Article No: 74

2006-05-01 14:06:06
NAHB Concrete Show Home
By: Concrete Homes


The hottest ticket in Las Vegas in January is not the show at Circus Circus, the MGM Grand or the Tropicana. It's the International Builders' Show (IBS) house — and your ticket is absolutely free!

Rendering courtesy of PCA

You are invited to be one of more than 90,000 people who are expected to tour the IBS' official show home during the show, hosted by the National Association of Homes Builders, Jan. 19-22 in Las Vegas. This is the first time since 1994 that concrete provides the vast majority of the structural elements, including the envelope, flooring, decking and exterior finish.

The $1.3 million, 5,000-square-foot New American Home 2004 (TNAH) is in the luxury community of The Lakes at West Sahara, about 15 minutes from the Las Vegas Convention Center. Free bus tours are to be conducted throughout the conference.

Portland Cement Association Residential Promotion Manager Jim Niehoff said PCA is partnering with the National Council of the Housing Industry (NCHI), Supplier 100 to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), to build the show's 21st home.

PCA's participation in the TNAH project is the result of long-term efforts to cultivate a stronger relationship among NAHB, NCHI and PCA. Such partnerships provide an opportunity to represent the growing trend of concrete homebuilding to a combined member population of builders, subcontractors and suppliers some 220,000 strong.

The home is a showcase for emerging design trends, products and applications, featuring high-performance exterior ICF walls, concrete masonry cladding, white cement for architectural concrete around the pool, concrete pavers, precast structural decking, and decorative concrete flooring and architectural block privacy walls. Of particular note is the basement, a new option in the Las Vegas housing market.

Using natural light and dramatic landscaping, this loft home brings the outside in and the inside out. "TNAH will feature an atypical layout for American homes that will appeal to many in different phases of life," according to the architect, Lex van Straten of Food for Buildings. "We think a well designed house reflects European roots, but should never be an imitation of something else.

Builders Stephen and Bart Jones of Merlin Contracting and Developing LLC collaborated with architect van Straten to create a loft home with interior design options catering to a range of buyers. The loft design, a growing trend in residential construction, incorporates simple and quick construction techniques and allows higher density development.

To achieve this goal, TNAH has several unusual characteristics.

Downstairs are two suites for guests or children. Both rooms have access to a small patio. The outdoor stairs lead up to the waterfront side.

The home cinema is an informal room with the best home theater equipment on the market. It serves as a small lounge. Different styles of lounge furniture are informally placed on the floor.

This is not a basement; it is a lower-level living area with direct light access. Another small patio is located at the end of the hallway, housing a sculpture.

In the Las Vegas climate the living room or outdoor living areas are usually separated. In TNAH, there are several outdoor terraces, but one of the main features is a 16-foot-high living area that opens up to the waterside terrace. The mosaic floor continues from the inside to the outside, so when the huge sash doors open up, the living room and terrace then become one.

Upstairs, the master suite has a veranda that provides privacy by using copper louvers. This privacy is needed because the veranda has an outdoor bathtub and shower, and a view on the waterside. Furthermore, the master suite has a loft-feel to it. The 'floating roof' is technically unique and the light is spectacular. There will be hardwood floors, a marble mosaic master bathroom and a seating area with a bathtub.

The front side of the house has a 400-square-foot terrace that has a spa and workout equipment. This terrace also is "walled" in by louvers. From this side of the house there is a view of the mountains.

The pool is located in such a way that it too provides privacy. The long rectangle-shaped pool overflows into a pond that overflows into the lake. This creates a beautiful dramatic effect.

To design and build a home that is energy efficient as well as attractive, Merlin Contracting and van Straten consulted with Building America's IBACOS Consortium. The home has been designed to reach a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 90, a score well above the current Energy Star rating requirement of 86, and uses a number of high performance technologies.

Specific technologies used in this home include a foundation system and above ground exterior walls of insulating concrete forms; a roof system built with structural insulated panels; heat recovery ventilators for the ventilation system; and superior efficiency condensing units.

The ICFs provide excellent baseline insulation for the basement and the above-ground exterior walls of the home. Structural insulated panels provide the roof system with proper insulation and air tightness characteristics. The roof will be finished with copper shingles that will reflect sunlight away from the house, reducing roof surface temperatures and thus cooling load. Heat recovery ventilators ensure good indoor air quality in an efficient manner. The condensing units have a SEER of 13 or 14 and provide excellent cooling capacity while using minimal energy.

As a result of these improvements and advanced technologies, the home will use 46 percent less energy for space heating and cooling, hot water, and lighting than the builder's standard home.

A design team of Source Francaise and Jiun Ho Collection created a fusion of Asian and European traditions with modern sensibilities that blends with both modern and classic interiors that will furnish the home. Authentic European accents and other antiquities offer timeless classics to create a blend of old and new.

This show home demonstrates an integration of interior and exterior in the layout of the house, which is not typical for America. In Europe, homes typically serve generations. This means that in terms of finishes and features, this house could serve as a home for many people and be adapted to many phases in one's life.

Arxx Building Systems provided ICF materials for the basement and two stories of above-grade walls, along with customer support and installation training to the builder. Having never worked with ICFs, Merlin Contracting superintendent Dave Beck said that the walls went up ahead of schedule. Oldcastle's Superlite Block group of Phoenix, with a local office in Las Vegas, provided custom design services, manufacturing of architectural concrete masonry units for cladding to meet stringent architectural specifications, and labor.

There is concrete flooring in both the main entry of the home and its lower level. Davis Colors provided colorant with acid stain to help in matching the design palette. The Las Vegas Bomanite franchise supplied labor and expertise for floor installation. Precast floor planks were necessary to carry the loads across the long spans. The first floor structural deck was provided by support from Eagle Pre-Cast of Salt Lake City, the Precast/Prestressed Institute and PCA.

Rich Warren, executive director of the Southern Nevada Concrete and Aggregates Association, provided extensive support and coordination efforts. Nevada Ready-Mix provided more than 300 cubic yards of discounted ready-mix concrete, with PCA offering additional financial support for concrete. PCA members Cemex and TXI provided specialty cement products for the swimming pool and exterior cladding. Sam Gallego, residential manager for the California Cement Promotion Council, has also provided a great deal of support to the project.