Modern Home Builder - Winter 2016 - Volume 2 - 106
Leeward Living - Breezy Point Community
The added cost of the semi-custom homes is offset by energy-efficiency savings.
er group, so we try to push a little more modern, contemporary
aesthetic," Willmer says. But he estimates the average ages of his
customers range from 60 to 85. About half the homes in Breezy
Point originally were second homes, but as the population has aged
in place, more have become primary residences.
The semi-custom concrete homes are approximately 10 percent
more expensive than an equivalent wood frame home, Willmer estimates, but the increased cost is offset by the homes being approximately 80 percent more energy-efficient than standard homes,
according to third-party modeling by Steven Winter Associates
Inc. Leeward Living's average concrete home prices range from
$500,000 to $1 million for a two-story dwelling. They measure
on average approximately 20 feet wide by 43 feet long per story,
which is due to local zoning codes.
"I came up with the idea following Super-Storm Sandy, as I saw
a need to rebuild not just faster but better, more resilient and sustainable homes," says Willmer, who grew up in his family's construction business. He earned a graduate degree in real estate and
urban and city planning at the University of Pennsylvania, in addition to having worked for homebuilders in real estate and finance.
Leeward Living is a design/build firm with in-house architec106
www.mhb-magazine.com Winter 2016 Volume 2
ture and project management. "This allows us to design semi-custom homes for clients so they get exactly the project they desire,"
Willmer says. "It also allows us to build efficiently, delivering
homes in approximately four to six months."
Leeward Living subcontracts the electrical, plumbing and HVAC
on its projects and self-performs the rest, such as the concrete and
drywalling, with its own crew. The average home employs up to
five or six subcontractors. The homes are aiming for LEED Platinum certification. They use on-demand hot-water heaters and
electric heat pumps without ducts located high on the walls to provide energy-efficient heating and cooling. Because the homes are
so airtight, energy recovery ventilators circulate 70 percent of the
air in each house every hour. All appliances are Energy-Star-rated,
and all lighting is with LED bulbs.
Leeward Living also elevates existing wood-frame houses in the
New York City area to meet new flood requirements. Like its own
homes, these repaired homes are set on concrete columns with
breakaway panels to enclose them. When a storm surge hits the
panels, they break away, and the surge continues past the columns.