The goal of net-zero living—eliminating energy bills and the carbon footprint of homeownership—is not new. But few firms have embraced this ethos more rigorously than Modern NetZero (MNZ), a high-tech architecture and design firm based on the East End of Long Island. MNZ designs and builds homes that improve their owners’ quality of life but also significantly decrease living costs and lower environmental impact.
Photo by Lena Yaremenko

“Our net-zero design is achieved by combining solar, geothermal, LED, insulation technology, and passive design, resulting in a sustainable lifestyle that is financially smart,” shares MNZ co-founder Marc Cléjan. “Over the course of a year, our proven technologies save a homeowner approximately $15,000 to $30,000. Even better, our homes have virtually no ongoing carbon footprint, and won’t contribute to pollution or climate change. The only footprint you leave will be in the sand,” he explains.
Architecture and design are not just business and science at MNZ. “They’re also a passion and a calling that we utilize to help us live in harmony with the environment,” he contends. “The guiding principle in our modernist designs is that form follows function: everything is there for a reason. Our goal is to build a progressive green home that is comfortably beautiful, full of light, healthy to live in, connects its occupants to the outdoors, and is net zero.”
Photo by By Todar Tsvetkov

These focused architectural criteria guide every decision made by the firm. The end result? Truly progressive and unique structures they believe represent the future of home design.
This is not surprising when you learn that Marc’s earliest inspiration came when he read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead at age 16. “That’s when I was first introduced to the philosophy guiding modern architecture at the time,” he explains. He began researching the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and others and discovered a key truth. “Architecture and design can be based on trying to hold on to outdated concepts from the past—or they can be part of a bold future based on innovation and principle,” he relates.
When Marc launched MNZ with his wife, Anna, the pair were determined to make progressive houses that create the future instead of following the past.
Photo by Lena Yaremenko

They believe architecture has to evolve and adapt new technologies, systems, and designs that will permit easily adaptable, cost-effective green homes. “It will no longer be about the ego of the architect or nostalgia for the past,” he says, “but simply about a better product. Just like Apple created a revolutionary phone, and Tesla created a revolutionary car, we are creating a revolutionary method of building and selling homes by bringing IT principles to home design and construction.”
He continues, “In ten years, you will be able to sit down at your computer and design and configure your net-zero home. You can have it built and delivered in six months at half the cost of today’s custom house. And the house will produce enough energy to power your electric car! Sixty percent of all energy today is consumed by built structures and cars, so this will radically reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, moving us into a more sustainable future.”
Photo by By Todar Tsvetkov

Meahwhile, Anna employs her background as an artist and designer to direct MNZ’s interior efforts. She ensures that no interior design compromises are made to accommodate the technology and engineering they put into a house. In fact, the connection their homes have to the outdoors is an essential part of her design process. “Through all the well-placed glass and windows,” she says, “Mother Nature provides our artwork.”

Photo by Kelli Delaney 

They’re on mission to create an environmentally conscious legacy that reflects their culture, promotes wellbeing, and enriches lives aesthetically and spiritually. And they’re succeeding.

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