Howard Perlman, architect of Lennar’s Next Gen home, has been awarded one of five HIVE Innovator Awards presented at the Los Angeles event. Find out in this recent AARP article by Melissa Stanton why this new multigenerational floor plan has become so popular and what it is offering families in these type of living situations.
The following commentary by Howard Perlman is adapted from his acceptance speech at HIVE.
“This award means a lot to me because it’s not just about another pretty house. It’s about people and how we can help them live more meaningful lives — together.
“Families will live in the houses we’re building today long after we’re gone, 100, 200, 300 years from now. Kids will grow up in them. People will grow old in them. It’s our job, as architects and builders, to give them the healthiest possible environment for their happiness and success.
“We have to think beyond the nuclear family, which has traditionally been defined as a mother and father with 2.2 children and a shaggy dog. In 1960, it made sense to design all of our homes for this family because, in 1960, that mom, dad, 2.2 kids and dog made up almost half of the households in the United States.
“But today those families make up barely 19 percent of our households.
“Other differences: Today, there’s a greater percentage of multigenerational households, and the number of those households is increasing. In 1960, just 9 percent of households were headed by an unmarried parent with children. Today, 34 percent are.
“When these single parents or dual-income couples need help caring for their children, who do they usually call first? Typically, it’s their parents — their children’s grandparents. That’s just one of the reasons for the rise in multigenerational living over the past 30 years, and it’s actually a good thing.
“Studies show that children who grow up having a strong relationship with their grandparents are less apt to get into trouble and more likely to succeed socially, in school, in business and in life.
“This relationship is healthy for the grandparents, too. Playing with grandchildren, helping them with homework, just talking to them keeps older adults feeling useful, sharp and relevant.
“So, understanding all of this, we decided with the design of this home to not only accommodate multigenerational living but also encourage it by creating a new type of house — one with a separate space for grandparents, or boomerang kids or “failure to launch” kids, or nannies, caregivers or even a home office.
“We came up with designs that look, from the outside, like beautiful single-family homes. Inside are actually two complete, wonderfully functioning homes under one roof — each with their own parking and front doors, their own indoor and outdoor living spaces, their own kitchens and washer-dryers.
[Read the full article here]
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