Innovations in architectural design strategies are contributing considerably toward helping create a new world, meeting both resource conservation needs and the demands of a rapidly shifting marketplace.
As mentioned in previous blogs, buildings account for the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which makes the task of creating a more energy-efficient built environment crucial. What we have not discussed yet is the increasingly important concept of universal design, which broadly refers to the concept of a place created for use by people of all ages and abilities.
Universal design represents an especially important asset to retiring baby boomers, almost 90 percent of whom want to remain in their homes as they age, according to AARP.
By the time it is move-in ready at the end of this summer, our Incanto Home in Santa Fe’s Las Campanas community will be a true showcase of these important trends.
The New Incanto Home in Santa Fe:
The home is perched above the golf course in the city’s only luxury master-planned community, with roughly 2,600 square-feet indoors and another 1,300 square-feet of covered outdoor space.
It features an open floor plan, high ceilings, exposed beams, a modern fireplace, a plastered great room, and concrete floors with in-floor radiant heat. It also includes a modern kitchen with custom cabinetry and quartz counters for and two master suites with breathtaking mountain views, contemporary bathrooms, and high-end non-toxic finishes throughout.
Our ‘best practices’ approach incorporates systems, materials and finishes that assure durability, beauty, comfort, energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, accessibility and ease-of-use for inhabitants. Designed for those interested in a low-maintenance, highly durable and energy efficient home, the Incanto Home represents the culmination of years of successful strategies we’ve employed for our custom home clients.
Universal Design for the Incanto Home:
As mentioned, universal design accounts for people of all ages and abilities. With the Incanto Home, this translates into a number of noteworthy features:
- Single-level design includes no steps within the home, garage and outdoor patio areas.
- All door openings are wheelchair accessible.
- Handles and fixtures are ‘ease of use.’
- Wall-mounted toilets and vanities provide easy access.
- Automated controls for key functions include heating and cooling, bath exhaust fans, and key lighting.
A Truly Green Built Home in Santa Fe:
The Incanto Home is a stellar model of sustainable design and is expected to meet rigorous certification by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Gold home. Among its many green features:
- Building shell includes advanced under slab insulation with radiant in-floor heating and cooling, super-insulated wall construction and ENERGY STAR-labeled exterior windows and doors.
- High-efficiency boiler generates heat and hot water.
- All Interior finishes and cabinets are completely non-toxic, zero VOC.
- Appliances are ENERGY STAR-labeled.
- Automated fresh outdoor air intake energy recovery ventilation system creates optimal indoor air quality.
- LED lighting fixtures are dimmable.
- All plumbing fixtures are water conserving.
- All water runoff from the roof is collected in below-ground cisterns for landscape irrigation.
- All landscape is native, drought-tolerant and fed by a combination of community reclaimed and rain catchment water sources.
- Home is equipped to become “zero energy”, meaning it can produce all of its own energy from solar on site. Although this option is not included in the base price, it can translate into significant savings throughout the life of the home.
Additional Advantages of Going Green:
The Incanto Home is expected to be move-in ready by late summer, which means it’s a good time to check it out since there’s still time to optimize customizations. But even if not this home, buyers should nonetheless be advised of the significant advantages of going with a green-built home (in addition to the sense of responsibility it bestows).
- More Economical:
- Green home appraisal values will always be slightly above homes built to conventional code.
- Even if they’re not net-zero, green-built homes guarantee lower utility bills for life.
- More Durable: Durability and low maintenance built into the design means less time and expense to maintain.
- Best indoor air quality assured through filtered air ventilation system and non-toxic finishes.
- 100% hard floor surfaces mean easy to clean and keep clean, with no place for contaminants to reside.