January 20, 2011 12:00 am  •  By Times Staff

BURNS HARBOR | A Burns Harbor home has been honored with a 2010 Livable Communities Award from AARP and the National Association of Homebuilders.

The award honors builders, developers, remodelers and architects whose work incorporates design features that work for people of all ages and physical abilities.

The home, dubbed the Gem, was built by Treasure Homes Inc. of Wheatfield and features a no-step entry, 36-inch wide doorways and bathrooms with features such as a low-curb shower, lever-controlled faucets and raised electrical outlets.

In addition to its universal design features, the Prairie-style bungalow has receive Emerald certification, which means it reached the highest level of sustainable “green” building that incorporates energy savings of 60 percent or more.

“These builders, remodelers, developers and architects are being recognized as leaders in the effort to meet the needs of the nation’s age 50-plus consumers and their families,” NAHB CEO Jerry Howard said. “This fast-growing market is very important to our industry, and these award-winning projects provide great examples of design innovations that promote safe and comfortable living.”

The Gem, 1168 Chesterfield Ave., also features an American Disability Association-accessible main floor. The three-bedroom home is listed at $234,850. Energy bills average about $50 or less a month compared to a standard home, Sarah Oudman, president of Treasure Homes, said in September.

For more information, visit www.aarp.org/homedesign.