20 | Single Family Build SMART | The Roberts Residence Project

Energy Efficiency made Simple

The Roberts Residence 

Clients Phil and Melinda Roberts aren’t Passive House experts. Their research into home design led them down a path toward energy efficiency.

Sensitive to the environment and concerned about skyrocketing utility costs, they wanted a home that would be comfortable, functional, and economical to maintain.

American buildings use close to half of our nation’s energy. They are also primary contributors to energy-related carbon emissions. Rising utility costs and a concern for the environment prompted Phil and Melinda to investigate ways to curb expenses and boost efficiency.

They discovered Build SMART.

“Energy savings were at the top of our minds. We were naturally interested in it, why heat our house for $1000 per month when we could use better materials to reduce energy costs?!” – Melinda Roberts

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.



Southampton, NJ

Project Type

Single Family


2 Stories | 1,770 square feet

Air Changes Per Hour


Project Profile

Home energy rating Think Little

Self Assembled Construction

Let’s find your solution.

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More about The Roberts House

“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.”

– Sam Rashkin

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