Arlington house makes a green statement

Construction is underway in what developers call the first super-energy-efficient single-family home of its kind in Arlington, a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, more than 3,000-square-foot silver-level LEED structure.

The house, at 5734 Eighth St. N., is being built with U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification in mind. Builders must demonstrate that they’ve adhered to the council’s standards on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in construction to receive certification.

“The decision to build ‘more green’ wasn’t really politically motivated for me, but a consequence of education and rather just made economic sense on a large scale,” says Waqas Ali, managing member of FMS Properties, a father-son home-building enterprise in business for more than 20 years and founded by his father, Hashmat Ali. “It’s irrational to build irresponsibly in the present at the expense of potential future costs incurred by environmental loss.”

Waqas Ali spent 2012 in Sweden earning a master’s degree in sustainable business from Lund University. FMS Properties began building small rental communities and condominium complexes, but, Ali says, “Many high-rises are already making the move toward LEED certification, but individual, single-family homes built under the LEED for homes program are a relatively new and unique phenomena. I’d like to be at the front of that.”

The dining room at Stone Manor, an inn in Lovettsville, Va. (Sean Shanahan/SEAN SHANAHAN)

The sustainable home, listed at $1.075 million, has a traditional design, with shingles, stone, and classic dormers and windows on the exterior. Inside, the house has 3,209 square feet and high-tech features, such as opacity-switching smart glass that allows you to shift the glass front door between opaque privacy mode and transparent mode.

Environmentally friendly features include construction techniques that create a tight thermal envelope, sustainable or reclaimed wood, energy-efficient hybrid appliances and a climate-control system that learns residents’ preferences.

Tip of the week

The uncluttered look is an important part of contemporary interior design, but every household has stuff that needs to be accessible yet easy to hide.

Italian design store Calligaris has created the smart yet attractive Spacebox desk to meet the twin desires for form and function. This sleek, wall-mounted desk offers plenty of open front compartments for storage along with a flat surface for work or play.

The surface folds up when not in use. The company suggests using this desk in the kitchen, study or a in a child’s room.

Calligaris started as a family-owned business 90 years ago in Italy and has expanded to more than 70 retail sites around the world. Locally, the Spacebox desk can be found at the Calligaris store at 5252 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

The desk retails for $528 and is available in matte optic white.

Enjoy the suite life at Stone Manor

If you’ve ever dreamed of opening a bed-and-breakfast and living a “Newhart”-like life, now’s your chance.

Stone Manor, a romantic and luxurious inn at the base of Short Hill Mountain in Lovettsville, is for sale. Buyers can continue providing a serene vacation spot for paying guests or convert the eight-bedroom, 71 / 2 bathroom inn into an expansive, private residence.

Surrounded by five international gold-star-rated vineyards, this 12-acre property rests in a woodland setting with expansive patios, stone walls and stairs, gardens and even a small vineyard of its own. Originally a private home built in 1918, the inn has hosted countless weddings and special events.

Stone Manor features dramatic interior spaces with stained-glass windows and ash wood accents. The main level has parlors and entertainment rooms, including a dining room for serving breakfast to guests. A circular staircase links the dining room to the library and music room, which overlook the vegetable and herb gardens. The inn has six guest suites with luxurious bathrooms and two additional bedrooms for the property owners.

Stone Manor has 7,196 square feet and is priced at $1.6 million. It costs $1.85 million for buyers who want to preserve the property as a business opportunity, and includes extensive furnishings and a client list. Contact Roy Melloni with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty at 703-863-0077 or go to .

Empty lot transformed for posh D.C. living

Columbia Heights, one of the District’s hottest neighborhoods, is about to go upscale.

Taja Construction/Investments is putting the finishing touches on a new two-unit, high-end condominium building at 1429 Meridian Place NW.

The penthouse unit includes a 1,000-square-foot rooftop deck with an eight-seat hot tub.

Taja Construction transformed an empty lot into the two-unit building.

Each three-bedroom, three-bathroom home has vaulted ceilings, walls of windows, hardwood flooring, Porcelanosa bathroom fixtures with double shower heads, high-end appliances, tankless water heaters, surround-sound systems, wireless security, and a smartphone-controlled entry system and thermostat.

The main-level unit, which has 1,120 square feet, is priced at $799,000.

The penthouse unit, which includes 1,197 square feet and is priced at $1.2 million, includes two flat-screen TVs.

Want a look at the units? A launch party, which is open to the public, will be held Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Contact Trent Heminger, a partner at Beasley Real Estate at 202-210-6448.

— Michele Lerner

Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.