WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Convenience and cachet combine naturally in the home and community designs named the 2009 Livable Communities Award winners today by AARP and the National Association of Homebuilders. The winning projects represent unique combinations of style, universal design and energy efficiency to make them desirable homes and neighborhoods for people of all ages to live in. AARP and NAHB established the annual Livable Communities Awards to recognize homes and developments designed to enhance the daily comfort, convenience and safety of the people who live in them.
"AARP cosponsors the Livable Communities Awards to demonstrate that Americans' lifetime love affair with our homes can be reciprocated by beautiful lifetime homes in every style that incorporate effortless comfort, convenience and flexibility to adapt to our families' needs at every age," said Elinor Ginzler, AARP Senior Vice President for Livable Communities. "The 2009 winners lead a growing movement toward ever more user-friendly and energy-efficient homes and communities designed with award winning style."
"Every year the Livable Communities Award winners push the boundaries of what can be done to improve the comfort and ease of use of homes and communities," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a builder from Tulsa, Okla. "These winning projects show us that universal design concepts can be integrated into beautiful homes."
The 2009 AARP and NAHB Livable Communities Awards (www.aarp.org/homedesign) recognize forward-looking builders, developers, and architects for award winning designs that demonstrate energy efficient, convenient and comfortable residential living for people of all ages and abilities:
Architect - ZAI Inc. (for Green Lake Residence in Seattle, WA) The Architects of ZAI Inc. created a home designed to respond to the various changes people experience over the course of their lives, and to do so in an aesthetically pleasing way. The residence demonstrates that a multi-story structure on an urban lot can be accessible throughout a lifetime. In addition to user-friendly rooms, the home features three stacking closets that are framed, sized and wired for a future elevator so that the house can accommodate the resident's changing needs. Energy-efficient radiant heating under the floor creates comfortable even temperatures and eliminates the need for ducts and vents.
Builder (2500 square feet and under) - Eskaton Senior Residences (for Eskaton National Demonstration Home in Roseville, CA). This Eskaton home incorporates universal design, home automation, health and wellness technologies, innovative lighting and green-building technology. The environmentally friendly design has green-living features that reduce the home's carbon footprint and its utility bills and is certified by Green Built Home of America at its highest level. The home also includes simple and intuitive features that make occupancy convenient such as level flooring transitions, varying countertops heights and vacancy sensor lighting.
Builder (greater than 2500 square feet) - Yorkshire Enterprises LLC (for North Morningside Craftsman in Atlanta, GA). The home's high-end finish and universal design helps it blend in with neighboring 1920s-era homes while functioning as a modern, easily accessible establishment for the aging community. Energy efficiency is integrated into the home with bio-based spray foam insulation, high-efficiency water heaters and easily programmable thermostats. The floor plan, extra wide halls and doors make for easy access moving around the home. Convenient amenities such as light switches, outlets and thermostats are lowered making for a comfortable and livable environment.
Developer (over 250 units) - The Lakota Group (for NorthCenter Senior Campus in Chicago, IL). This state-of-the-art senior living campus on Chicago's north side provides long-time residents affordable options in a part of the city that has been underserved by this type of development. The campus is within walking distance of countless shops, restaurants, two bus stops and less than a mile from rapid transit. The site's internal transportation is designed to slow vehicular speeds and minimize pedestrian crossings at driveways while also providing safe and easy access to new parks from each building.
Established in 2007 by AARP and NAHB, the Livable Communities Awards are presented annually to builders, remodelers, architects and developers for projects that enhance the daily lives of people of all ages and abilities by incorporating:
- design elements that accommodate the needs of all residents with all levels of physical ability from children through grandparents;
- easy access to community services and features such as retail, restaurants, medical, social and cultural activities, as well as viable transportation options;
- improved energy efficiency and enhanced site design; and
- better communication with key stakeholders.
A panel of expert judges appointed by NAHB and AARP reviewed applications and selected the finalists. Judging criteria varied from category to category, but points were awarded based on: 1) Universal Design Features; 2) Ease of Maintenance and Energy Efficiency; 3) Exterior Design and Landscaping/Site Design; 4) Incorporation of Livable Community Design Features; and 5) Stakeholder Involvement.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 200,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for 2010.