15 | Single Family Build SMART | The Kakareko House

Energy Efficiency made Simple

The Kakareko House Project

Introducing The Kakareko House Project, a remarkable achievement in energy efficiency and sustainability. This project has surpassed expectations by consuming far less energy than anticipated, averaging between 3,000 and 4,000 Kwh per year. This impressive feat is based on actual energy usage recorded over five months, with the expectation of higher energy consumption during the winter months.

The Kakareko House also boasts an onsite 3 Kwh solar array that generates over 5,000 Kwh of energy annually. With such efficient energy production and consumption, it is forecasted that the Kakareko Family will not only achieve net-zero energy consumption but actually receive a net payment from Dominion Power. This incredible outcome goes beyond net-zero and showcases the limitless potential of sustainable living.

Explore how this project has redefined what is possible in sustainable housing, demonstrating how Build SMART’s innovative solutions can create homes that not only minimize environmental impact but also offer financial benefits to homeowners.

The cost to build vs. the cost to live

On the surface it seems reasonable for people designing and building a new home to strive for the largest home their building site and budget can accommodate. Or is it?

It depends on whether your focus is on the cost to build OR the cost to live.

Homes that feature more square feet of conditioned space are subject to higher property taxes, and higher utility bills. Then there’s the cost of furnishing and maintaining square footage that may only get occasional use.

In the custom housing market today the trend is moving away from building bigger to building better. And as you build better houses -flexible living spaces that provide more comfortable, more energy efficient living conditions – the foot print of a new home tends to shrink.

So while your initial cost to build a 3000+ square foot house to code, vs. a higher performing 2500 square foot house may not decrease, your ongoing cost to live does.

Better built homes reward you with better health, lower taxes, reduced heating and cooling bills and reduced ongoing maintenance for the life of the home. These contribute to a higher quality of life.

So as you struggle to fit you dream home into a budget you can afford, remember that the challenge of funding the cost to build should be short lived. But the rewards of building better can last a lifetime.



Shacklefords, VA

Project Type

Single Family


2 stories, 1,780square feet

Air Changes Per Hour


Home Energy Rating Certificate

Home energy rating Think Little

Self Assembled Construction

Let’s find your solution.

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“Home is the ultimate consumer product. It has to be. We spend nearly 70 percent of our lives in our homes. Home is where life happens.”

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