Zahn Development focuses on building contemporary homes in Florida.
By Kat Zeman
Designing homes is his passion. Andrew Zahn believes in the power of good design and the value of sustainability. As owner and head project manager of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Zahn Development, he oversees all construction operations from start to finish. That includes working closely with his architect.
“I’m not a typical contractor,” Zahn says. “Im really focused on design and I get involved with materials and finishes.”
Zahn, who studied at the Danish Design School in Copenhagen, Denmark, assists clients with floor plans, material selections, interior design and the selection of fixtures. Building homes is in his blood. A third-generation luxury homebuilder, Zahn’s father, brother and wife also work in the industry.
“It is a family thing,” he says. “We are all entrepreneurial.”
His company has been building high-end custom homes for more than 50 years, specializing in luxury waterfront homes in the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami areas. One of his proudest accomplishments is a $3.5 million home in Ft. Lauderdale that he built in 2015. The 5,000-square-foot Solar Isle spec home is a luxurious tropical-style residence.
“It the best project I’ve done,” Zahn says. “I worked with the architect to come up with the entire vision and everything just came together. It sold within days of completion. It was a very positive response.”
Positioned on a canal site, the cube-shaped house resembles a glass prism with a roof. The home features distinct spatial zones and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The living area on the first level overlooks the canal in the back of the house and the outside pool and boardwalk.
Zahn Development prides itself on forward thinking, contemporary work and cutting-edge ideas with tried-and-true building practices. Zahn╒s contemporary style can be described as postmodernism╩and╩high-tech architecture. Some of his buildings seem to resemble sculptures.
“We specialize in very contemporary modern homes,”Zahn says.
The use of very advanced technology and modern building materials allows for construction of buildings that are taller, lighter and stronger than those of the 20th century. In Florida, especially for waterfront homes, clients are demanding a lot of light and spectacular views.
“Everyone wants more and more glass,” he says. “But that creates a lot of challenges to keep the home energy efficient and hurricane resistant.”
Energy efficient and eco-friendly homes are another one of Zahn Development╒s specialties. From single or multifamily homes to commercial ventures, Zahn’s LEED-accredited staff applies the latest in energy efficiency and uses recyclable, toxin-free products.
An increasing number of clients want energy-efficient qualities for their windows and doors, roofs, insulation and heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. That includes LED lights and low-e glass windows.
“Windows are a big thing,” Zahn says. “Everybody wants that indoor-outdoor feel.”
Established in 1958, Zahn is full-service designer, builder and general contracting and development firm. Its pre-construction services include selecting a project team of architects, engineers and designers running a feasibility analysis, cost estimates, material selection, expediting permits and sourcing risk insurance and loans.
Construction services feature demolition and site work, electrical, plumbing, roofing, windows and doors, flooring, cabinetry, security systems, pool work and landscaping. Whether building an addition to an existing building, a new structure, or a large-scale renovation, Zahn Development can tackle the project.