Projects / New Homes      Arlington, Virginia

Metro Green

"It is refreshing to work with KTA. By pairing thoughtful design with affordable and practical approaches to energy efficiency/sustainability, they make a builder's job easy."
Patty Shields, GC - Metro Green


  • Certified LEED for Homes Platinum
  • Best Single Family Home 2009: Virginia Sustainable Building Network


Located in the heart of Arlington, Virginia, Metro Green is certified LEED Platinum for Homes, and it won the Best Single Family Home award from the Virginia Sustainable Building Network. The project presented an important challenge to the Kaplan Thompson Architects team: Could we create an affordable three-bedroom home that would be a practical example of sustainable living—in a bustling suburban neighborhood? We wanted to demonstrate that there are ways to increase density in our desirable older neighborhoods while still being great neighbors.


Patty Shields, the project’s general contractor, noted, “It is refreshing to work with Kaplan Thompson Architects. By pairing thoughtful design with affordable and practical approaches to energy efficiency and sustainability, they make a builder’s job easy.” We were constrained by required setbacks at the lot’s edges, so we hewed closely to those complex angles and made creative use of the spaces these forms revealed.

We reached upward for open space from each corner, creating a generous roof deck and a third-story studio. The side walls of the house roll upward and transform into roofs at the garage and the south-facing high roof in one continuous movement, which provides space for solar hot water panels and future photovoltaic panels. The street-facing façade balances the benefits of southern light and the need for privacy by using custom nanogel-filled polycarbonate glazing panels that bring filtered light into the living room and primary bedroom.

The green roof and on-site water catchment tanks retain stormwater after large storms, and all other roof surfaces route to rain barrels for landscape watering. All the plantings are non-invasive and drought-tolerant. The building has SIP walls, which heavily reduce thermal bridging, provide superior insulation, and drastically speed construction. It also has a fully insulated basement, a highly efficient ground source heat pump for heating and cooling, and double-glazed argon-filled windows.


  • Year Completed

  • Cost

  • Gross Floor Area

    5000 sq ft
  • Beds

  • Baths

  • Partners

    Metro Green, LLC
    Fore Solutions

Sustainability Achievements


  • Walkable location
  • Near public transportation
  • Sustainable landscape
  • Green roof
  • Native plantings
  • Ecological Stormwater Management
  • Resilient landscape design


  • Designed for durability
  • Designed for low maintenance
  • Low global warming potential insulation


  • Fresh air ventilation system for indoor air quality
  • Visual connection to the outdoors
  • Low-VOC finishes
  • Formaldehyde-free building


  • Rainwater capturing system
  • Low-flow fixtures
  • Designed to maintain natural drainage patterns
  • Landscaping requires little water


  • Uses passive design strategies
  • Fresh air ventilation system with heat recovery
  • Super-insulated
  • High Quality Air-tight construction: 1.5 ACH50
  • Has achieved LEED Platinum Certification
  • HERS score of 40