Queen of Zero2024-04-17T14:14:36-04:00


Symbi Homes and The Journal of Light Construction Presents

The Queen of Zero

A New High Performance Queen Anne Victorian Home — National Capitol Region

Designed by architect Michael Romero, construction will soon begin on this brand new, ground-up net zero Queen Anne Victorian-style custom single-family home in a historic neighborhood of Prince George’s County, MD, just outside Washington DC. Queen of Zero’s aesthetic will pay homage to the ornate and stately Victorian era of the late 19th Century, while incorporating technologically advanced materials and building science techniques including Tesla solar shingles, energy-efficient heat pumps, and an exterior shell of structurally insulated panels (SIPS). Pursuing Zero Energy Ready Homes certification with the US Department of Energy, this project will be a demonstration model for building high quality, resilient, and durable homes 85-95% more efficient than the typical new build.


Project Updates

Queen of Zero Rainscreen Details

In this article, Nicole shares rainscreen flashing and trim details for our Queen of Zero project. "Exterior rainscreens provide a small (roughly 3/4 inch) air gap between siding finish material and the home’s weather resistant[...]

Is ‘Sustainable’ Home Building Finally Taking Root?

During Design and Construction Week 2024, JLC Contributing Editor Nicole Tysvaer interviewed more than a dozen homebuilding professionals about various products supporting sustainability in the built environment. This article offers some highlights. Read the[...]

Profiles by Profile: Queen of Zero

Thank you to GE Profile for including Symbi Homes in their “Profiles by Profile” series. In this video, Nicole shares details about Queen of Zero, the importance of sustainable building, and why Symbi Homes loves[...]

A Modern Interpretation of the Victorian Porch

As framing continues at our Queen of Zero 2024 JLC Case Study project in Maryland, the unique architectural details of this Victorian-inspired home are coming to life. Nicole's most recent article highlights one such modification involving[...]

Why Aren’t More Homes Built This Way?

In Nicole's most recent article for the Journal of Light Construction, she asks: why aren't more homes built with SIPs? And what will it take for panel construction to go mainstream? At Symbi Homes, we[...]

High Performance from the Ground Up

Basement slab insulation for a net-zero home Building a sustainable home aspiring to “net zero” performance, a home that produces as much energy as it consumes each year, begins with a meticulous plan for[...]

History of the Queen of Zero Project

Purchased by long-time PG County residents in 2009, the original 1901 Victorian tragically burned down in July 2020. Although none of the existing structure is salvageable, the homeowner says it was “never a question” of whether he would rebuild on his premium lot in this historic community, designing a near exact replica of the burnt structure. “I saw this new build as an opportunity,” explains the homeowner, “the house I owned was built to last the previous 100 years. I want to build a house that will last the next 100 years.”

Nicole Tysvaer of Symbi Homes was recruited as the Director of Sustainability for the project in early 2022. Tysvaer spearheaded the effort to adapt the Victorian design to a modern standard of efficiency, comfort and resilience that will achieve net zero performance, producing as much energy as it consumes each year. Regarding her contribution, the homeowner has boasted that he “can’t say enough about how instrumental [Tysvaer] has been in helping work through the conceptualization and prepare for the execution of the net-zero energy aspects of the project.”

Tysvaer and architect Michael Romero are part of Queen of Zero’s all=star team of veteran high performance building professionals that includes: Site Supervisor Matt Kulp of DAKS Builders, Green Rater Kelly Gillespie of Kelly Green Energy Raters, and Interior Designer Daniel Santaella of UNIK Creative Studio.

JLC Case Study 2024

Queen of Zero has been selected by the Journal of Light Construction (JLC) as a focal case study of their online and print publication through Summer 2024. Under the direction of JLC Chief Editor Clayton DeKorne, Tysvaer has joined the magazine’s editorial staff and will produce a regular column on Queen of Zero’s progress, as well as weekly social media posts. Stay tuned for more information about manufacturer sponsorships of the project that will showcase innovation, sustainability and the highest quality of residential design and construction materials.

About Symbi Homes

Award-winning Symbi Homes designs and builds net zero homes. Past Symbi projects were featured as demonstration homes for Custom Builder in 2021 and ProRemodeler Magazine in 2022. As a leader in sustainable single-family home design and construction, Symbi Homes works to educate homeowners and building professionals on the key components and benefits of building high-performance homes. Check out our blog posts and Instagram videos.

For More Information

Contact Symbi Homes CEO Nicole Tysvaer at (202) 450-8272, nicole@symbihomes.com.


Symbi Homes is grateful for the support of our exceptional Queen of Zero sponsors who are helping lead the way in sustainable homebuilding:

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