On a small plot of land near Long Island Sound, construction of The Next Great American Home is nearing completion, featuring energy-efficient and cost-effective construction that is meant to serve as a model for the future of home building in the United States.
Architect Leigh Overland designed the project, where he and his wife will live, to showcase the newest and most consumer-friendly construction techniques.
Progress on the house can be seen online, along with descriptions of methods and materials, and now you are invited to tour the site and view all details before sheetrock is installed.
The most obvious break from traditional construction is Overland’s use of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) instead of wood framing. In fact, now is the time for builders and architects to explore ICF construction. There is still a national lumber shortage for a variety of reasons: new safety protocols that slowed mill production, a spike in home remodeling, and a massive wildfire season.
ICF consists of hard-foam forms filled with concrete to create the exterior walls of the house. ICF cuts energy bills by up to 75%, and the accompanying air regulation system makes the building healthier by preventing entry to pollen and mold. The concrete walls make it stronger and quieter than a wood-frame home, as well as rot proof and much more fire resistant.
The home is located on Ash Creek in Fairfield, Connecticut, on a piece of property that would be unbuildable without the techniques being employed. The foundation is bound to the land with Helical anchors, with the first floor elevated above the flood plain to withstand even the most dangerous storms.
Overland, who has incorporated ICF into his work for the past nine years, was the architect for a Connecticut house featured in ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover — Home Addition” in 2007.
He designed the Ash Creek home with many features to improve sustainability, including triple-paned tilt-turn windows from Europe and elements that withstand all types of weather.
· Lite Deck concrete floors
· SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) roofing
· Factory-made metal stud interior walls
· In-floor radiant heat and cooling
Overland has created a community barn-raising atmosphere similar to his Makeover experience. More than 50 contractors and consultants agreed to work with him to construct the house and provide customized finishes and features. The goal for the team is to change the way homes are built by making replicable innovations available to the home-buying public and the construction industry.
“This project will offer a multilayered, sensory experience for everyone who visits the building site,” Overland said. “Every sense will be engaged, and it will enhance the experience of architecture that most buildings don’t have. We will demonstrate that thanks to its progressive preservation approach, this home will transform the way we build and interact with the environment.”
The Next Great American Home will be completed by May 2021. To see the future of homebuilding, the media can schedule a private tour of the property.