While custom home clients may build houses on quality, most consumers buy houses based on size--the bigger the better. One Maryland builder is testing its market to see if potential buyers are willing to choose smaller, more efficient homes.

Camberley Homes, a division of Bethesda, Md.-based Winchester Homes, typically builds luxury homes measuring about 3,200 square feet and up, but the company is testing the market with a new line of homes, the Centennial Collection.

Built in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy and the NAHB Research Center, the home achieves 40% greater energy efficiency than a typical new home. Back in March, Stephen J. Nardella, senior vice president of operations at Winchester, told Builder that the home is a good opportunity for the company to get ahead of code changes that are likely coming and added that it was a good time to test the market for smaller, more energy-efficient homes.

“The Centennial Collection employs state-of-the-art construction methods and energy-saving features to provide a high-performance home that ultimately can save homeowners money and reduce their impact on the environment,” Alan Shapiro, president of Winchester Homes and Camberley Homes, says. “By exceeding the International Energy Conservation Code, we believe the Camberley Centennial Collection delivers a luxury home at the leading edge of the home building trend that satisfies the needs of today’s increasingly environmentally conscious consumer.”

Recently completed, The Branford model measures 2,600 square feet and is priced around $800,000.

Nigel F. Maynard is a senior editor for Builder magazine.