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On Innovation and Disruption

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On Innovation and Disruption

The state of modular home building, what buyers crave most, HVAC best practices, our first foray into augmented reality, and more


January 10, 2018
Modular house_completed house_Flickr user DigitalRealism
This article first appeared in the January 2018 issue of Pro Builder.

Themes of innovation and disruption run throughout our first issue of 2018, the biggest of the year. For starters, we celebrate the debut of augmented reality on the print pages of Professional Builder. From now on, anywhere you see the PB+ icon when you're looking through the magazine, there is bonus content in the form of additional images, installation videos, and more. Just download the Blippar app on your mobile device and point your device at the icon.

There’s lots more innovation to enjoy this month. With the National Association of Home Builders, we present the 35th edition of The New American Home in the 1,900-acre golf community of Bella Collina, in Montverde, Fla. Built by Legacy Custom Built Homes, the home honors the Mediterranean style that the enclave is famed for, paired with cutting-edge design and technology. As contributor Cheryl Weber notes, the home offers luxurious livability, up-to-date kitchen and bath fittings, and the indoor-outdoor connections that have become sought after by buyers nationwide.

Frequent contributor Katy Tomasulo shares 45 features that homebuyers crave most, from dramatic design statements to smart storage and amenities for pets. Look for the PB+ icon in that story to learn about an inspiring water-wise community by KB Home. 

Arlan Burdick from IBACOS offers best practices in “Getting HVAC Right.” Load calculations are the first step. Burdick offers advice on equipment, ductwork, installation, and more. 

Senior editor Susan Bady, a judge at the Best in American Living Awards, picked the cream of this year’s winners. As you’ll see, it’s inspirational design worth learning from, in production, custom, and mixed-use categories.

In “Is This Modular's Moment?,” senior editor John Caulfield asks: Are home builders finally ready to embrace off-site construction? A continuing labor shortage, a land crunch, and high material prices may be the trifecta that prompts modular’s big moment. You’ll read about builders that have been using prefab methods for decades, as well as those that are relatively new to the game (Photo: Courtesy Champion Homes). 

We address one of the most difficult design and construction challenges a home builder faces: the skinny lot. In "Narrow Minded," Senior contributing editor and residential designer Larry Garnett and members of the Professional Builder House Review team offer house plans that turn slender dimensions into an asset. 

Happy New Year to all, and if you happen to be reading this from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, have a great show. 

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Written By
editor-in-chief

Amy Albert is editor-in-chief of Professional Builder magazine. Previously, she worked as chief editor of Custom Home and design editor at Builder. Amy came to writing about building by way of food journalism, as kitchen design editor at Bon Appetit and before that, at Fine Cooking, where she shot, edited, and wrote stories on kitchen design. She studied art history with an emphasis on architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, has served on several design juries, and is a recipient of the 2017 Jesse H. Neal Award for excellence in journalism. 

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