MIAMI -- Attendees of the Miami-Dade Does Green Affordably Symposium toured a prototype green single-family home, a joint project of University of Miami Green Building and Palmetto Homes, on Nov. 12.
The home, constructed with insulating concrete forms, demonstrates how a single-family house can be built affordably using environmentally friendly materials, techniques and mechanical systems. It is the first LEED certified home to be built in Miami.
According to architect Steve Luria, RA, of Roomscapes Inc., the 2,000-sq.ft. home features a "tight shell," which will make the home energy efficient and keep ongoing energy costs low. The home also is certified as a "fortified" house, which means saving 50% on insurance. The house has impact-resistant windows, a hip-shaped roof, extra nailing on the roof and reinforced concrete walls.
Features that helped earn LEED certification for the home, in addition to the air-tight construction, are rainwater collection, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, a tankless water heater, additional ceiling and water pipe insulation and eco-friendly finishes. All appliances are Energy Star rated.
"Most green items have an additional up front cost, but result in savings on energy bills in the long run. We compared those costs to the cost of traditional concrete block construction, and we found this house will cost about 8% more to construct," Luria estimated.
The estimated annual energy and water savings are approximately $2,000, according to Florida Power & Light and the Florida Green Building Coalition.