2010 Showcase of Homes begins Saturday
August 17, 2010
The economic downturn has had an impact on the 2010 Park City Area Showcase of Homes, but the differences are making the show even more relevant, said organizer Geri Strand.
The show will feature 10 new homes that represent the same level of quality attendees expect from the showcase, she said. No corners were cut or cheap materials used on these homes.
Strand, who is also the Park City Area Home Builders Association executive officer, said eight locations involve brand-new single-family homes. Two are condominium remodels chosen because they represent a growing trend in Park City of gutting existing structures instead of building new.
Lots for new single-family homes within the city limits are in limited supply, so major remodels are giving homeowners the benefits of modernity while keeping the same footprint, she said.
Every year, homes are built "greener;" one of this year’s houses has earned the first Platinum LEED certification in Utah. It will have "net zero" energy consumption, she said. Two additional homes have LEED certifications.
With 10 homes, the showcase is about half the size of some previous years. That doesn’t bother Strand, however, because 10 is about the number visited by the average showcase attendee anyway. A smaller field this year means people will have more time to fully absorb the quality of each home, she said.
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"We encourage people to really take these homes in. Pay attention to the detail, the way the home sits on the lot, the site design and the architecture. I’m very proud of them this year," she said.
Locations include The Woods at Parleys, Promontory, Tuhaye, Red Ledges and Park City.
New this year, artists have been invited to create pieces at three of the homes during the showcase so attendees can watch them work.
Also new, local food vendors will be selling meals at a few of the homes. Volker’s will have pastries, a pizza wagon will be found at one and Jean Louis Montecot will make sandwiches at another.
As in the past, proceeds from the showcase will benefit local charities including the People’s Health Clinic and Friends of Animals, she said. There is also interest in starting a college scholarship fund to benefit students of construction, architecture, interior design and other related fields.
Doug Jardine with Jar-Con did the two condominium remodels found in Shadow Ridge. The building was built about 1980, but the units can now demand top dollar in the rental pool market, he said.
"We’re showcasing something a little different," he said. "People are used to seeing big homes; we’re featuring something more real and something more people are seeing."
His work also follows "universal design" that emphasizes features friendly to aging residents like wider hallways and lower countertops.
"It’s so you can live in them for life. Age 55 and older is becoming our dominant demographic. Forward-thinking companies want to fit this target market and people are responding well to it," he said.
Garrett Strong with Tall Pines Construction built the "net-zero" energy home. The home is located between Silver Creek and The Preserve and is owned by Kevin O’Meara, who hired Heliocentric to do the energy design. The architect is Jean Yves Lacroix.
Four aspects in particular make the home unique: passive solar design, air-tight walls, energy efficiency and energy production.
The home looks different from a typical showcase house because the windows are designed to absorb solar heat in the winter when the sun is low, but block and shade the interior in summer when the sun is high. The window panes let heat in, but are as insulated as the walls.
The walls are so airtight they could be dangerous if not for the ventilation system, Strong said. Drywall was glued instead of nailed to the walls. Energy audits using air blowers were done after framing to seal holes and cracks before the home was even completed.
The ventilation system and walls are themselves energy efficient, he explained. The walls are made of sandwiches of wood and foam with additional foam in the roof to maintain target temperature. A special wax can be found behind the walls to absorb heat and then emit it as it cools to maintain an ideal temperature.
Air leaving the home is moved in tubes next to those carrying air in from outside so the used air can warm or cool the new air. Hot water from showers, washing machines or dishwashers exits the home in pipes surrounded by those carrying in cold water to warm it before it gets to the water heater.
Solar energy units on the roof generate electricity for the home, or heat fluid that is stored in two 5,000-gallon underground tanks accessed in the winter to help heat air and water.
Even though the home is connected to the electric grid, the end result is zero net energy consumption from the grid, he said.
Additionally, his crew used many recycled building materials and recycled as many scrap materials as possible, he said.
Visit http://www.pcshowcaseofhomes.com for ticket information. The showcase is every weekend through Labor Day.
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