Every year one of the highlights of the International Builders Show (IBS) is The New American Home (TNAH), the official showcase home of the convention. The 2009 TNAH, which features the revolutionary AISIN Gas Heat Pump, has been such a huge success that it remains open for tours for an 18 month period.
The 2010 TNAH, however, has met a different fate and is, in some ways, the poster child for the state of the new home construction industry. The home was about 75 percent complete in November when the builder ran out of money and could not, even after a concerted effort by the NAHB and allies throughout the country, obtain financing to finish the job. The bank foreclosed on the home on December 28 and the builder has gone out of business.
To its credit, the NAHB made lemonade out of this lemon by producing a very professional “virtual tour” of TNAH, and builders are lining up to view it. Numerous natural gas appliances are in the home, including the “Phoenix” solar/gas water heater from Heat Transfer Products, Inc. That product is in the AGA exhibit booth as is the Ecopower Microcogeneration (CHP) appliance sized for residential and small commercial applications. This unit, made by Marathon Engine Systems and fueled by natural gas, is running full time in our booth, producing all the electricity for the entire exhibit. We are not connected to the electric grid!
Despite the current condition of the housing industry, builder traffic in our exhibit has been excellent and there appears to be a lot of interest in the natural gas technology we are showcasing. The Natural Gas Home is truly a Green Home.