Homes of the Future: Where Does Glass Fit In?October 7th, 2016 by Editor
What will homes be like in 2020? 2050? And, maybe even more important, what role will glass and fenestration products play in the homes of the future? The Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt was a
highlight of the expo that took place this week in Los Angeles. The demonstration home, constructed on the show floor with an eye on sustainability, provided a look at what future homes could be like—and made good use of glass and fenestration products.
“The project is about having an idea and coming together as an industry to be courageous,” said Dan Bridleman, senior vice president, sustainability, technology and strategic sources for KB Home, explaining that the home demonstrates the collective power the industry has to build something that’s smart and healthy.
“We don’t do this very often … it’s a little risky … it’s a collaboration of ideas and events,” he added.
While 2020 isn’t that far off, what about 2050, and what will homes will be like then? Bridleman said they want to “capture ideas as a platform of the future, and the future is bright. As builders, we’ll take those ideas and make something special.”
The 1,790-square-foot demonstration home, designed by KTGY Architecture+Planning, featured a number of innovative products and technologies, all geared toward creating a “high-performance, sustainable, resiliently-built and efficiently operating home.” These included the new contemporary-styled windows and bi-fold door system from Sierra Pacific Windows. Director of architectural sales Andrea White said, “Our contemporary-styled, aluminum-clad wood windows are a perfect fit for this modernized home. The Sierra Pacific bi-fold system opens up the entire house, and is designed to create a transparency of living between indoors and outdoors.”
Thomas Ehret, an architectural consultant with Sierra Pacific, added that since they are also a forestry company, that, too, adds to the sustainably features of the home.
“We have 2 million acres of forestry, and the trees have a 100-year growth pattern,” said Ehret. “The product is all from us and is environmentally friendly.”
White added, “We take pride in the fact that we utilize almost 100 percent of every piece of wood we bring to our mills. In fact, the small amount that isn’t turned into windows, millwork, lumber or landscaping material is actually converted into electricity in our seven biomass-fueled power plants.”
Other doors in the home were provided by Therma-Tru. Three contemporary grained and smooth door styles can be combined with glass designs and can also be fitted with privacy or textured glass.
Another unique glazing feature was an entertainment center/movable wall cartridge. Bobby Vance, GRA, program manager with the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech, was also involved with the design of some of the home’s interior components. He said they wanted to look at how homes can incorporate more innovative materials as opposed to drywall. The entertainment wall was one option. On one side the wall acts a television screen, which can also be used as an interactive feature, such as for teleconferencing. It was made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass and fabricated by SnapCab. When the wall is rotated, the other side featured a high-definition printed image.
Another unique interior detail was the interactive mirror in the bathroom. The mirror allows the homeowner to not only control the surrounding lighting, but also provides another source for news, etc. as it can act just like another television screen.
The home was designed to achieve LEED and National Green Building Standard certifications for energy efficiency today, net-zero energy per California’s 2020 goals, and features super materials and innovations for 2050. Composed of cartridges for modularity and movable walls, the home is flexible and able to adapt and change in real time and over time to conditions and people’s needs. The home also features automation systems for convenience, efficiency, awareness and wellness.
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