The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index for New Homes by Miller & Smith

Each of our Miller & Smith homes are designed with even the smallest details at the forefront of our construction plans. From start to finish we’re always planning ahead to ensure your home will run as efficiently as possible.  Some of our home energy efficient features we offer include:

  • Fiberglass exterior doors to help control your monthly heating and cooling bills
  • Low-E glass windows to help filter out harmful UV rays and keep your home cool
  • Weatherization barrier systems that prevent leaks and drafts in your insulation
  • HVAC systems designed specifically to benefit your home’s heating and cooling costs
  • Well-insulated roofing that improves your attic ventilation, moving hot air up and away from your home
  • Energy Seal Packages that help insulate all lower levels, keeping excess moisture out and warm temperatures in
  • Climate controlled I-level trusses and beams to ensure optimal strength and durability of your home
  • Flowguard Gold CPVC pipes and fittings, designed to bring cleaner water into your home (compared to copper pipes)
  • Environmentally friendly materials used throughout each home, as well as energy savings using ENERGY STAR® thermostats, refrigerators, and dishwashers

We make sure to incorporate these features in every home for one simple reason – we know just how important energy savings are to your new home experience. To find out how much of an impact ENERGY STAR® makes on Miller & Smith homes, let us take you through the HERS Rating and how it determines energy efficiency in your new home.

HERS stands for “Home Energy Rating System” and is used to rate the projected energy efficiency of a home compared to one that meets all of the requirements of the latest residential energy code (also known as the International Energy Conservation Code or IECC). When a home is rated, everything from the construction plans to onsite inspections and testing are taken into account and performed by a certified Home Energy Rater. The Rater inputs the results into an analyzing software system that determines projected energy usage. If your new home has an ENERGY STAR® certification, that means the Home Energy Rater worked with Miller & Smith directly to ensure ENERGY STAR® performance guidelines were met.

Once construction plans are analyzed, onsite inspections are completed and typically include testing door, window and duct leaks. Results are then combined and used to generate a final HERS rating. This final number will range from 0 (most energy efficient) to 100 (least energy efficient). The reference home (or the home that meets all requirements) will always remain at a HERS rating of 100, so if your home has a rating of 85, it is still 15% more energy efficient than the reference home.

ENERGY STAR® and Miller & Smith work together to ensure your new home is energy efficient and has the best HERS rating possible. To learn more about Miller & Smith’s energy efficient homes, take a look at what’s behind-the-walls of your new home.


McLean, VA, (October 11, 2018) — Miller & Smith is thrilled to announce their outstanding success at the 2018 Great American Living Awards (GALA) Ceremony held Thursday, October 4, 2018 in Tysons, VA. Miller & Smith took honors in the following categories:


Best Design & Architecture in Detached Home (Lot less than 7,000 square feet and priced from $700,000 to $850,000)

  • Aria at Brambleton West Park


Best Design & Architecture in Attached Home (Priced from $500,000 to $600,000)

  • Mayfair at Brambleton Garden District


Best Design & Architecture in Attached Home (Priced from $700,000 to $850,000)

  • Belgrave at Brambleton Garden District


Best Design & Architecture in Attached Home (Priced more than $850,000)

  • 1LX at Upper West at One Loudoun


Award of Merit for Outstanding Living Space or Architectural Feature

  • 1LX at Upper West at One Loudoun Pied A’ Terre (4th Level)


Award of Merit for Architecture & Design (Priced more than $850,000)

  • 1L at Upper West at One Loudoun


Award of Merit for Outstanding Implementation of Innovative Design Concepts for a Product Line

  • Upper West at One Loudoun


Award of Merit for Sales Office, Rental Office, Information Center – Model Homes Sales Center

  • Brambleton Garden District Sales Center and Design Gallery


Best Interior Merchandising in Attached Home (Priced from $700,00 to $850,000)

  • Belgrave at Brambleton Garden District


Best Interior Merchandising in Attached Home (Priced more than $850,000)

  • 1LX at Upper West at One Loudoun


Outstanding Sales Person in Attached Home (Priced from $550,000 to $700,000)

  • AnnTrisha Ramrattan


Outstanding Sales Rookie

  • Jackie Martinez


Best Innovative Land Planning  

  • One Loudoun


Best Integrated Marketing Campaign: Master Planned/Mixed-Use Community

  • One Loudoun


“We’re thrilled to be honored among some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the industry,” said Doug Smith, president of Miller and Smith. “This year was particularly exciting for Miller & Smith, and we are thrilled to see the GALA honors reflect our momentum.”

The Great American Living Awards (GALA) celebrates excellence in new home architecture, interior design and sales and marketing. The ceremony is presented annually by the Washington Metropolitan Sales & Marketing Council (WMSMC), the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA)



New Three-Level Garden Townhomes, Inspired by New York’s Gramercy Park, Arrive in Loudoun County

Miller & Smith, the Washington region’s most award-winning home builder and real estate developer, is pleased to introduce the West Village townhome collection offered exclusively at One Loudoun.


A neighborhood of 40 new homes, West Village at One Loudoun offers homebuyers views of West Village Square, One Loudoun’s secret garden neighborhood park which was inspired by New York’s famed Gramercy Park. The three-level West Village townhomes provide up to 2,900 square-feet of living space with 3-4 bedrooms and up to 3.5 baths. Features of the new townhomes include open floorplans, oversized windows with unparalleled park views, designer GE kitchens and seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces with a partially covered terrace.


West Village is located along Russell Branch Parkway just west of Central Park and near the heart of Downtown One Loudoun, where residents are steps away from shopping, dining, entertainment and local community events. Additionally, the close proximity to Route 7, the Dulles Greenway and Loudoun County Parkway, provides residents with easy access to Washington, D.C. and Washington Dulles International Airport.


“Our vision for West Village was to blend bold architecture and contemporary lines with classic elegance and endless amenities,” said Doug Smith, president of Miller & Smith. “Coupled with One Loudoun’s ability to provide a unique social hub, West Village matches city living with the serenity of a wooded oasis and a peaceful garden aesthetic.”


West Village townhomes start from the mid-$600s. The grand reveal and model opening is scheduled for October 13, 2018. For more information on West Village at One Loudoun, click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook and Twitter.


Media Alert (October 8, 2018): Miller & Smith, the Washington region’s most award-winning home builder and real estate developer, is pleased to announce its fall festival, “Octourberfest” at Tallyn Ridge.



WHEN: Saturday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


WHAT: Join Drees Homes and Miller & Smith for a FREE, family-friendly fall festival. Attendees can tour and trick-or-treat in five brand new single family and townhome models and enter to win a $500 gift card. Kid-friendly activities include face painting, an inflatable bounce house, a corn maze and pumpkin patch, fall treats, plus pulled pork & pit chicken from Blues BBQ.


WHERE: Located just two miles from downtown Frederick, Tallyn Ridge is the county’s newest neighborhood and only parkside community with mountain views. “Octourberfest” will be held at 5600 Scott Ridge Place, Frederick, MD 21704.


For more information on Tallyn Ridge, click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook and Twitter.

About Miller & Smith:

Founded in 1964, Miller & Smith has been one of the Washington area’s top privately owned buildings and development firms for over 50 years. Active in both residential and commercial real estate, the company has earned a reputation for creating innovative and imaginative homes and communities. In 2017, Miller & Smith sold 113 single-family home and 185 townhomes. Miller & Smith has built 6,100+ single-family homes, nearly 9,400 townhomes and 2,200+ condominiums, and has developed approximately 13,770 homesites in 130 communities throughout Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The company is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. The company is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. For more information, click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.

Meet Our Sales Manager at the Stafford Collection at Embrey Mill: Debora Flora

Debora Flora has been helping families smoothly navigate the purchase of their Miller & Smith home for over five years. When Debora isn’t working, you can probably catch her watching a football game. She’s eagerly awaiting the official kickoff of fall so she can draft her fantasy football league. Fall is also Debora’s favorite time of year to show families the magic of Embrey Mill, home to nearly 300 acres of parks and open space.

Q: What’s one thing that people are surprised to learn about you?

A: When I say I know what homebuyers are going through its because I once moved 19 times in 19 years. I’m a real life army brat, and I definitely perfected the art of moving. While I’ve been settled in the Washington area for over 30 years now, I still remember what it’s like to be in that transitional time of life. It’s why I always guide my clients through the process of home buying so that they always feel cared for. For me, job one is to help people feel rooted in their community, and of course, their beautiful Miller & Smith home.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

A: The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to help people take a big leap towards their dreams. It’s pretty neat I can say that’s what I do for a living! Getting to the core of what a family envisions allows me to help them create a home that excites them today and continues to work well for many years to come. Whether it’s a young family looking to grow, or retirees looking for a home base between travels, I love showing my clients all the ways Miller & Smith at Embrey Mill can work for them.

Q: What’s makes your homes such a great value at Embrey Mill?

A: The open floor plans in the Stafford Collection are stunning, but one of my favorite features is the way our garage shifts create unique indoor and outdoor living spaces. We’re the only builder doing this in Embrey Mill and it’s such a great design feature. It allows for so much usable private backyard space, perfect for a large patio that lives like an outdoor family room. I also have to mention the amazing community events offered to residents. Movies on the lawn, concerts in the bistro, live animal shows, outdoor yoga, stargazing, fun runs, and more. Time and again I hear from homeowners that their favorite part about Embrey Mill is the one of a kind community perks and amenities.
Stop in to say hi to Debora today at our brand new Hartwood model home, just steps from Embrey Mill’s newest amenities coming soon!

Meet Our Tallyn Ridge Sales Manager: Jackie Martinez

Jackie Martinez may have been born and raised in Virginia, but she has fully embraced her Miller & Smith home away from home in Frederick, Maryland. She loves being part of Tallyn Ridge and helping people discover what she herself discovered about Frederick. This town rocks! Some of the coolest, most creative boutiques, cafes, coffee shops and wine bars line the streets of downtown Frederick just two miles away. Jackie can’t wait to tell you about her favorites, so stop by and say hi today.

Q: What are people surprised to learn about you?
A: I think people are surprised to learn I have a degree in Biology. They wonder how I went from the studying life and living organisms to becoming a sales manager for Miller & Smith. For me, the thread that ties them together is my curiosity. I ask lots of questions. I enjoy getting to know people and learning what makes them tick. The best part is I get to help them create a home I know they’re going to love because it truly fits them and their personality.
Q: What are people surprised to learn about Tallyn Ridge?
A: The land here is special. It really is. I think people are surprised the first time they drive into the community and start looking around. Tallyn Ridge is up on a perch so there are views of the mountain valley. We’re also literally connected to Pinecliff Park. In fact, we have trails from the community that lead to acres of open space, ball fields, a boat launch on the Monocacy River, even picnic pavilions which people can reserve for family events. People love it.
Q: What’s your favorite design feature in your Townhome collection?
A: I think you’ll find our townhomes at Tallyn Ridge have all the features people expect from Miller & Smith. They feel very open and modern inside. Amazing kitchens and Great Rooms. Spacious Owners’ Suites. And plenty of storage. But what really makes them special is how they capture the beauty of our setting. Large windows fill every level with natural light and indoor/outdoor living spaces let people enjoy the beauty of Tallyn Ridge from the comfort of their home.
If you are interested to learn more about Frederick County’s most sought-after new home community, just steps to Pinecliff Park and Tallyn Ridge’s future pool, give Jackie a call at 240.439.4665.

Meet Our West Park at Brambleton Sales Manager: Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen is the consummate real estate pro, and for over 11 years now we’ve been fortunate to have him on our Miller & Smith team. This lifelong Virginia resident has a particular fondness for the beach, water, and all things outdoors. Which is one of the reasons he’s excited to be working at West Park at Brambleton. From the nearby trails, ponds and parks, to great outdoor community events, there’s so much to enjoy. For the full story, stop by Eric’s model and say hello today.


Q: What are people surprised to learn about you?
A: Well for starters, I’ve owned more boats than cars in my lifetime. I’ve been water skiing since age 12, and I really enjoy being active outdoors. So to me, Brambleton’s appeal goes way beyond the Town Center or convenience to the Dulles Corridor. If you like spending time outdoors, you’ll love the miles of trails that wind throughout the community—including a new section of trail that’s under construction right by West Park. And be sure to tell your dog about the new dog park that’s coming soon.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: I’ve been working with Miller & Smith homebuyers for well over a decade, in communities throughout Virginia and Maryland. I definitely enjoy the process of going from first meeting to final home design and seeing people fall in love with their new home. One of the best parts of my job is running into past customers. Reconnecting and learning what they’ve been up to is really rewarding, and proves that buying a home is so much more than a transaction. I’ve been fortunate to create some really great relationships with people during my time with Miller & Smith.
Q: What makes your homes unique and appealing to families?
A: When people tour our decorated model for the first time, they’re often surprised by just how large it is. In fact, with some available extensions and a finished lower level, you can have up to 4,200 square feet of living space. The kitchen center island can include a built-in tabletop to comfortably seat six people. Even the garages are large—24 feet wide, which means plenty of room for your own boat, and all of your other recreation gear. And if you want to create a studio suite over the garage, for an in-law or college grad, we can accommodate this too. It’s really flexible and perfect for families of all sizes.

A Day with Kerra Michele: Interior Design Pro

If you haven’t heard of Kerra Michele Interiors, then you are in for a treat! This gal is a super talented interior designer, but what many of you don’t know if you have not met Kerra, is that she’s also a very pleasant and genuinely nice person. Her down-to-Earth personality, cool girl style, and passion for her business make Kerra a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps, these are just the very reasons why she has been so successful!


It was a hot summer day in July when Kerra met up with us at Cayden Ridge before her design consultation with the winning homeowners from our One Visit Experience. Just to give you an idea of how awesome she is, this day happened to be her first day back from vacation, and her idea of the perfect vacation was a road trip through the Midwest with her dog.


Before her meeting, she so kindly agreed to sit down for a LIVE Q&A video with us so we could pick her brain and let you all get to know her more. Before the Q&A, we chatted with her about her road trip adventures, her cute as a button dog, and how excited she was to get started on this next project. Kerra is very easy to talk to and it definitely shows in our video! (See the full interview here.)


From a young age, Kerra could be found creating, but mostly she remembers frequently playing with building blocks and Lincoln logs as a child. She says, “From day one I was destined to be doing interiors or building in some way and just continued to live my life in a creative space.” As she went to school and grew into her career, she started a design blog to get her “creative energy” out there in place of settling for an unpaid internship, and eventually, her blog generated clients and that grew into her own business.


Today, Kerra would be getting to know our One Visit Experience winners, Brianna and Sean Chitsaz, to begin helping them design their dream home at Cayden Ridge. Her favorite parts of designing for her clients are firstly, getting to know them, and secondly, revealing her work to them at the end of the process.


First, Kerra sat down with them and went through the floorplan of their new Hedgebrook home. She had the couple pull out all of the samples that they had previously chosen with our team, including countertops, cabinets, and backsplash, to get a better idea of their style and what the spaces will look like. They then went through the plan to talk about how Brianna and Sean would envision each space.



The next part was very exciting, because they got to go into our Hedgebrook model home for a walkthrough. They went from room to room, talked about the best ways to use the spaces, what styles they liked, and everything in between! Kerra says, “My favorite part is getting to know the people who come to me. Getting to know their style and their personalities, and then translating that into the design of the space.”

After the three walked through our model home, they went a little bit further into details of the interests, colors, and styles that Brianna and Sean want in their home. We won’t give away too much about that just yet because we hope to share some of the “big reveal” later on!


Thank you so much to Kerra Michele and huge congratulations to Sean and Brianna for winning a design consultation with her at our One Visit Experience! Check out Kerra’s portfolio at and learn more about our new homes on our website.


New Miller & Smith Survey Shows Homebuyers Seek to Improve Quality of Life While Remaining in DMV Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Data Shows 1 in 5 Families Willing to Bare Longer Commutes, in Exchange for Location and Size

MCLEAN, VA (June 20, 2018) – Miller & Smith, the Washington region’s most award-winning homebuilder, released a study today that reveals the factors D.C. residents consider when purchasing new homes. The study suggests that while families continue to opt to live in the Metro D.C. area despite changing priorities and needs based on life stages, they often choose to move further out into areas of Virginia/Maryland to accommodate these needs.

“It’s so important as a homebuilder to stay on top of the ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’ features that are most important to our customers.” Says Kim Ambrose, VP of Marketing for Miller & Smith. “We take this information very seriously since we are a design driven builder that rarely builds the same home twice. We’re always changing and innovating not only our floorplans but also the finishes and features. This study will help shape the homes we’ll be offering in the future.”

Miller & Smith conducted the study over a twelve-week period during its “One Visit Experience” road show in early 2018. More than 100 respondents from the Virginia/MD area provided their opinions on everything from what they look for most when buying a home to what they expect to gain from moving into a new home. Many respondents expressed a desire for an open concept floorplan with upscale features like modern kitchens not found in the regions older housing stock.

The full survey breakdown provides a detailed view of homebuyer perspectives:

Location and Size Are the Two Things Homebuyers Look for Most

  • 40% of homebuyers say the location of the home they’re buying is the most important factor.
  • 20% of homebuyers say the size of the home they’re buying is the most important factor

A New Home Creates Better Memories and Feelings

  • 40% also say a new home will allow them to create better memories with their families or will cause them to feel better in life – either they’ll feel more peaceful, more settled, or more pride in themselves.

Open Concept, Modern Homes Remain All the Rage

  • 34% of homebuyers said open concept homes are their favorite trend
  • Almost one in five said modern kitchens – with islands or conservatory style – are their favorite home trend

Life Stage Plays a Major Role in the Decision to Buy

  • Almost 20% of homebuyers are looking to move to a new home because of their age/stage of life.
  • Birth of children have been a longtime driver of marriages and moving to a new home. But now the aging baby boomers are a strong reason why 15% of homebuyers today are downsizing.

Children Are the First Considered Factors

  • 17% look at school systems first when considering a new home.
  • 16% look at the layout and cleanliness of the neighborhood first when considering a new home.


About Miller & Smith:

Founded in 1964, Miller & Smith has been one of the Washington area’s top privately owned buildings and development firms for over 50 years. Active in both residential and commercial real estate, the company has earned a reputation for creating innovative and imaginative homes and communities. In 2017, Miller & Smith sold 113 single-family home and 185 townhomes. Miller & Smith has built 6,100+ single-family homes, nearly 9,400 townhomes and 2,200+ condominiums, and has developed approximately 13,770 homesites in 130 communities throughout Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The company is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. For more information click here or follow Miller & Smith on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


5 Things That Could Make a Neighborhood The One For You

If you have browsed our website, you may have noticed a few similarities between the descriptions of all of our new home communities. Perhaps just as or more important than loving your new home, is loving the neighborhood and community in which it is located. Below, we have listed five features of a Miller & Smith community that could make a specific one, the right one for you and your family:


  1. Outdoor space

Not only is it important for you and your family to have outdoor spaces to enjoy, but the American Pet Products Association has reported that 44% of all households in the U.S. own a dog. This means that a large percentage of people also need plenty of outdoor space for their furry friends to roam. All of our neighborhoods are close to outdoor spaces, whether it be trails, parks, sidewalks winding throughout the community, or your own backyard. Better yet, many of our communities are located so close to parks that you can walk there from your new home.



  1. Universal curb appeal

It’s no secret that when you enter a neighborhood that looks nice, good vibes will ensue. If you haven’t seen facades of our new homes before, you are in for a treat. We have some of the best in the industry. From our modern urban townhomes at Upper West One Loudoun to the more traditional looking Cayden Ridge single-family homes, our designs will blow you away, inside and out.


Upper West at One Loudoun


  1. Close to everything, but away from the noise

No one likes to hear the rush of rush hour right inside of their own home. This is why Miller & Smith carefully chooses locations far enough away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas, but close enough to the conveniences your family needs on a daily basis. You will find everyday conveniences such as restaurants, stores, healthcare, and schools just a short drive away from any new Miller & Smith home.


  1. Access to transportation or major highways

For many of our homeowners, commuting or travelling for work is just a way of life. It is important to make sure that a new community offers everything you need to make your life easier, including a short drive to major highways, trains, or bus stations. If a daily commute is a part of your routine, our conveniently located communities will ensure you spend less time on the go, and more time relaxing in your new home.

  1. Top schools

As important as it is for your home to be close to work, public transportation, or a grocery store, it is just as important to be located in a great school district if you have children or have plans for children in the future. One of the advantages of choosing a Miller & Smith community, is that we only build homes where we know your kids will get a great education in a place known for fostering learning and growth! Here are some quick links to get you information on all of the school districts where new Miller & Smith homes are located:


Loudoun County Public Schools – 2nd Best School District in VA

Stafford County Public Schools – 17th Best School District in VA

Prince William County Public Schools – 27th Best School District in VA

Frederick County Public Schools – 3rd Best School District in MD


Just one visit to any of our communities and everything could change. Learn more about all of our Miller & Smith new home locations in Virginia and Maryland here.