We believe that home should be a space where meaningful touchpoints trigger emotion. Natural light, prevailing winds, letting nature indoors. Design should connect you to a space.

That’s smart living.



Modern Smart Homes was founded by five partners who have a passion for modern design and living. We bring decades of experience in architecture, interior design and construction. Together, we are a practice that is committed to this idea of smart living, by design.

Our Goal is to support you in building or renovating your modern home by guiding you through the process, from site selection to project completion. This is an exciting design journey we’ll navigate together, with our team ensuring a seamless process every step of the way.

Our Expertise in the areas of architecture, green building practices (LEED), interior design, landscape architecture and project management means the process of creating your Modern Smart Home is, well, smart. We take a practical, sustainable approach to ensure efficiencies in the home design/build process.


Ricky Benos
Partner / Architect

Brian Giovinazzi
Partner / Builder

David Krebs
Partner / Architect

Tom Liggett
Partner / Architect

David Maddux
Partner / Architect

Scott Richardson
Partner / Interior Designer


Tracy van der Kuil
Interior Designer

Greg Ernst

Brian Kauffman

Sergiu Stoian
Project Manager / Visualization

Susan Krebs
Finance Director




What is a Modern Smart Home?


In a Modern Smart Home, you feel aware.
You feel connected. You feel both at peace and empowered.
That’s what happens when Smart Design, Smart Nature,
Smart Construction and Smart Systems are at work.

Smart design begins with how you want to live. This includes your daily life and interaction with other people. It involves combining public and private places. It is about connecting the indoors to nature outside—incorporating natural light and ventilation. The house can be a retreat away from the rest of the world and still be very connected to its surroundings.
Smart nature is capitalizing on a site’s natural assets. It means capturing the sun’s angles, ushering its heat and light indoors. Smart nature is understanding prevailing winds and site orientation. The smart house will responds to nature, exploiting its attributes and softening its harsh effects, every season.
Smart systems is the functioning technology in the house. We analyze the heating and cooling systems, lighting controls, drainage, electrical supply, water usage, and solar and wind availability. Systems can include geothermal, radiant floors, solar panels, rain water gardens, gray water toilets, low flow faucets, Energy Star appliances, windmills, and beyond. Each site requires distinct systems. We pursue the most cost-effective and reliable technology for each property—that’s working smart.
Smart construction is achieved through finding the most sustainable, efficient way to construct a home of durable, long-lasting integrity. We achieve this by reducing construction waste and employing innovative framing techniques. Smart construction is also realized by using materials that are local, upcycled, moisture-resistant or offer high insulation values. The home construction must be consistent with design integrity. Design, durability and cost are analyzed—value always leads.

What is green?


Truthfully, there is not a single definition that is universally accepted. Similar to the food industry using the term all-natural, green in housing
is a term that can be diluted without smart, experienced design in play.

At MSH, we consider a home green when it conserves energy, reduces water use, saves on resources, and lessens the impact on public infrastructure. Green homes use sustainable materials, improve
air quality and tap into nature’s great energy sources: wind and sunlight.


There are a number of residential rating systems that are point-based spreadsheets qualifying a home as “green” if it meets certain criteria.
Two of the most popular are LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) and NAHB (National Association of Home Builders).
LEED was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the most widely recognized rating system for commercial construction.

MSH has achieved the highest rated home possible in the rating system with the LEED Platinum on the Treehouse project. It was a rare achievement with
only four other custom homes in the state earning
that rating.

The purpose of rating systems is to educate homeowners, builders, architects, suppliers and manufacturers. There are many choices to be made on a construction project. The more a team is aware of available options and the magnitude of decisions, the more likely a project is to be green and sustainable. Some decisions will be nothing more than a matter of specifying the correct product while others may have a cost associated.

Our goal is to define all opportunities to create green homes for clients, and analyze the value of those options based on return on investment, long- and short-term impact and environmental impact.