Demonstration homes are becoming more popular these days as builders desire to showcase special options they can offer their customers and potential homeowners are looking for ways to add custom upgrades to turn their houses into dream homes.

For example, there’s a beautiful home right in my neighborhood built to serve as a demonstration house for two years before it will be offered for sale. Every day I see plenty of interested folks who visit, no doubt gathering ideas for their own future homes.

And the other day I was at an art show in the city of Austin, Texas, and someone featured a demonstration house based on a garbage container (the ones you see on construction sites). Surprisingly, it was made to feel comfortable and cozy, but it was incredibly small. It reminded me of the size of an average New York City apartment.

The demonstration homes are an effective tool to get a specific message across whether it is to showcase high-end design ideas, smaller homes with great features or the latest energy-efficient technologies.

Uponor recently provided radiant heating to a 1,550-square-foot, LEED® Platinum demonstration home in Québec, Canada, designed to show how certain features create huge energy efficiencies. In fact, this high-performance house has taken cost savings to a new low with a yearly total of $385 in heating and cooling costs. And this includes the extra electricity needed for a plug-in to power an electric vehicle.

The home will serve as a teaching tool for industry-savvy professionals who will show how certain finishes and materials can add to a low-environmental impact — including the radiant heating system from Uponor.