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National Homes

Bright ideas come out of National Homes’ Blueprint Design Lab

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Bright ideas come out of National Homes’ Blueprint Design Lab

Society is undergoing a time of groundbreaking change. Advanced technology, Green initiatives, smart cities, robotics; it’s all taking place as the largest single demographic, Baby Boomers, are handing the reins to Millennials, a group with very different perspectives and needs.

The Forest Phase 2 Model Home.
The Forest Phase 2 Model Home.

To steer a successful course and to thrive, the team at National Homes has deeply leaned into their core philosophy and longtime tagline: You are the Blueprint. One of the GTA’s most celebrated names, National Homes is renowned for its customer focus, as the company designs, builds, markets and sells homes based entirely on their understanding of clients’ needs.

This promise inspired the company to create a new and experiential concept, The Blueprint Workshop. National Homes wanted to re-imagine the way the company listened to its customers and design their homes. Having employed traditional focus groups and online survey methodologies for more than 20 years, National’s goal in creating the Blueprint Workshop series was to find a new way to engage participants far beyond the standard notions.

The vision was to revolutionize the way new home consumer research is accomplished, thereby raising the bar for innovative thinking around home design, with a particular focus on the fast-developing “smart home” connectivity technology of the future.

National’s inaugural Blueprint Workshop event was held at the IBM Innovation Space, welcoming globally recognized leaders in the fields of technology, product development, and design, who participated in group interactions and the co-creation process. Also taking part were dozens of past and potential National buyers of varied ages and demographics: National staff architects, designers and engineers; and students from York University’s Schulich School of Business real estate master’s program. The group then rolled up their sleeves and held deep discussions, presentations, interviews and educational sessions, all in a thinktank format.

Many groundbreaking ideas from that first Blueprint Workshop are already working their way into homes of new National communities. For example, when new-home buyers indicated that they want more input into the building of their homes than just choosing cabinets and countertops, the builder responded by launching a new customer service initiative that combines the best use of technology, with hands-on involvement.

At National’s new forward-looking Blueprint Design Lab, customers can personalize their new home to reflect their style using the Virtual Interior Design Tool that makes the decor selection process more fun, creative, and efficient. National’s R&D Department regularly tests products, materials and techniques in the Blueprint Design Lab, particularly with sustainability in mind, and this is where future Blueprint Workshops will also be held.

To provide blueprint-to-welcome mat updates for customers, another innovative use of technology by National is The Homeowner Portal that connects buyers to the design and construction of their home from the moment they decide to buy until long after they move in.

The builder is constantly pushing the envelope to source the latest and the best, with a commitment to use advanced thinking to make a real difference in the way people live in their home. National calls these Bright Ideas. Things such as smart thermostats to keep costs low, smart locks and cameras to keep residents safe, and built-in recycling areas to make responsible waste sorting easy. Incorporating these Bright Ideas and others make National homes smarter, more responsive and energy-efficient, a very Bright Idea in itself.

New-home buyers care about energy efficiency, sustainability, carbon footprint, smart home products and much more. They also care about functionality, convenience and comfort. Many Bright Ideas take comfort to a whole new level. Imagine a closet organizer with revolving shoe rack in the dressing room, pulldown cupboards and motion sensor faucets in the kitchen, a voice-activated smart shower in the spa ensuite that controls on/off, water temperature and flow, and a convenient pull-down drying rack in the laundry room. Simplifying life is a Bright Idea, too.

It’s already happening for National buyers at The Forest Phase 2, who will enjoy many Bright Ideas as standard features. Residents will benefit from a main door smart lock and Wi-Fi video doorbell, and the ultimate help to stay uncluttered: a drop zone with storage, shelves and hanging hooks, and a family centre with desk. This is fitted with a whiteboard and shelving to display and store messages, school forms, family calendar and various other odds and ends with no place to go in a typical home, this exciting Bright Idea also has a hidden charging station for multiple smart devices.

IBM Blueprint Workshop.
IBM Blueprint Workshop.

Involving buyers in the process, National aims to provide innovative new solutions by thinking ahead and designing the homes of the future, today. Interested potential purchasers can sign up online to participate in scheduled Blueprint Workshops related to upcoming new National communities in the early planning stages.

NATIONAL HOMES

For more on National’s Bright Ideas, Blueprint Workshops, Blueprint Design Lab, current and upcoming communities, visit the website.


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National Homes

National Homes is celebrating 25 years of excellence

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National Homes is celebrating 25 years of excellence

For National Homes, it all began 25 years ago with the vision of one man, Rocco Pantalone. A vision to make the dream of homeownership a reality for Ontarians. Inspired by timeless values and nurtured by hard work and dedication, that vision has blossomed into a leader in real estate who continues to make a positive impact in the lives of thousands of families across the GTA.

Founded in 1992, National Homes has today grown into one of the GTA’s most successful homebuilders. With land acquisition and development, commercial, retirement homes, retail and residential projects in its portfolio of accomplishments, National has developed more than 20,000 acres of land, constructed thousands of sq. ft. of retail and commercial developments and has a growing focus on the highrise residential market.

From Ajax to Oakville, from Toronto to Bradford, National has built more than 15,000 homes and won numerous awards for design and marketing. Along the way, the National Homes brand has become one of the most recognized and respected names in the Greater Toronto Area.

But despite its size and awe-inspiring growth, at its heart, National Homes still remains the caring, dedicated company that treats every single home it builds – no matter how big or small – as special. Because National knows that, to the homeowner, it’s the realization of a lifetime of dreams and aspirations.

It’s really all about you

In fact, this is the core philosophy behind the National tagline: ‘You are the blueprint.’ At National Homes, the company starts with you, the new-home buyer, and your needs. Then it design homes to suit the way you do the things you do. National believes that a home should give you what you truly want. It’s more than just about the features, the quality, the service. It’s really all about you.

To be able to respond to and anticipate buyer’s changing needs, National has put innovation at the core of its business. The company’s R&D department (Blueprint Design Lab) regularly tests products, materials and techniques to improve the quality, safety and comfort of our homes. The new Bright Ideas initiative offers advanced tools and gadgets that make homes smarter, more responsive, more energy-efficient and more time-saving.

Also read: Also read: In conversation with Deena Pantalone of National Homes

“Innovation has always been a staple of our corporate foundation,” says Deena Pantalone, managing partner and director of marketing and innovation for National Homes. “I’ve travelled to leading international cities where this type of research is being carried out and worked in incubators, labs and accelerator programs globally. We want to anticipate homeowner problems and provide solutions by thinking ahead. We want to provide futuristic homes that are affordable.”

You are the blueprint

In a world of cookie cutter homes and mass-produced designs, four words separate the insipid from the inspired: ‘You are the blueprint.’ It’s a remarkable company credo, a design philosophy, a worthy goal. Most of all, it’s National’s way of saying that everything starts with, and revolves around, you, the homebuyer.

The needs of the customer are the driving force behind every home the company builds. Because, at National, it isn’t about all the great features it puts in. It isn’t just about the quality or service. National believes that a home should give you what you truly want. It should be designed to suit the way you live

Before National Homes puts pencil to paper and nail to wood, its team asks a lot of questions. Of their customers. Of themselves. And of focus groups. Questions like: Where would you like to live? What is your ideal home? What technology would you want in your home? Then they take the answers and design their homes to address those issues. It is how they walk the walk, and how they put the Blueprint philosophy into action.

In January 2018, National held a Blueprint Workshop that brought together creative design thinkers with dozens of past and potential future National Homes buyers of varied ages and demographics. They gathered in the IBM Innovation Space at Venture Labs in Markham, along with National Homes’ staff, designers, architects, engineers and partner leaders for a thinktank dedicated to new homes.

The workshop’s purpose was to provide in-depth insight into homebuyer’s needs and desires, to further research and development efforts to position National Homes as a builder that values innovation and is responsive to its customers. The day’s agenda delved into the homeowner experience beyond bricks and mortar to feelings and dreams. It explored new technology and time-saving solutions, as well as how to make the homebuying experience unique and personalized.

A National celebration

As National Homes marches towards their next milestone, the respected builder takes a moment to look back at the high points of the company’s eventful journey, and thank all the valued partners, trades, staff, associates and homebuyers who put their faith and trust in National Homes. Everyone is invited to join in the celebration of 25 years, an inspiring springboard for the next 25 years and beyond.

NATIONAL HOMES

To learn more about National Homes and to register for new and upcoming communities across the GTA, visit the web site.

nationalhomes.com


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