Wide-open floor plans, green and energy-efficient building systems and innovative ways to connect with the outdoors are the hallmarks of this year's finalists for the 2012 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards, which honor superior achievement in apartment and condominium development, design, marketing and management and are sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
"This year's finalists reflect creativity and forward-thinking approaches to planning, design, execution and marketing," said W. Dean Henry, president of Legacy Partners Residential in Foster City, Calif., and chairman of NAHB's Multifamily Leadership Board. "Green and energy-efficient features in today's market are a must, but our finalists incorporated them in unique ways that benefit their residents. Features like electric car plug-in stations, living green walls in the common areas, recycled materials used inside and outside of the buildings and drought-tolerant plants incorporated into the communities' landscapes make the developments more attractive to prospective renters and buyers."
Finalists in Dallas, Fairfax, Va., and Orlando, Fla., feature open common areas that are designed to have one space bleed into another, creating a more open feel and encouraging interaction among residents. This open design is also found in many of the kitchen floor plans for finalists in Denver, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Lubbock, Texas.
Judges also found that many of the finalists seamlessly integrated their design of the buildings with their surrounding neighborhoods, such as colonial hamlets that demonstrate Southern charm or an eclectic and funky apartment building that speaks the language of an urban environment. The use of color and different textures on the building facades were also important factors for the judges when scoring the entries.
A panel of nine multifamily development and design experts selected 77 finalists in 27 categories from excellence in building and marketing to individual and corporate achievement.