s task to create a sustainable residential village that would fit into the natural setting yet relate to the outer circle of office and industrial buildings. This was accomplished in 18 months. 
Melford Village includes 2,500 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail and many community amenities including a town plaza, amphitheater, clubhouses and miles of nature trails. Multifamily villas, flats, and townhomes are among the housing types.
Designed according to LEED-ND principles, Melford Village is a walkable, compact community organized along an east-west boulevard that ensures most buildings have proper solar orientation. Rich architectural imagery sets the design tone for the project, which will develop organically and morph over time.


New Carrollton Station

New Carrollton, Md.

The Maryland community of New Carrollton  has suffered over the last few decades from limited growth. New Carrollton Station is the first major development for multifamily residential to be built there in almost 35 years. It sits just one-fourth of a mile from a major metro stop leading to Washington, D.C.


Entrant: Martin Architectural Group, P.C. (architect, land planner)
Builder: Berman Enterprises (developer)
Density: 45 units/acre
The development will create a 600-to-800-unit apartment project with 112,000 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of retail. Structured parking is slated to hold 90 percent of all parking after the second phase is completed. The building team has focused on one-bedroom units, and the development will also feature a modern façade and courtyards for tenant enjoyment.
The developers anticipate many of its renters will work in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., but a major office complex sits across the street, and a 12-story office building abuts the site. Retail tenants in the development will benefit from these local patrons.


Vue on MacGregor

Houston, Texas

Just a quarter of a mile from the University of Houston, The Vue on MacGregor offers students a new private housing option. The community, which contains 248 units and 160,000 square feet, will house 610 residents. The property is high density, but the building is designed to physically separate the noise generators—public congregation areas and the majority of the units—from the surrounding family neighborhood. On the outside, The Vue is covered in warm browns and tans and contrasted with dark black.


Entrant: Centerpoint Builders (builder)
Architect: 5G Studio (land planner)
Interior designer: Dement Designs
Developer: Fountain Residential Partners
Size: 120,399 total sf
Hard cost (excluding land): $117/sf
Density: 62.3 units/acre
The development includes fully furnished units, 24-hour onsite staff and security, study rooms, a fitness center, pool area, tanning bed, lounge, and a fifth-floor indoor/outdoor convertible party deck. Ninety-five percent of the units in this project have queen-size beds, and all have balconies. All units are marketed and leased to students of the University of Houston.


Best Revised Plan



University House 

Fort Worth, Texas

This 56-unit, 118-bedroom housing community was redesigned to increase unit density, eliminate below-grade parking, and remove an entire floor of wood structure. The five-story property caters to students at Texas Christian University and provides one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom suites.


Entrant: Centerpoint Builders (builder)
Architect: Valhalla Design Group
Interior designer: Dement Designs
Developer: Fountain Residential Partners
Land planner: Teague Nall & Perkins
Photographer: Heinsight Photography
Size: 50,468
Hard cost (excluding land): $127/sf
Completion: August 2012
No. of units: 56
Density: 56 units/acre
Each suite has pillow-top queen-sized beds, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, private bathrooms for each bedroom, and washers and dryers within the unit. The blade sign on the front of the building and the retro street lighting are unique in the neighborhood, and the rest of the exterior combines a modern appeal with a touch of classical accents. Building amenities include a tanning deck, fitness studio, rooftop lounge, and two electric-car charge stations in the parking garage.
The VUE, now called University House under new management, is located adjacent to campus. The two levels of parking and retail in the building include a British pub named The Londoner, and more restaurants and stores are located within walking distance.
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