Home Design Meets Building Science

Architect Sarah Susanka & Consultant Steve Easley
Serve Up A SIP-Constructed Home At Stardust During Builders’ Show

Home design meets building science when Sarah Susanka, architect and best selling author of the Not So Big House series, teams up with Steve Easley, popular building science consultant, to design, build and present the Home by Design Showhouse @ The Stardust in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The show home is available for tours during the month of January, including during the International Builders’ Show, which runs Jan. 19-22nd.

Construction pros are urged to tour the Home by Design Showhouse to experience a detailed preview of the contents of Sarah Susanka’s ground-breaking new book, Home by Design: Transforming Your House into Home. The book, scheduled for publication in March ‘04 by The Taunton Press, offers readers a set of design principles to help their houses embody the qualities of home.

Key Principles Revealed
Susanka reveals what she refers to as “the architect’s tool boxâ€?– key principles related to the use of Space, Light and Order—that will help everyone involved in house design create better, more livable environments. “If you peel away the particular style of a house, there are principles that underlie these surface treatments, each of which deeply affects how we experience our surroundings, and how we feel about them,â€? Susanka says.

By giving names to these characteristics, she opens the possibility for a dialogue between homebuilding professionals and their customers so that the houses they design and build, whether new or remodeled, are as fulfilling and inspiring as their customers’ dreams.

Each design principle is illustrated in built form in the Home by Design Showhouse, a Susanka design with emphasis on energy efficiency, sustainability and design elegance. The house demonstrates a new way of thinking about design, Susanka says.

“This is a home that employs the technologies of the 21st century in a way that makes them both accessible and user friendly for a large segment of the home buying public—Middle America,â€? Susanka says.

One example is the home’s emphasis on residential broadband and connected home technology. Sandy Teger and David Waks, publishers of Broadband Home Central are the “connected architectsâ€? and broadband spokespeople. This project emphasizes “everyman’s broadbandâ€? and “real-life connectivityâ€?, integrating broadband connectivity with the home’s communication, entertainment, computing, and home energy/automation systems.

Easely Believer In SIP System
Steve Easley, an internationally recognized construction consultant and co-host of the project, adds the building science perspective. “We also have designed in ‘home-as-a-system’ solutions to reduce construction defects and call backs,â€? Easely says. “For instance, the home is made from structurally insulated panels or SIPs, reducing the heat scavenging effects of air infiltration, on site labor and guess work because the framing, insulation and sheathing are installed in one labor-saving step.â€?

More House Less Money
Frank Baker, president of Insulspan (Blissfield, MI), which provided the SIPs for this show home, says this fresh approach to home design allows buyers to have a home that is more efficient and pleasant to live in, for less money.

“The result of this type of subtle design treatment is the spaces within the home feel larger. Buyers can shift some of their budget to other efficiencies, which allows them to have a better performing home.â€?

Want to get a close-up look at this home? While at IBS visit the Stardust, which is only a few blocks from the convention center. Check shuttle schedules upon arrival at the show.