A Home with Flat Roof Garage Saves Energy, and Helps the Environment

Mark and Lavonne Shermeyer’s York Township home isn’t your average suburban residence.


The 2,800 square-foot house, which Shermeyer, the president of York-based architecture firm SAA Architects, designed, incorporates many energy-saving and environmentally friendly features.

A high-efficiency geothermal heat pump heats the contemporary, three-bedroom, two-bath house, The roof extends over the windows at the front of the house to allow in light, but keep out the heat.

The roof is angled to accommodate the possible installation of solar panels. And the garage roof is flat, making it suitable to plant vegetation to absorb rainwater and prevent runoff.

LEED is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The U.S. Green Building Council awards LEED certification to buildings that are energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.

The home is about 44 percent more energy-efficient than the typical home and uses 30 percent less energy than the typical new home, said Heidi Kunka, a director for the U.S. Green Building Council in Harrisburg.

“It’s a bit of work, but it sets an example for someone in our profession,” Shermeyer said of obtaining LEED certification. “It’s the least we can do, the minimum we can do for sustainability and climate change.” This York Township home saves energy, and helps the environment