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Sterling Real Estate Group: 5-Star Family Home

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 in:
  • Case Studies

Ferndale’s first Built Green 5-Star certified home stays true to Sterling Real Estate Group’s mission of building sustainable custom homes that fit seamlessly into Whatcom County’s established neighborhoods. This professionally designed house combines northwest modern architecture with efficiency and beauty.

Vital Stats



Location: Ferndale
Star Level: 5-Star 
Checklist: Single-Family/Townhome
Verifier: E.Coe Company
Site and Water 153
Energy Efficiency 160
Health and Indoor Air Quality 127
Material Efficiency 119
  Total Score 622.13


The exterior of the house showcases local materials chosen for their durability and style. An 8.9 kW solar array brings the home close to net-zero annual energy consumption. The garage has been pre-wired for an EV charger. The attractively landscaped lot uses all native plants and bucks the suburban tradition of a water- and chemical-consuming lawn.

Sterling Builders Built Green 5-Star family home entryway

Passive solar features make the interior light and bright. The mini-split heat pump, SIPS walls, triple-paned windows, and the super-insulated slab and ceilings help keep the home comfortable year-round. The concrete slab was polished and sealed, requiring no additional flooring materials on the lower floor. WaterSense certified plumbing fixtures were used throughout to reduce water consumption without sacrificing functionality.

Built Green Highlights

Site and Water

  • No lawn
  • Landscaped with native plants
  • Hydro-zoned landscape design
  • All WaterSense-certified plumbing fixtures

Energy Efficiency

  • EnergyStar certified
  • Mini-split heat pump
  • HERS score = 11
  • 8.9 kW solar array
  • All LED lighting
  • Triple-paned windows
Sterling Builders Built Green 5-Star family home kitchen
Sterling Builders Built Green 5-Star family home living room
Sterling Builders Built Green 5-Star family home exterior with solar panels

Health and Indoor Air Quality

  • Indoor AirPLUS certified
  • All low-VOC and non-VOC interior finishes
  • All NAUF sheet materials in interior
  • Built-in shoe removal area at entryway

Materials Efficiency

  • SIPS panels for above-grade walls
  • Advanced framing used for interior walls & trusses
  • Concrete slab used for flooring
  • Locally produced windows
  • Recycled steel used for retaining walls
Sterling Builders Built Green 5-Star family home office
Sterling Builders Built Green 5-Star family home garage


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