THE NEW AMERICAN HOME (TNAH), which features stunning contemporary design, earned an Emerald-level NGBS Green certi cation by incorporating the latest green and sustainable building materials, products, energy-ef cient techniques and construction methods in order to reduce its impact on the environment and provide the highest levels of comfort and quality of life for the occupants. The 2017 TNAH offers a collection of ideas about construction technology, design concepts, optimal housing performance, and healthy living features that others in the home building industry can take away and incorporate, in whole or in part, in any home, built anywhere, at any price point. Through the home’s systems engineering, Phil Kean Design Group demonstrates how to optimize energy performance without signi cantly impacting the cost of construction. 


In designing TNAH, Phil Kean Design Group worked with building partners to select cost-effective strategies for improving home performance and minimizing the material used. Advanced systems engineering and innovative practices make this 8,245 sf home both extremally energy efficient and cost effective. Remarkably, the home achieved 43% energy improvement over the ICC IECC 2009, before taking the additional photovoltaic array into account. This home also achieved remarkable air tightness — 4.7 air changes per hour (ach) —with rigid exterior wall insulation combined with blown-in berglass wall and roof system insulation for thermal performance.

Because of the conscientious design and thought- ful construction planning, TNAH achieved net-zero meaning the total amount of energy used by the building is roughly equal to the amount of renew- able energy created on site. Solar energy is used to power a portion of the electrical systems, space conditioning, and hot water systems and the 17.1 KW photovoltaic (PV) system will provide much of the annual energy needs for the home. TNAH also features both natural gas and an electric car charging station in the garage.

360 Video Tour Featuring Sustainable Features | View in a Chrome Browser or native YouTube App.

Best viewed on a native YouTube app on a mobile device or Chrome Browser on your desktop. There are a total of six 360 Videos in the tour. 


  • NGBS Green Certified — Emerald Level Certification
  • US DOE ENERGY STAR Certified
  • US DOE Net Zero Energy Home
  • EPA Indoor airPLUS


  • Landscape plan limits water and energy use to enhance the natural environment
  • Green practices used to support the wildlife habitat and conserve natural resources
  • Light-colored hardscape and white TPO roo ng to mitigate heat-island effect
  • Natural drainage features were preserved and vegetative swales constructed to increase groundwater in ltration
  • Integrated pest management plan to minimize chemical use in pesticides and fertilizers


  • Many additional green practices and moisture control measures incorporated to account for very large home
  • Windows and ooring not requiring site-applied nishing
  • Rainscreen wall design on exterior wall assemblies
  • Recycled-content materials
  • Construction waste recycled
  • Pre-assembled roof and oor trusses
  • ISO 14001 registered materials


  • 2 Tesla Powerwall storage batteries
  • 17.1 KW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system
  • Exterior walls insulated with rigid foam insulation
  • Fully air-sealed and insulated attic
  • Windows and patio doors with low-e coatings and argon gas ll
  • Air tightness 4.7 ach @ 50 Pa
  • Variable speed compressors in outdoor heat pump units
  • Ductwork sealed for air tightness
  • LED interior and exterior lighting
  • ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances
  • ENERGY STAR-rated roof to limit solar gains
  • Light-colored exterior nish for solar re ectance
  • Natural gas and electric car charging stations


  • Natural gas-fueled tankless water heater
  • Water-efficient fixtures
  • ENERGY STAR water conserving appliances
  • Drip irrigation controls regulated by plant type and water needs


  • Balanced exhaust and supply fan system for ventilation
  • ENERGY STAR exhaust fans
  • UV light air treatment system improves indoor air quality
  • MERV filters installed on central air system
  • HVAC system with humidity controls
  • Central vacuum system vented to outside
  • Power-vented furnace and water heater
  • Low- and non-VOC emitting products
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Automatic timer/humidistat devices in the bathrooms


  • Homeowners’ manual including maintenance instructions, equipment manuals, renewable energy options from utility, native landscaping and organic pest control options, and termite inspection checklist 

Photos Courtesy of Jeffrey A. Davis Photography