Holidays at Home A small house can accommodate big gatherings if its designed right. This kitchen has everything a cook needs to prepare a feast for a large group, including a KitchenAid six-burner gas range with double ovens, LED can and pendant lights for task lighting, and a Kohler farmhouse sink thats big enough to wash a Thanksgiving turkey. Open shelves by Merillat provide display space for items that arent used every day.
James F. Wilson Holidays at Home A small house can accommodate big gatherings if its designed right. This kitchen has everything a cook needs to prepare a feast for a large group, including a KitchenAid six-burner gas range with double ovens, LED can and pendant lights for task lighting, and a Kohler farmhouse sink thats big enough to wash a Thanksgiving turkey. Open shelves by Merillat provide display space for items that arent used every day.
Big Island An island measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 6 inches and topped with a Dupont Zodiaq quartz countertop (seen here in licorice) provides ¨a versatile surface  for organizing, baking, food prep, and clean up. In lieu of a garbage disposal, the countertop includes a recessed, compost-bin with a bucket handle for transporting vegetable scraps from kitchen to garden.
James F. Wilson Big Island An island measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 6 inches and topped with a Dupont Zodiaq quartz countertop (seen here in licorice) provides ¨a versatile surface for organizing, baking, food prep, and clean up. In lieu of a garbage disposal, the countertop includes a recessed, compost-bin with a bucket handle for transporting vegetable scraps from kitchen to garden.
Breathe Deep The GreenHouse promotes healthy indoor air quality with low-VOC paints, stains, adhesives, and sealants. Its also equipped with a central vacuum system. Unlike portable vacuum devices, which tend to stir up dust and leave it hanging inside the home, this unit vents to the outside.
James F. Wilson Breathe Deep The GreenHouse promotes healthy indoor air quality with low-VOC paints, stains, adhesives, and sealants. Its also equipped with a central vacuum system. Unlike portable vacuum devices, which tend to stir up dust and leave it hanging inside the home, this unit vents to the outside.
Fit N Trim To match the siding, the team also chose James Hardies 5/4 HardieTrim and 3  inch boards. The fiber-cement trim and fascia can be engineered for climate-specific applications, so builders get the right product for their area. Boards were also specified with the companys ColorPlus factory-applied paint for a durable finish. fa§ade.  en dash.  em dash. .
Fit N Trim To match the siding, the team also chose James Hardies 5/4 HardieTrim and 3 inch boards. The fiber-cement trim and fascia can be engineered for climate-specific applications, so builders get the right product for their area. Boards were also specified with the companys ColorPlus factory-applied paint for a durable finish. fa§ade. en dash. em dash. .

She’s smart, beautiful, and virtuous, but this show home isn’t a supermodel. This isn’t the fantasy house that you love, but can’t have. It’s a dream that’s well within reach—the house equivalent of the girl next door.

Blessed with classic American good looks and created for middle-class home buyers, Builder’s Concept Home 2011 lives comfortably on a modest footprint and is super efficient in its resource consumption. So efficient, in fact, that it produces as much energy as it uses. Yep. It’s net zero.

Look behind the walls, under the slab, and up in the attic of this house, and you’ll find some serious building muscle and green technology. At the same time, its refined spaces are visions of serenity and light. This is possible because the science and systems that power the house are mostly transparent, allowing the design to take center stage.

To prove this appealing combination possible, we turned to one of the nation’s premier home builders, KB Home, and its partner, style icon Martha Stewart, to craft a residence that has all the elegance of a larger luxury estate, minus the steep utility bills, expensive upkeep, superfluous rooms, and unattainable mortgage.

And so, we present The KB Home GreenHouse: An Idea Home Created With Martha Stewart. Evidence, we hope, that even a traditional house in a traditional subdivision can practice sustainability. That builders can build smaller, more energy-efficient homes for average buyers and still turn a profit. And that Martha’s legendary green thumb applies to more than her garden.

Architecture can be traditional without feeling stuffy or pompous. The GreenHouse shows how. Designed in the spirit of Martha Stewart’s personal residence in Bedford, N.Y., it’s tasteful yet simple, with clean lines and plenty of connections to the outdoors. Large windows, 9-foot-4-inch-tall ceilings, crisp crown molding, and painted wood paneling make the interiors feel luxe and substantial, even if they aren’t big. And the plan isn’t overly prescriptive, so homeowners can choose how they wish to furnish and use its spaces.

“I like a home to be suffused in natural light and airy, with a generous amount of open space,” says the legendary founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and leading authority on all things domestic. Delivering on that vision, the heart of the home is a large entertainment area that blends dining room, great room, kitchen, and patio into a succession of fluid spaces.

But beauty is only part of the story. Placing functionality on par with aesthetics, the plan is also big on multitasking. Its flexible den can double as a home office, playroom, media room, or extra bedroom. A kitchen workstation provides a great spot for homework or paying bills, but is also command central for the home’s energy monitoring system, a Web-based tool that allows homeowners to track their electric, water, and propane consumption, as well as solar energy production.

And yet the GreenHouse makes a few unorthodox moves that run counter to the current conventional wisdom about building smaller. For example, it keeps its formal dining room (a space that’s been value-engineered out of many of today’s smaller homes) and allocates a larger-than-average share of square footage to storage. Built-ins are pervasive, the secondary bedrooms have walk-in closets, and the master suite assigns almost as much space to its dressing area as it does to the master bath.

This isn’t complete folly. Setting aside square footage for storage actually results in rooms that feel larger, Stewart says, because they aren’t cluttered with armoires and other bulky case goods. “The dressing area off the master bedroom has built-in cabinets and drawers to create storage space for clothing. That eliminates the need for dressers in the bedroom,” she points out.

But the most unconventional aspect of this home, by far, is its value proposition. Aptly named, the GreenHouse is testing the premise that next-generation home buyers will be willing to spend a little more up front on green stuff if the payoff is lower long-term maintenance and utility costs. Unlike the commodity dwellings of the housing boom, this residence isn’t destined for a life of flipping. It’s more akin to a well-made Swiss watch, which comes with a slightly higher price tag, but lasts a lifetime.

Builders who believe that achieving net zero means higher material costs can feel validated in knowing they are correct. KB Home estimates the cost of greening this house at $70,000—roughly $60,000 of which can be attributed to its solar energy features (the other $10,000 went to HVAC upgrades and high-efficiency lighting and windows).

But those who assume that green building means throwing all of your established subcontractor relationships out the window may be interested in this little insight: “We did use specialists for the solar thermal and photovoltaic installations,” says Dan Bridleman, vice president of national purchasing and contracts for KB Home, which currently ranks as the nation’s fifth largest builder. “But otherwise we relied completely on our existing trade base to get this house built.” (See “Green in Balance,” page 102, for a detailed rundown of the home’s net-zero process and formula.)

Is this a glimpse into production housing’s future? George Glance, president of KB Home’s Central Florida division, likes to think so. “This house is mainstream and something buyers can relate to,” he says. “It’s a functional, right-sized floor plan that is very livable and finely appointed. At the same time, it’s a very advanced house. If you have a million dollar budget that’s one thing, but when you’re operating with a sales price of $380,000, you really have to be efficient without compromising the function or finish of the home.”

Project KB Home GreenHouse: An Idea Home Created With Martha Stewart

Location Windermere, Fla.

Builder KB Home, Orlando, Fla.

Architect KB Home Architecture, Los Angeles

Designer Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, New York

Size 2,667 square feet

Lot size 70 x 120 feet

Cost per square foot about $140

Anticipated sale price $380,000

Added hard costs for green attributes

Increase in monthly mortgage payment to cover the green extras $350

Average monthly electric bill for conventional Orlando home

Average monthly electric bill for the GreenHouse $0

Certifications LEED for Homes- Platinum, Environments for Living Certified Green, EPA WaterSense, EPA Energy Star, IAPMO Green Plumbing Code

HERS rating 0

Construction cycle 90 days

1 Heat Is On This is Florida, but people here like fireplaces, too. Two propane-fueled fireplaces from Lennox Hearth Products will provide warmth on cold nights. The flagship Montebello 45 anchors the great room. Made with a herringbone liner, rustic oak log set, and classic andirons, the unit produces 60,000 BTU fires. The lanai features the 42-inch Elite with a herringbone liner.

2 High Fiber The project team used Therma-Tru Doors’ fiberglass exterior entry products that will not crack, split, splinter, or warp in the Florida climate. A Fiber-Classic 8-foot door from the company graces the front entry. It has ¾ lite, framed glass, and black nickel caming. The kitchen side door is an 8-foot Smooth-Star unit.

3 Walk This Way Boral Bricks Santee Grey pavers on the driveway and the front walk provide the front entry with a nice upgrade from concrete or asphalt. Durable and long-lasting, the bricks are made from clay and shale so they will not fade over time or need to be sealed. They can also be removed and replaced easily for repairs.

4 Composite Sketch The Florida heat and humidity wreaks havoc on wood, which is why the house’s backyard deck is made with TimberTech’s Earthwood Evolutions composite decking and composite Radiance Rail. Made from wood fiber and plastic, the material requires no staining or sealing and is virtually weather resistant.

5 Stone Place The lanai fireplace and outdoor grill station are covered in StoneCraft stone veneer from The Tapco Group. Specified in a Bucktown color, the Heritage series product comes in classic profiles with ashlar shapes and texture and the look of chiseled stone. Pieces range from 2 to 10 inches in height, and 4 to 17 inches in length.

6 Wide Openings Providing visual and physical access to the lanai and backyard grill is an impressive 16-foot-wide installation of WinDoor’s 8000 series sliding glass panels. Each panel has a depth of 1 ¾ inches with 4 ? inch stiles and rails. Specified with low-E glass, the doors glide on a stainless steel system that stacks the 10-foot-tall panels to the side.

1 Color Correction The home’s interior is kept bright thanks to AkzoNobel’s Martha Stewart Living low volatile organic paint. Available in 280 colors, the line comes in four interior and two exterior sheens. The team used flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss on the house.;

2 Grab This An Ashfield handleset from Kwikset greets visitors as they enter the front door. Made from solid forged brass, the set feels substantial in the hand. It has concealed interior and exterior screws, a titanium alloy throwbolt core, and an anti-pick, six-pin system. The interior doors have Ashfield levers. Both styles are Venetian bronze.

3 Light Touch Illumination throughout the house is provided by products from Sea Gull Lighting, including a Chatham exterior light, Wellington Collection mini pendants in the kitchen, and this LED surface-mount fixture. An energy-saving alternative to incandescent and compact fluorescent, the light consumes 15 watts, which is about 85 percent less than incandescent and 40 percent less than a compact fluorescent bulb. It’s designed to last 35,000 hours, or approximately 20 years with five hours a day of normal use.

4 Tank, You The home will receive its propane fuel from a 125-gallon propane tank from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Because propane is nontoxic and safe for soil or water, the team buried the tank in the backyard, where it will provide fuel for a variety of tasks, including the kitchen range and standby generator.

5 Safe House ADT Security Services’ Pulse security and home automation system protects the house. The all-in-one set-up includes wireless touchscreens in the master bedroom and den; modules attached to lamps throughout; security cameras mounted at various locations; a touchscreen computer in the kitchen; and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

6 Window Wares Atrium Window & Doors’ 160 single-hung window makes the home feel light-filled and large. The vinyl product is designed with an integrated J-channel and nail fin, and a brick mold exterior offers a cleaner appearance. Three-quarter-inch insulated glass is standard, but low-E and argon gas upgrades are available.

1 Riding the Rails Schulte systems provide versatile storage throughout the home. In the pantry, the freedom-Rail adjustable system can be moved up, down, left, and right and will accept various components. It has half ventilated and half wood shelving.

2 Kitchen Confidential The project team selected simple but elegant products from Merillat Cabinets. Tolani kitchen cabi-nets feature a solid wood frame and a veneer center flat panel. Sutton Cliffs Square Classic in the great room has a raised panel with a traditional overlay. Both styles are solid maple with a Chiffon finish.

3 Transition Team To blend with the home’s style, the team selected a variety of transitional-styled products from Kohler. The Parq deck-mount kitchen faucet is a new interpretation of a classic design; it goes well with the Dickenson cast-iron apron-front sink.

4 Door Store JELD-WEN doors add understated style. Model C2060 carved wood compo-site doors are made with recycled mater-ials, and can be ordered in different sizes and design. The project team chose a single-lite French door for the pantry.

5 Post Up Blanco’s Solon drop-in compost canister collects food waste until it’s ready to be transferred to the compost bin. The stainless steel bin is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

6 Killer Apps No modern-day kitchen would be complete without high-performance appliances such as these KitchenAid products from Whirlpool Corp.: An Architect II French door refrigerator provides 20 cubic feet of storage, while a 48-inch dual-fuel range (shown) offers six burners and a convection oven.

Green in Balance

If you’ve seen one net zero–energy home, you haven’t seen them all. There are many different ways to craft a house that produces as much energy as it uses. It all boils down to strategy in the face of certain “givens,” such as location, climate, site conditions, budget, and available materials. The art and science is in the tweaking.

KB Home used energy modeling software to piece together the biggest green elements and gauge how they affected each other. “You have to look at this whole thing as a series of systems contributing to an end result,” explains KB Home vice president Dan Bridleman. “You can’t ever put your finger on this one thing that did it. Net zero is almost always accomplished through a combination of techniques.” Let it be noted that this combination rated LEED for Homes Platinum and qualified for Environments for Living Certified Green, EPA WaterSense, Energy Star, and IAPMO Green Plumbing certifications. Here’s how the GreenHouse got to zero and is doing its part to help the environment:

The Envelope

Any net zero endeavor must start with conservation—the logic being that saving energy is cheaper than producing it. In Florida’s hot and often muggy climate, conservation starts with an air-tight shell. Structurally, the Greenhouse is comprised of exterior cement block walls lined with a layer of ¾-inch-thick rigid insulation and interior framing with FSC-certified wood. The critical piece is a sealed attic, which ensures the HVAC system isn't forced to work harder than it has to. “We sprayed the roof deck with foam insulation, and on the roof we used Monier’s cool roof tile, which reflects the thermal properties of the sun,” Bridleman explains. As a result, the attic maintains a constant temperature within five to seven degrees of the rest of the house, even though it’s not conditioned space.

Air Handling

Heat and moisture are friends to mold, but not in this house. An energy recovery ventilator in the attic recaptures as much as 80 percent of conditioned temperatures that would otherwise be lost through exhaust airflows and transfers that energy to incoming fresh air. This unit, combined with a whole-house dehumidification system, reduces the home’s cooling loads by not allowing them to escalate in the first place.

Then there’s the HVAC itself. “HVAC sizing is the biggest deal in the energy modeling equation because there are all kinds of things that can affect your energy usage, from heat-emitting light fixtures to appliances to vent fans in bathrooms, to people opening and closing exterior doors,” notes Chad Burlingame, director of purchasing and design for KB Home’s Orlando, Fla., division. All of those little details play into right-sizing an HVAC system that works efficiently and doesn’t provide more capacity than necessary. A conventionally built house of this size in Florida normally requires a five-ton HVAC system. This home lives comfortably with a two-ton, 19.5 SEER heat pump.

Building Components

Want to reduce construction waste? Don’t generate it in the first place. “Waste reduction starts with an accurate take-off so you are sending only what’s needed to the jobsite,” says George Glance, KB Home’s Central Florida division president. Building blocks in this home include pre-engineered trusses, floors, and panelized wall systems that reduce scrap lumber on site. Drywall and trim pieces left over during construction were recycled. With this approach, Glance estimates that the GreenHouse diverted 88 percent of the jobsite waste that a conventional home would normally send to the landfill.

Water Usage

The average American household wastes more than 3,650 gallons of water each year while waiting for hot water to reach the tap, according to EPA estimates, and 10 percent to 15 percent of energy use in hot water systems is wasted in distribution losses. Not so in the GreenHouse, which runs on an on-demand hot water recirculation system in lieu of a traditional boiler. Water heated by rooftop solar panels is stored in an 80-gallon thermal tank and then circulated through a loop under the slab. Each plumbing run off of the main loop is less than 10 feet long. This configuration reduces the amount of piping needed, and there’s no waiting for a hot shower. Instant hot water is activated with the push of a button in the kitchen, while motion sensors trigger it automatically in faucets and showerheads whenever someone enters the bathroom.

There are other water-wise features to boot. Wet areas inside the home are outfitted with low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets. Outside, rainwater collection tanks store runoff from downspouts and redistribute that water into the landscaping. Sink and shower water is also filtered and redistributed for irrigation. A WeatherSmart irrigation system assesses the amount of moisture in the soil and turns on the sprinkler systems only as needed.


Roof-mounted photovoltaics (PV) were introduced only after all of the other building and product specs were in place to ensure maximum performance on the conservation side. “Raised panels would have been more efficient, but they are also more conspicuous, and sometimes you have to make aesthetic choices,” Bridleman says. “We ended up choosing a flat panel PV system which isn’t quite as efficient, but it looks better on the house.” The 8.57 kilowatt roof system is expected to generate about 10,000 kW of electricity annually—enough to match the home’s anticipated energy consumption, which includes an electric car charging station in the garage. Although the PV system added an extra $60,000 in hard costs, the homeowner is eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit as a result.

Homeowner Education

The final variable in any net zero equation is consumer behavior. The GreenHouse is equipped with a simple energy monitoring system that allows homeowners to keep an eye on their electric, water, and gas consumption/production, tracking their usage history by the day, hour, week, or month, by peak usage times, and by dollar amounts. “The system even makes suggestions,” Bridleman says. “For example, during peak usage it can tell you how to adjust things like lighting controls or the condensing units in your fridge to save energy. You can access the system from home or via an application on your smart phone.”

1 Sound Investment The home’s structured wiring system, whole-house audio, and intercom duties are handled by products from Linear. At the core is an Encore Digital Audio Distribution System that provides four rooms of amplified sound. A structured wire intercom kit includes a hub with room and door stations that are equipped with microphones, speakers, and door release mechanisms.

2 Control Yourself Instead of a traditional lighting control system, the house features a simple setup from Verve Living Systems. It includes a 10-channel controller that programs the lighting functions. Movable wireless switches use radio frequency technology to control lighting, receptacles, and temperature, while a vacancy sensor shuts off lights in unoccupied areas.

3 Air It Out Because the home is so tight, it needs a way to bring in fresh air. So, the team specified a Broan ERV90HCS energy recovery ventilator. The unit will replace stale air with fresh and reduce the burden on HVAC systems. Installed in the attic, the box includes washable foam filters, a high-pressure blower, and wall control panels.

4 Loyal Fans Various types of Broan vent fans are installed throughout the home to help remove moisture, odor, and contaminants. Humidity sensing fans in the master bath and guest bath will sense a rise in humidity and automatically cycle on. The laundry room and master bath are outfitted with units appropriately sized for spot venting.

5 Cool Off The home features Carrier’s Infinity Series heat pump. A 19-SEER two-stage unit, the product uses environmentally friendly Puron refrigerant for cooling and operates at 69 decibels. It can be paired with an Infinity Series furnace to create a money-saving dual fuel system.

6 Pipe Dreams Uponor’s PEX plumbing system delivers and moves water throughout the house. Easy-to-install AquaPEX is cross-linked polyethylene tubing that is flexible, durable, and kink resistant. It also does not corrode, pit, or promote scale buildup. In addition, AquaPEX Reclaimed Water Tubing delivers sink and shower water into a holding tank where it is filtered for irrigation use.

7 Fit ’N Trim To match the siding, the team also chose James Hardie’s 5/4 HardieTrim and 3 ½ inch boards. The fiber-cement trim and fascia can be engineered for climate-specific applications, so builders get the right product for their area. Boards were also specified with the company’s ColorPlus factory-applied paint for a durable finish.

8 Proper Topper The house is topped with Saxony 900 concrete shake roofing from MonierLifetile. Each tile measures 17 inches by 13 inches and is made from sand, cement, and water. The roofing comes in various colors, but the team chose charcoal brown blend.

9 Laps of Luxury James Hardie's HardiePlank fiber-cement lap siding with a 6-inch exposure clads the house. Made from a mixture of cellulose and cement, the product is highly resistant to weather, moisture, and rot. It was specified with the company’s ColorPlus factory-applied paint, which produces a more consistent finish that lasts twice as long.

10 Power Station With hurricane country nearby, a Guardian series 20-kilowatt standby generator from Generac is installed in the home. The air-cooled unit automatically provides backup power in the event of an outage thanks to a GenReady load center with transfer switch. It switches back when power returns.

11 Waste Not You don’t achieve LEED Platinum by sending your construction waste to the landfill. In this case, the project team used Waste Management’s local affiliate to divert 88 percent of its construction waste—including lumber, drywall, and rigid plastics—away from local landfills. On-site dumpsters separated waste types and facilitated sorting.

12 Water Saver A D’Mand recirculation system from Uponor further advances the house’s water-conservation and energy-saving story. Installed with a user-activated button and motion sensors, the system’s pump recirculates cold water so hot water reaches the fixture in seconds.

13 Fully Charged A house this smart needs electric and energy management systems just as intelligent. This is why it possesses an assortment of products from Siemens. Thermal magnetic breakers provide on/off switching, over-current protection, and short-circuit protection. It also includes an electric vehicle charging station that uses a simple on/off indicator with no complex wiring or configuration requirements.

14 Exterior Treatments The hot and humid climate in Central Florida can wreak havoc on wood trim, so the project team settled on exterior detailing elements—such as the round louver and dentil molding—from Fypon. The urethane and cellular PVC products can be cut and installed like wood but will last much longer.

15 Hot Stuff No need to pay for hot water when the sun will do it for free. The GreenHouse uses a solar water heating system from VELUX America. Its two collectors absorb the sun’s energy to heat water and are tied to an 80-gallon water heater with electric resistance backup.

16 Sun Showers The house will generate a portion of its own power thanks to SunPower’s SunTile roof integrated solar panels. Black and sleek with no grid lines, the panels deliver up to 50 percent more energy than conventional solar and convert up to 23 percent of available sunlight into electricity.

17 Quiet, Please The house will be quieter than most because of Johns Manville formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation installed between some of the interior walls. Sound control batts applied around bathrooms and between bedrooms as well as the great room increase sound transmission ratings by 8 to 10, while R-19 unfaced batts in the garage wall will cut down on noise there.

18 Dust Bowl An Electrolux central vacuum system will help keep things clean and dust free. The setup is powered by a Model 3700 power unit with a sealed suction system and a 4-gallon dirt bucket. It also includes a Model Q Power Team hose and handle, an electric power brush, cleaning tools, and VacPans installed in various areas.

19 That’s a Wrap Working hard to safeguard the house from moisture intrusion and the lawn from weeds are a variety of products from Typar/Fiberweb. Typar housewrap blocks water from entering the wall cavity but allows walls to breathe so moisture can escape. Peel-and-stick BA Series flashing protects window flanges, sill plates, and corners. BioBarrier under the front lawn protects the area from weeds and roots.

20 One Stop Insulation is only half the story in a house; proper installation is the other important part. To make sure the fiberglass batts and spray-in foam were done properly, the project team turned to Masco Contractor Services, which handles the work typically provided by multiple contractors. Masco also oversaw the installation of the shower enclosure in the master bath.

21 Water Hog Water conservation in the home is aided by the modular rainwater storage system from Rainwater HOG. Adaptable to a variety of situations, each 50-gallon tank has a slim profile and can be installed horizontally or vertically. Flexible enough to be stored at each downspout, two of the tanks sit just outside the kitchen.

22 Shut It Two-panel Pro Series shutters from Atlantic Premium Shutters dress up the exteriors. Made from marine-grade fiberglass, they are impervious to moisture and termites. They carry a lifetime structural component warranty against splitting, cracking, and excessive warping. www.atlantic

23 Propane Game In lieu of natural gas, the home uses propane. Produced from natural gas processing and crude oil refining, propane is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. It is an approved, clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. It’s also one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels.

24 Stock Up A house is only as strong as the elements behind the walls, so the project team turned to Stock Building Supply for all the structural lumber, roof trusses, and interior wall framing. The building materials and solutions company distributes all the major brands of structural systems.

25 Code Talk The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials’ research and testing arm certified that the home’s plumbing and HVAC measured up to its stated water-use and energy-use performance standard. An ANSI-accredited group, it makes sure that systems are in compliance with established codes.

26 Green Living The home is certified by Masco Home Services’ Environments for Living green building program. Launched in 2001, the program supports national and regional home builders in building science and energy-efficient construction practices in the field. It certifies that homes are built to be energy and water efficient, durable, and healthy.

27 Cellular Foam To increase the home’s energy efficiency, the team covered the inside surfaces of the concrete block walls with Johns Manville ¾-inch foil-faced polyisocyanurate foam sheathing and sprayed open-cell polyurethane foam on the underside of the roof deck. With an R-value of 3.8 per inch, the foam cuts down on heat gain in the attic.

Surface Tension Two types of low-maintenance and heat-resistant DuPont surfaces can be found throughout the home. Baths and the outdoor grill feature Corian in colors from Martha Stewart Living Countertops. The kitchen and laundry display the 25 percent recycled content quartz Zodiaq from the Terra Collection.

Storage Space Because the garage contains more than just cars, the house comes equipped with an extensive storage system from Gladiator GarageWorks. It includes a Modular GearBox, a GearWall, GearDrawers, shelves, and a workbench, among many other pieces.

Key Less For the entry doors, the team opted for Kwikset’s Ashfield lever but added the company’s SmartCode battery-operated keypad lock. The pad allows homeowners to enter a code to open the door, eliminating the need for keys. It has a 1-inch deadbolt, and a break-in–resistant strike plate.

Bright Light VELUX America’s Model TMR 010 Sun Tunnel brings much-needed light to the laundry room. Installed in the ceiling, the unit uses a highly reflective rigid tunnel that brings in daylight. It comes with a one-piece pitched metal flashing to prevent leaking, and a pre-assembled ceiling ring.

Open Sesame A Wayne Dalton Genie ReliaG 800 opener powers the garage door. Its belt-driven ½-horsepower DC motor offers soft start and stop, quiet, smooth operation, and enough power to lift doors weighing up to 500 pounds. A wall console and a three-button remote are included.

Wash Up Laundry will be a snap with the help of Whirlpool Corp.’s Duet. The Energy Star–qualified steam washer features a stainless steel basket, five temperatures, and 14 cycles. The dryer has 7.5 cubic feet of capacity, five temperatures, and an Eco Normal cycle for extra energy savings.

Door Ways Wayne Dalton’s 9700 steel garage doors feature a six-window Westfield insert and American Collection Aspen hardware. The doors also offer polyurethane foam insulation that pro-vides an R-value of 10, a counterbalance system that houses the springs inside a steel tube, and pinch-resistant door panels.

Water Misers The house’s water conservation story starts with high-efficiency toilets from Kohler. In the guest bath, a Persuade Comfort Height toilet offers the option of flushing with 1.0 or 1.6 gallons, while the master bath features a San Raphael Pressure Lite toilet using only 1.0 gallon.

1 Case Clothes Schulte’s freedomRail storage system is versatile enough for the kitchen pantry and coat closet, but fancy enough for the master closet. The setup, in a chocolate pear finish, has mirrored his-and-hers sections with Double Hang O-Boxes and is outfitted with shelves, baskets, and cabinets.

2 Blind Ambition With all the openings in the house, there is a need for sun protection as well as privacy. Hunter Douglas blinds and shutters provide both. NewStyle shutters in the great room, den, and second bedroom control light, while Duette Architella blinds in the master bedroom permit light but maintain privacy.

3 Into the Woods To give the master bedroom its own identity, the project team specified Shaw Floor’s Appalachia wood floors. The product measures ¾ inches thick and comes in random lengths. Chosen in the company’s Moran Point color, the floor has a handscraped look.

4 Soak Up the Sun SunPower’s integrated photovoltaic panels were installed on the southern and eastern roof façades for maximum exposure to the sun.

For a virtual tour of the Builder Concept Home 2011, visit

Ground Floor Using the same flooring in the kitchen, laundry room, great room, and dining room, Shaw Floors’ Shiloh ceramic tile, helps the spaces feel bigger and more unified. Designed in Italy and made in the U.S., it has a textured surface inspired by images of the moon’s surface. The beige tiles are 18-inches-square.