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Nexterra – The Next Era

Going green, while once an all-encompassing but generalized buzzword, has indeed become the focus in the next era of home building. Imagine a prefabricated home, built in modules, with every aspect carefully chosen for its eco-friendliness. That is what you will find in Nexterra's 'LivingHomes.'

Nexterra LivingHome

The first of a four-home eco-enclave collection in North York, ON, the 2,145 square foot home is a combination of healthy and sustainable designs and finishes. Set on a ravine lot, the home offers an open floor plan with 10-foot ceilings, complete with extensive 'Inline Fiberglass' windows providing abundant natural light and strong insular properties. Heating and cooling costs are minimized through a combination of geothermal climate control, soy-based spray foam insulation, EnergyStar efficiency, and LED lighting.

mud room

Throughout the home, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified oak doors and Kentwood engineered oak flooring give visual warmth and beauty. The media room, guest bedroom/office, and mudroom have eco-friendly 'FLOR' carpet tiles, while the bathrooms and laundry room have heated porcelain tiling.

Spacious Kitchen

At the heart of the home are its spacious kitchen and dining areas. The Scavolini 'Mood' cabinetry is constructed from marine-grade fibreboard that is mold and mildew resistant while assuring no off-gasing. Cesarstone countertops provide rich eco-conscious detailing. The designer kitchen includes integrated recycling areas both inside the cabinetry and within the Franke stainless steel sink/culinary work center. The energy efficient AEG Euro-line appliances include an induction cooktop, integrated dishwasher, and separate Liebherr fridge and freezer.

kitchen master bathroom

Each of the home's 3½ bathrooms is outfitted with 'WetStyle' fixtures and cabinetry. Designed to ensure no off-gasing, the sinks, tubs, and showers are a combination of bio-resins, glass, and glass tile and are finished with Aquabrass low-flow fixtures. Dual flush toilets provide additional water conservation.

Although sleek and modern, both the architecture and stylistic finishes of the home provide a warm ambience that invites family living. Its main floor provides the multi-functionality today's families want. A sitting area within the kitchen includes a comfortable sofa adjacent to the centre island which serves as an informal eating area and family gathering spot. The main floor library, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the front of the home, is integrated within the open floor plan yet is slightly offset to provide an element of quietude and privacy. The centrally located Jotul gas fireplace (winner of the 'Red Dot Design Award') with its three-sided views provides a sense of warmth and continuity to the living room, dining area, and kitchen.

dining room master bedroom

The second floor bedrooms are spacious with ample windows providing lots of light and multiple ravine views. The master bedroom offers his and her closets and a walkout to the balcony. A short walk up from the second floor leads to what is perhaps one of the most stunning features of the home – its rooftop deck. Providing an extensive view of the ravine, the rooftop area is solar pv ready and is prepared for planting a 'living roof.' Two additional balconies also provide for 'living roof' enjoyment and the main floor deck, centrally located off the main floor, provides for a spacious area where the family can gather to share a meal and enjoy the ravine view.

The home offers many extras ranging from an air exchange system to wireless alarm, door, and intercom systems to LED lights with a 25-year lifespan. With nine-foot ceilings, the lower floor media room includes rough-ins for home theatre and surround sound. The home includes a double built-in garage that is fully drywalled and provides direct entry into the home.

Far Less Waste

living room

Nexterra LivingHomes are built in a quality-controlled factory. With a tighter building envelope and structure, they create far less waste and use far less energy than site-built construction. The six modules are finished with a Hisk performance fibre-cement rain screen system and cedar accent siding on the exterior and low VOC and Forest Stewardship Council-certified lumber finishes on the interior.

Following initial excavation, onsite construction noise is minimal during the joining of the modules and build time is extensively reduced.

With aspirations of building the first prefabricated home in Canada to achieve Platinum LEED Canada for Home certification, Nexterra has provided a home that is modern and stylish, giving families a multi-functional environment, while incorporating very high green standards through stylish and responsible choices.

Karen E. Treml is staff writer for Home Improvement Retailing ( ).