Synergy Perspective

Affordability redefined.
75% less energy cost for life. Two times longer maintenance cycles.
Welcome to Synergy. Welcome Home.

Synergy Time/Cost Graph

30-year total cost of ownership comparison: Synergy net-zero design versus Minnesota Energy Code baseline. Projected owner savings: $75,000

Synergy is a beacon for the 21st century renaissance of residential high-performance design. It is built on the world’s leading energy efficiency standard—Passive House. Within a building envelope that is designed to minimize maintenance cycles and age gracefully, it provides highest levels of comfort and healthy day-lit interiors. Synergy’s combination of amazing performance and built-in energy conservation make it a leapfrog performer that will save you money month after month, year after year. The extremely reduced environmental footprint and extensive use of green materials combine with highly functional floor plans and beautiful, customizable design to compliment your lifestyle.

Synergy is the essence of holistic design for sustainable homes.


The perfect fit.
Synergy offers flexible floor plans that adapt to your life situation.
Welcome to Synergy. Welcome Home.


Synergy offers a flexible layout that can fit many different lifestyles. Its compact 24’ x 38’ footprint offers almost  1,700 ft2 of usable space on two stories. Add a basement, and the living space can be increased to around 2,550 ft2. Whether you need 1, 2 or even 5 bedrooms, a single family home or duplex, Synergy can accommodate. The first floor offers an open living area with the kitchen at the heart. For those who prefer, the kitchen can be enclosed by adding walls. The main level is handicapped accessible, the bath and kitchen area are generously sized.

Synergy First Floor Plan

First Floor Plan, click to enlarge


Synergy Second Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan, click to enlarge


Synergy can be clad in various siding materials, all of which are installed in a way which extends their lifecycle. Its roofline can be custom-designed. Options include standing seam gable roofs or a vegetated (green) roof. Structural components and building materials come from environmentally responsible sources and are selected for low toxicity, high durability, low maintenance, and low embodied energy. On the inside you will find earth-friendly materials that complement Synergy’s holistic and sustainable design. Carefully selected fixtures help conserve energy and water. The suggested finishes are scrutinized for environmental and health impact, while providing durable and beautiful surfaces. As part of the overall sustainability strategy, Synergy is designed so it can be unbuilt at the end of its useful life, and become building materials once again.

Synergy rear perspective


Synergy can be custom-designed to suit your needs today and adapt to your life changes tomorrow.

Here are some examples:

Second floor walls can be built to create:

  • up to 4 bedrooms.
  • How about 2 bedrooms, an office, and a family room?
  • For loft living, skip interior walls and keep the stairwell open to the floor below. Use furniture or built-ins to create the spaces you need, when you need them.

The second floor can also be disconnected from the first floor and outfitted as an apartment with private entrance.

Synergy is flexible.


Amazingly cost-efficient.
Synergy is a smart allocation of resources—including your money.
Welcome to Synergy. Welcome Home.

Synergy Performance

Performance comparison is based on the Synergy model built to Minnesota State Building Energy Code (baseline) and the same design built to the Passive House building energy standard.


Synergy is a high-performance system based on the integrated design of assemblies, details and energy. Its performance can be scaled to fit your ambitions. The base model meets the Passive House building energy standard, which means a 90% reduction of heating energy, and a 75% reduction of overall energy use. The majority of the energy input is provided by the sun for free. If desired, Synergy can be fit with renewable systems to become net-zero, or even carbon-neutral. Traditional furnaces or boilers are no longer needed. At the same time, Synergy raises the bar for comfort and health inside.



Construction estimate: $250,000: < $150/SF (inside usable), or < $110/SF (gross exterior)

  • Tax credits and incentives: Min. $4,500
  • Projected annual energy consumption: 7,300 kWh
  • Projected monthly energy cost in 2011: $55
  • Total projected cost of ownership savings over 30 years: $50,000

Net-zero energy renewable energy option: $275,000

  • Tax credits and incentives: Min. $12,000
  • Monthly energy cost: $0
  • Total projected cost of ownership savings over 30 years: $75,000

Carbon-neutral renewable energy option: $285,000

  • Tax credits and incentives: Min. $15,000
  • Projected monthly energy income in 2011: $15

Disclaimer: We are a design firm, not a builder or developer—so here is the fine print about this case study: Base construction estimate is based on 2010 MN average construction cost for the building without land cost, holding cost, financing cost and other cost unrelated to construction. Energy cost and consumption numbers are estimates. Energy cost calculations are based on a 6.5%/yr increase in energy cost per the DOE 2009 Annual Energy Review. Total cost of ownership comparisons consider 1% of first-day cost for annual maintenance on typical model, and 1/2% for Synergy model. TE Studio does not guarantee the calculations and results presented in this document.

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