Renewable Energy

Geothermal HVAC, Solar Hot Water

Wall/Roof Construction

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Exterior Materials

Fiber Cement Siding Panels, Metal Handrails with CableRail


Double-Pane Low-E Glazed with Argon Fill


Thermador, Miele, Kitchen Aid (All Energy Star Qualified where applicable)

Other Features

LED Lighting, Lutron RadioRA 2 Lighting Controls, Automated Shades, Advanced HVAC Design, Whole-House Air Cleaner, Energy Recovery Ventilator, Insulated Basement


After purchasing the lot to build their family’s dream home, this homeowner sought out to find a trusted builder who would not only embrace the unique modern aesthetic not often seen in the Lehigh Valley, but also one that understood valued principles in building science and high-performance home building. Fortunately, the homeowner selected our firm to craft this challenging, modern masterpiece.

As the architect and homeowner, Darin Jellison of Blackney Hayes Architects (Philadelphia), designed an efficient minimalist home for his family of four. While interested primarily in energy-efficiency, spatial-efficiency, and views that help ‘bring the landscape into the home’, the design plays on the juxtaposition of “intersecting circulation spaces (glass) cutting through solids and planes – a typological abstraction of local stone-end barns and the intervention of modern life.” For the family, this home showcases a loft-style living space on the first floor with a re-imagined piano nobile for private bedrooms and roof deck on the second floor.

As the builder, our team worked very hard to help blend this innovative design with proven energy-efficient strategies and details. Some energy-efficient features are listed below:

  • Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS) – Ultra-tight, highly insulated (R-29 walls, R-47 roof) building envelope to minimize air infiltration/exfiltration with minimal thermal bridging
  • Highly insulated (formaldehyde-free) basement – R-26 walls, R-10 underslab
  • High performance glazing with thermal breaks affording maximum visible light transmittance with coatings that minimize solar heat gain
  • Advanced HVAC system – Geothermal, ground-source heat pumps 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)

Other notable features of the home include:

  • State-of-the-art rainscreen cladding technology that improves thermal efficiency and properly manages water infiltration
  • Whole-home lighting and temperature control system through Lutron RadioRA 2
  • Infrastructure incorporated for future solar PV
  • Zero-VOC paints and coatings
  • Flooring – locally harvested hardwood & high recycled content tile and linoleum
  • Water-efficient central manifold system with PEX distribution and Water Sense Qualified fixtures including low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets
  • Rainwater runoff from site and roofs is retained on site, piped to rain gardens

As much of this home was crafted with commercial building techniques, it has been a real honor working with our client thinking through and working ‘outside-the-box’ during this project in delivering their family a truly unique, energy-efficient, and comfortable residence.