Tag Archive: Sustainable Architecture

  1. The New American Remodel 2022 Features Architectural Design by PKDG

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    For the third time, the honor of being the architect for the National Home Builders’ Association’s The New American Remodeled Home was awarded to Phil Kean Design Group for the 2022 showhome!

    architectural design the new american remodel 2022

    Architectural design elements of the 2022 Remodel

    The home is a stunning collaboration on an Orlando mid-century modern home constructed for 21st century living.  Its sleek dimensions measure out to 6,993 square feet of total indoor and outdoor space, and features 3 bedrooms, 5 full baths, and 2 half baths.

    This year’s New American Remodel is a dramatic, unique redesign with some of its architectural elements inspired by some of the greatest works of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian designs.

    Among its most attractive architectural design elements are large feature windows on the front elevation, vaulted ceilings, expansive glass walls, and a central room that runs the length of the house making this a truly-impressive living space.

    Even before the remodel, the home’s calling card was rooted in modernism. Phil Kean Design Group’s architectural design enhancements sought to address the livability and performance of the space in a few key areas:

    • The redesign addressed the small, cramped bedrooms featured at opposite ends of the living room.
    • Home amenities were added to the design to provide an upscale touch of comfort desirable by most homeowners.
    • Energy efficiency was a key opportunity: its HERS score, which indexes a home’s energy rating, of 115 was a distinct opportunity to embrace sustainability in the remodel.

    the new american remodel 2022 phil kean design group

    How we addressed the project’s architectural design challenges

    As with any remodel project, The New American Remodeled Home 2022 had its unforeseen challenges.

    For example, the team decided to give the cabana a pavilion roof with the same measurements as the vaulted ceiling in the great room. They also decided that the ridge beams of the two roofs should line up visually when viewing the front of the home.

    Executing on these ambitious architectural design goals required extraordinary structural coordination beyond what was originally anticipated! Getting a precise look exactly right can be expensive, but the team coalesced around where they could and could not compromise and the result is no less than magnificent.

    Another challenge posed by the project was in regards to the remodel’s low ceilings. The attic spaces were smaller in some places and would have required separate HVAC system installations.

    The solution was rooted in an engineered system that combined ducted and ductless mini-splits within the ceiling cassette units. This new setup improved the home’s HERS score by 37 points–to -22!

    With a relentless drive to perfectly execute on the architectural design ambitions of this year’s The New American Remodel, the Phil Kean Design Group team was honored to contribute to this statement home that will entice the eyes of passerbyers for generations to come.

    For a full look into the design process and stunning outcome from this year’s The New American Remodel, see the full NAHB video below:

    For a full, in-depth look at the project, check out the article in the January 2022 version of Professional Remodeler Magazine on pages 44-50.

    Ready to build your dream home? Contact our architectural design team to get started today!

  2. 4 Home Designs Sweeping Florida Luxury Neighborhoods in 2020

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    From an architectural standpoint, luxury home design trends in Florida are especially unique and interesting compared to in the rest of the nation. You’ll see designs and architecture expressing unique and beautiful styles and tastes set in a backdrop of architectural influences, one-of-a-kind landscaping and décor inspired by the modern artists of our day.

    And when you consider the most posh and awe-inspiring homes in Florida today, you might be fascinated to see what we’ve revealed here as the four invisible trends that you might not notice, unless you’re looking out for them.

    1. Sustainable Home Design


    sustainable home design trends 2020

    As awareness of the delicate nature of our planet becomes more prevalent, so do the home design trends and building techniques that continue to preserve it.

    One of the core reasons you don’t see much green design outside luxury neighborhoods is the fact that locally-sourced building materials are often more expensive and harder to come by than their less-sustainably sourced counterparts.

    Other eco-conscious building resources, such as green energy and sustainable materials, are also gaining popularity in the world of luxury, but do come at a price. This is gaining serious traction in eco-sensitive suburbs, especially near the coasts of Florida.

    2. Smart Home Design

    In the most exclusive areas of Florida, the infusion of technology in the designing and building of luxury homes is not as peculiar as one might think. From biometric door knobs, reading your thumbprint to unlock your door – to intelligent climate control and lighting, a significant number of the mundane day-to-day tasks are being controlled and enhanced through the use of integrated home technologies that make daily life easier, your home more modern, and your lifestyle more streamlined and automated than ever.

    Smartphones seem to be in our hands for most of the day. Smart televisions make unwinding after a long day easier than ever. Surround sound and music apps can fill your entire house with your favorite song at the touch of a button. Home devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, take all of the above and control them with just the sound of your voice.

    3. Open Views

    Whether you’re building on the coast or want to watch the sunset over ancient oak trees, letting a little more of the outside in is trending in 2020. This means more (and larger) windows, natural spaces for enjoying nature in comfort, and even scenic views from the bathroom.

    Natural light is not only beautiful, but it’s also good for you. Designing a luxury home in an intuitive manner that takes build location, the direction of sunlight, and layout all into consideration is key to maximizing this desirable openness. From waking ith the morning rays to relaxing in the warm glow of evening, Florida is the perfect place to enjoy the outside, insight – year-round.

    4. Homes Designed with Privacy

    While this may seem like a counterintuitive point to coexist alongside open views and scenic bathrooms, you’ll notice that more home designs in luxury neighborhoods are being built with privacy in mind. Whether or not strategic landscaping plays a part in choosing a more isolated location, privacy is key to a home feeling comfortable, peaceful and truly luxurious.

    In Florida, this sometimes means that creativity is necessary. Utilizing the natural features of the land, constructing subtle and subdued fencing from locally-sourced materials, and embracing the privacy that fantastic landscaping can give you all  of the options that we see trending in Florida’s most luxurious neighborhoods in 2020.

    If you’d like to speak with the Phil Kean Design Group regarding your luxury home design, please fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch!


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  3. The Love Shack: A Custom Modern Home in the Mountains

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    Nestled in the treetops, the “Love Shack” — which is anything but shack-like in appearance—brings modern residential architecture lines to the wild beauty of nature in North Carolina. A unique example of sustainable architecture and contemporary design, this custom modern home blends Phil Kean Design Group’s award-winning aesthetic with the homeowner’s vision for a peaceful, natural retreat.

    Minimizing Environmental Impact by Going Vertical

    Located on a high-ridge site surrounded by sycamore, basswood, oak and yellow poplar trees, one of the biggest challenges presented during the modern home’s construction was minimizing environmental impact while making the most of the sloping site. Consulting renowned arborists in order to protect and preserve the surrounding woodland, the home was built on a limited footprint of just 600 square feet, adding livable space in the form of three stories plus a loft. This vertical approach reduces the structure’s impact on the surrounding forest, while still providing the homeowners with the luxury house and open living space they had envisioned for their mountaintop retreat.

    Connecting with Nature both Indoors and Out

    Breathtaking landscape views encapsulate the home from every angle, with 30 miles of the Blue Ridge, Smokey Mountains, Lake Fontana and lush, green forestry visible through floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors. Stepping into the home is a complete sensory experience, with striking surroundings at every turn, a large balcony porch to enjoy the fresh mountain air on, and recycled wood used throughout the cabin to further blend the outdoors and the indoors into one naturally beautiful creation.

    Energy Efficiency Meets Style with Zola Windows and Doors

    In keeping with the home’s ultra energy efficient vision, Zola Thermo Clad windows and doors were used throughout the Love Shack. These energy-conserving additions helped the home meet strict green design codes while remaining a striking and functional part of its overall modern design. Sliding glass doors and tilt-turn windows, also by Zola European Windows, were incorporated into the home, making up integral parts of the Love Shack’s unmatched eco-chic aesthetic.

    Learn more about the Love Shack and read an interview with the homeowner, Ken LaRoe, and architect, Phil Kean, on the Zola European Windows website.