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The New American Home 2021 designed by Phil Kean Design Group.
This article first appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of Pro Builder.

IBSx, the virtual version of the housing industry’s annual convention and trade show in 2021, may not have a cordoned-off section of the convention center parking lot or buses going back and forth to Winter Park-, but look at the silver lining: Now, you can tour our annual Show Village—a collection of three beautiful, smart, thoughtful homes—anytime you want from the comfort of your home or office ... and long after IBSx is over. The same goes for The New American Home 2021, an innovative and luxurious detached townhouse, saving you a trip to Central Florida.

Show Village 2021: an Immersive Experience

Show Village will present interactive virtual tours of three compelling homes: one based on consumer lifestyle research; one designed to reduce everyday stress and rejuvenate its occupants; and another focused on a clean, healthy indoor environment.

Set on a virtual cul-de-sac, the homes can be toured anytime from anywhere on any device. Visitors can enable a digital tour guide (named Allison) or explore the homes—in any order and to any extent—on their own, engaging pop-up videos and product information along the way. Learn more at


The New New Home

Designed by Michael Woodley, principal of Woodley Architectural Group, in Littleton, Colo., the 2,500-square-foot New New Home reflects the architect’s experience with custom home buyers, along with exhaustive consumer research by John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) before and after the pandemic started.

The design incorporates consumers’ desire for healthy, safe homes and the reality of how people live in their homes. “People want to feel protected by their home and want the design to focus internally,” Woodley says. In response, the exterior incorporates a front gate leading to an interior courtyard and the home’s entrance.

JBREC’s research also found that homeowners and buyers are focused on privacy and remote work; 60% anticipate continuing to work from home at least part-time post-COVID.

The New New Home by Woodley Architectural Group

With that, says Mikaela Sharp, manager of trends and innovation at JBREC, “Homeowners want multiple places to work within their homes and need privacy for simultaneous calls when everyone in the family is working at home and going to school at home.” Adequate (read: more) lighting also is crucial for remote workers and students, she adds.

Woodley’s design includes a casita as well, which can function as a guest house, hangout, or home office. There is also a dedicated space on the first floor of the main house that can be an office or a playroom, and on the second level there’s another home office adjacent to the primary suite and built-in remote learning spaces in the secondary bedrooms.

Reflecting healthy-home demand heightened by the pandemic, the plan also includes a “clean room,” by the family entrance, which is fitted with a sink and storage space for shoes and other items. A larder off the kitchen provides additional storage for food and small appliances. Home fitness—another feature likely to endure in new homes—takes place in a narrow exercise room on the second floor. “You don’t need a big home gym anymore if you just have a Peloton bike, a yoga mat, a Mirror, or a monitor for online classes,” Woodley says.

The Thoughtful Home

Daniel Swift’s mission since the 2008 housing crisis has been to marry neuroscience and architecture in a home design that will foster relaxation, rejuvenation, and convenience.

Swift, the president and CEO of BSB Design, in West Des Moines, Iowa, has lived in his own “thoughtful home” with his family since July 2019 and can attest to how his floor plan helps to reduce stress and contributes to health and productivity.

Starting with the concept that people need a transition into their home, the plan features a generous owner’s entry with access to multifunctional spaces, including a charging station for mobile devices, a large pantry for supplies, a comfortable place for shoes and coats, a laundry room, and additional storage space.

The Thoughtful Home by BSB Design

“People usually come in to their homes through an ugly garage or laundry room, but that space should feel as important as the front entrance and be functional, as well,” Swift says. “A transition space allows us to reset.”

Recognizing the kitchen as the home’s central hub for entertaining and gathering, Swift made it as large as possible, with the biggest island that can fit in the space.

With that, “Every room is a multipurpose room,” he says. “We call one room ‘Relax’ on our floor plan, and it can work as a place to read or enjoy some quiet,” with pocket doors to a small office that can be closed off.

Each bedroom has been designed for rejuvenating sleep, with individual temperature controls, air filtration, and complete darkness. The home’s lower level includes a multigenerational suite, an exercise room, a second family room, and a “secret room” that functions both as a space for gaming and where occupants can find safety from storms.

“Adaptability is a key concept for a thoughtful home,” Swift says. “We love being together, but not all of the time. We designed the home to be connected and separated, which we think will work well for the future.”

The Healthy/Clean Home

For Thrive Home Builders, in Denver, the uptick in interest about indoor air quality and healthier homes, spurred by COVID-19, has provided an opportunity to talk about what the company has been doing for a long time: delivering a comprehensive healthy-home package as a standard feature.

Building healthier homes has been a core pillar of our brand for years,” says Bill Rectanus, Thrive’s VP of home building operations. The Indoor airPLUS program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency serves as the guide to Thrive’s standards and specs for achieving superior indoor health.

The Healthy/Clean home features advanced HEPA filtration, active radon mitigation, and a balanced ventilation system that has a continuous exhaust air unit and a filtered fresh air supply fan—a far less costly and complicated option than a heat recovery ventilator.

The Healthy/Clean Home by Thrive Home Builders

Optional features include a wireless, automated indoor air quality control system, touchless faucets, a humidifier tied into the home’s integrated indoor comfort system, and an active radon monitoring system to supplement the builder’s standard radon mitigation system. “Thrive introduced responsive ventilation systems so that the house responds if the system detects rising levels of irritants or particles in the air,” says Nicholas Hurst, Indoor airPLUS program manager. “Automated ventilation is a key component of indoor air quality, and there’s been tremendous improvement in filtration to capture more particles.”

For Show Village, Thrive provided the 2,378-square-foot Renew model with a Craftsman elevation from its Vitality Collection in Denver’s Central Park, a new community of 39 production homes, of which Phase One (13 lots) sold out in about a month.

“Builders can be competitive even when they add these features, especially because we all recognize the importance of health,” Rectanus says. “Health is an easier, more powerful message to share with buyers than energy efficiency, especially today.”

To take the virtual tours, simply log on to or go to the IBSx website starting Feb. 8, 2021.

THE NEW AMERICAN HOME 2021: An Upside-Down Floor Plan for an Upside-Down World

“This is what’s next in America,” says Phil Kean, president of Phil Kean Design Group, in Winter Park, Fla., design/builder of The New American Home 2021, a luxurious detached townhouse his firm created in its own backyard.

The home’s three-story plan, encompassing 4,390 square feet, presents a so-called “upside-down” configuration on a tight lot that still delivers desirable outdoor living spaces in an attractive urban infill setting. “You can walk to more than a hundred restaurants and shops from here, and there’s a commuter rail station a half mile away,” Kean says.

From humble beginnings as a parking lot with an unused office building, the home rises amidst a mix of detached and attached homes on the redeveloped parcel. “We decided to flip the floor plan and put the living areas on top to make the most of the natural light and the views”—including NASA launches and fireworks from nearby Disney theme parks—Kean says.

The home’s three-story plan, encompassing 4,390 square feet, presents a so-called “upside-down” configuration on a tight lot that still delivers desirable outdoor living spaces in an attractive urban infill setting.

The upper level’s U-shape, loft-like floor plan includes a great room with a fireplace and glass doors to a terrace, while the kitchen and dining area open to an even larger terrace on the side elevation. Between them is a music niche big enough for a baby grand piano, and inside the U is a generous bar that opens to the dining room, as well as a convenient (and tucked-away) powder room.

Both the lower and middle levels reflect post-pandemic lifestyle needs and preferences. The former, accessed by a three-car, rear-loading garage and a formal entry into a gallery, offers one of its two bedroom suites as a home office, while an en suite bedroom on the second level is labeled as a home gym. All three levels are accessed by either an elevator or a floating spiral staircase.

True to its legacy, The New American Home also works hard to reduce and replace energy use and promote comfort and health. “This is a compact house with three stacked levels, which means it’s more efficient construction and uses less energy for heating and cooling,” Kean says. Rooftop solar panels, a super energy-efficient HVAC system, and an on-demand water heater also lower the energy load, while a shading system for the west and south-facing windows reduces summer heat gain.

For more information about the home, its sponsors and products, and to take a guided virtual tour, visit

The New American Home 2021 Partners


LG Electronics*: TVs

LG Hausys*: Countertops

LG Home Appliances*: Laundry equipment

LG Solar*: Photovoltaic system

Mitsubishi*: HVAC and comfort systems

Signature Kitchen Suite*: Appliances


Kohler*: Plumbing fixtures, fittings, and accessories

Panasonic Life Solutions*: Ventilation and indoor air quality


Eaton*: Electrical system

Environmental StoneWorks*: Stone veneer

Garaventa Lift*: Elevator

Halo: Light fixtures

SharkBite*: PEX plumbing system

Watergen: Drinking water system

Wellborn Cabinet*: Kitchen and bath cabinets


AGS Stainless: Railing system

Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens*: Cabinets

Clopay: Garage doors

ClosetMaid Pro: Closet storage systems

Fi-Foil Company*: Reflective insulation

LiftMaster*: Garage door openers

Omega Flex*: Gas piping

Thermory USA: Wood finishes

VintageView: Wine storage system

* NAHB Leading Suppliers Council member

See products from these partners in our January and February 2021 issues