Green Builder Media Announces Green Home of the Year Winners

Share Article

Here’s the run-through of eight exemplary and imaginative green homes which took home honors in Green Builder's 10th Annual Green Home of the Year competition.

News Image
This year’s Green Home of the Year award winners are about firsts (inaugural Passive House projects) and seconds (renovations and rebirths). From going way beyond net zero to literally going back to nature, these high-class projects honor eco-friendliness and innovation.

This year’s Green Home of the Year award winners are about firsts (inaugural Passive House projects) and seconds (renovations and rebirths). From going way beyond net zero to literally going back to nature, these high-class projects honor eco-friendliness and innovation.

Read the full coverage here.

The expert panel of judges evaluated projects in terms of overall sustainability, resilience, synergy with the environment and surrounding neighborhood, affordability, creativity and the depth of building science employed.

While all of the projects that were submitted had interesting features, a few of the winners stand out.

This year’s overall winner is a home that is truly one with the environment. The MARTaK Passive House is an off-grid mountain retreat that achieves the highest performance standards even in an extreme, high-altitude climate.

The innovative applications of building science fundamentals give this cozy, Colorado-based hideaway high insulation values—even by passive house standards—with the thickest walls reaching R-120. The super-efficient home requires the equivalent of a stovetop burner for heating and relies on a modest 2.3 kW solar array. “We overbuilt,” Michler admitted with a smile.

Situated in a fire-prone landscape, the home takes advantage of metal roofing, cement board siding, wool board, and triple-pane windows to mitigate fire risk, and it has a rain catchment system designed to assist in fire suppression if necessary.

Our Mainstream Green category represents affordable, small footprint homes. This year’s winner, located in Roseville, MN , takes net zero to an entirely new level with a HERS Index score of -49 (yes, that’s negative 49—to offer some perspective on how insanely efficient that is, the home’s monthly energy savings could power a 1,200 square-foot house!)

Designed by SALA Architects and built by Hage Homes, the simple and functional home showcases how sustainability can be incorporated into a home of any size or price point, using passive house design, proper orientation, and features like overhangs to cost-effectively optimize energy use.

Water conservation is also a key feature of this home—storm water is creatively channeled and absorbed onsite into four rain gardens that, in turn, replenish groundwater and the local aquifer.    

The home also features super-efficient appliances, two EV charging stations, mineral wool insulation, recycled decking and countertops, LED lighting, sustainable furniture, low flow plumbing fixtures, and a ground source heat pump.

The Best Contemporary winner, a net-zero energy home in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, was designed by esteemed Dwell Development. The high performance, airtight home boasts an open floorplan, fluid spaces, clean lines, and abundant natural light, as well as a HERS Index score of 0.

The home features all LED lighting and electric power, efficient appliances, a solar thermal system (for water heating) and an air-to-water heat pump (for space heating and cooling.)

The award for Best Historic Remodel was awarded to an 111 year-old home in Minneapolis. The owners aspired to preserve and enhance the traditional character of the home, while making dramatic enhancements to the home’s sustainability and efficiency.

To reach a HERS Index score of -9, the owners deployed hydro-vacuumed expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, an air and vapor barrier, spray-foam insulation, triple paned windows, a ground source heat pump (for air heating and cooling), and LED lighting.

During the home’s first year of occupation, the 54-panel solar array produced 17,000 kW of solar, while only the home only used 12,000 kW.

Click here to read more about these and other Home of the Year award winners. As a part of the awards program coverage, Green Builder editors have identified many of the innovative products that were used in the homes. A special call out out to a handful of products that were featured in several of the homes, including Sherwin Williams low-VOC paint, James Hardie fiber cement siding, CertainTeed AirRenew drywall, Rockwool mineral wool insulation, and GeoComfort ground source heat pump.

Do you have a project that you’d like to submit for next year’s Green Home of the Year Awards? Write to

For more information about green building and sustainable living, visit Green Builder Media at, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for regular updates and breaking news.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cati O'Keefe
Follow >
Green Builder Media
since: 03/2010
Like >
Green Builder Media, LLC

Visit website