The devastation of 2005's hurricanes has left a lasting imprint on the country, with Hurricane Katrina alone breaking records as the most costly natural disaster in United States history, rendering more Americans homeless than any other disaster of its kind. Clearly, there has never been a more appropriate time to focus on the construction of disaster-resistant homes.
Today, concerned homeowners and homebuilders look towards prevention, and they will find many answers at the 2006 NextGen Home Experience at the International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 11 to 14.
Constructed in the parking lot of the Orange County Convention Center for the show, this 2,500 square-foot home, built by homebuilder and developer BrownStone Builders & Associates, will showcase the latest innovations in disaster-resistant building through the Institute for Business & Home Safety's (IBHS) Fortified ... for safer living(R) program.
The Fortified program's standards serve to increase a home's ability to withstand natural hazards, wherever the home is built. The 2006 NextGen home will include materials and techniques that protect it from high winds, wildfire and flooding -- the three most destructive natural threats in Florida, which is where the home will remain permanently after the show.
In fact, for the first time this year, the NextGen Home Experience will serve not only as a show home, but a model home for the first NextGen Certified planned community to be built near Tampa Bay, Fla. The community, also built by BrownStone Builders, will provide inspired visitors with the opportunity to purchase their own "Peace of Mind" home, complete with all the features and technologies showcased at IBS.
"We're really excited about bringing new technology to the marketplace, especially as it involves disaster resistance, the need for which has definitely been seen this year," says Carlos Martin, a researcher for PATH (Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing). The home will showcase more than 15 PATH-approved technologies.
The "Peace of Mind" home will also address topical issues such as green building, energy efficiency, and today's changing lifestyle needs with some of the following exciting features:
- A DuPont(TM) StormRoom(TM), a residential in-home storm shelter made from material five times stronger than steel;
- The Icynene Insulation System(R), which insulates and air seals in one step, helping homeowners save up to 50 percent on their energy bill every month;
- Multiple products from REHAU, including corrosion resistant plumbing and a unique residential fire protection system;
- Wireless technology by Z-Wave Alliance that allows homeowners to manage their home from anywhere in the world;
- The Connect Io(TM) Intelligent Oven(R) that can be controlled from any computer or phone.
"The idea is to meld all of these new technologies into a home that truly offers its resident what every homebuyer is looking for -- peace of mind," says Paul Barnett, president of iShow, producer of all the NextGen projects.
Visit the exhibit's website at: http://www.nextgenhome.com