Builder Concept Home 2010 Blog

True Sustainability

The Builder Concept Home 2010 was never intended to solve all of the housing industry’s ills, but instead provide an example of one solution that we think addresses several issues facing builders today and in the future … regardless of economic conditions, but especially so now.

It is also not a house that is meant to stand alone. Designer Marianne Cusato has devised a series of New Economy homes in the same vein to enable builders and developers to create entire neighborhoods. And not just of housing, but within mixed-use communities that connect neighbors with each other and with various services within walking distance of their homes.

The Rise of Smaller Homes

As you might suspect, we’ve been making a study out of best-selling, small houses at Builder magazine. I say you might have guessed because small homes targeted at entry-level buyers are just about the only ones selling these days.

Too many builders are apologetic about the small homes they are building. The standard approach is to slim down old plans, eliminating distinguishing design and construction features. The end result is rarely inspiring, especially for builders accustomed to doing trade-up housing.

We find that builders having the most success start from scratch. Instead of dumbing-down old plans, they create exciting new ones—built better, designed better, and less expensive to operate.

High-Tech Virtual Marketing: An Interview with Jim Warren of BHI Media

Jim Warren is the director of BHI Media in Austin, Tex., which crafted the photo-realistic renderings for the Builder Concept Home 2010 virtual tour presentation.

Q: How did the Builder Concept Home 2010 presentation differ from other projects you’ve rendered or created? How was it similar?

A: With regards to the visuals, specifically,  the renderings deliver the most accurate representation of product details I’ve ever seen or done within a virtual home tour. It’s also the most extensive set of renderings we’ve ever done, and probably anyone’s ever done, for a single house, including the garage and the back yard. Finally, these are the largest-size and highest-resolution visuals we’ve seen online without requiring the user to install extra software. All that being said, this shows the level of rendering quality we deliver to all of our clients and is an example of the collaborative effort we welcome on each project.

What is your new economy?

Since the launch of the Builder Concept Home 2010, I have been at the center of a fascinating dialog with builders/developers, homeowners and the media regarding the homebuilding industry – both where we are now and where we are going next. Here are some observations:

1. Small is the New Green – Everyone is talking about it but no one knows quite what it means. Small is everywhere. For some this simply means reducing the floor plan of a McMansion on a Xerox machine; for others, “going small” means eliminating formal rooms, such as living rooms, dining rooms and foyers. Bother strategies miss an opportunity to make smaller homes just as livable, if not more so, than their larger predecessors.

Changing Times

These are interesting times we’re in. The last ten years has brought changes to nearly every facet of our industry. We’ve learned that many of the rules have changed. Some of the rules needed to change, some of the rules were destine to change, and some of the new ideas have evolved from being in survival mode. And even more change is on the horizon, as recent NAHB research shows that today’s construction pace will result in a housing shortage in the decade to come, creating opportunities to engage those new ideas.