Third-Party Verification

EPA Energy Star Qualified Home (HERS Index - 61)

Renewable Energy

Solar Hot Water

Exterior Materials

Stone Veneer, Fiber Cement Siding, Composite Decking


Double-Pane Low-E Glazed with Argon Fill


Wolf, Kitchen Aid (All Energy Star Qualified where applicable)

Other Features

LED Lighting, Advanced HVAC Design, Whole-House Air Cleaner, Energy Recovery Ventilator, Insulated Basement, Screened-In Porch


When our client was initially contemplating retirement in Pennsylvania, it was very clear to them from the onset that they were going to design and build their dream home in a very energy-efficient, healthy, and environmentally responsible manner. Coming from California where green building is far more common, this couple sought out to blend alluring architectural design with high-performance construction as they re-planted their roots here in the Lehigh Valley.

Perched on a site with desirable views and a warm country setting, this three-bedroom Craftsman home not only delights our client’s desires from an aesthetic and experiential standpoint, but it also exceeds their expectations from a sustainability standpoint. Through its U.S. EPA Energy Star Qualification, this house saves approximately 40% more energy than a similar code-compliant home.

Some energy-efficient features are listed below:

  • Ultra-tight building envelope to minimize air infiltration/exfiltration
  • Highly insulated (formaldehyde-free) thermal envelope – R-52 ceiling, R-26 walls (including basement walls), R-10 underslab
  • Energy-efficient doors and windows – 0.21 – 0.29 U-factor
  • Advanced HVAC system – SEER 17, HSPF 9.5 air-source heat pump with an efficient Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) and well-sealed, insulated ducts (all within conditioned space)
  • LED lighting throughout – 10.5 watts (compared to 75 watts) each & dimmable down to 10%
  • Energy Star Qualified exhaust fans & appliances – refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer
  • Solar Hot Water System providing approximately 80% of home’s domestic hot water needs for free from the sun’s energy – 3.6 solar energy factor (SEF)

While energy-efficiency was certainly a driving force for our client in ‘going green’, they were still very interested in incorporating many other environmentally conscious practices:

  • Effective passive solar design – orientation to south, deep eaves, solar shade
  • Whole-house, industry-leading air cleaner integrated with the HVAC system
  • Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints throughout
  • GreenGuard Certified adhesives and caulks
  • Regionally-harvested maple and birch cabinetry throughout
  • Hard surfaces throughout including regionally-harvested oak flooring and eco-conscious tile
  • Efficient central vacuum system vented directly to the outside
  • Recycled materials throughout such as aggregate, decking and handrail, and drywall
  • Water-efficient central manifold system with PEX distribution and Water Sense Qualified fixtures including low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets

Now that our client has had a little bit of time to settle into their new home, they have shared with us their genuine excitement in waking up each morning in a truly green home that is more energy-efficient, healthier, and environmentally responsible while still experiencing its striking architectural design in quite a comfortable yet stunning picturesque setting.