Green Home

Phil Kean Designs
Winter Park, Fla.

Project name: The Evergreen
Project location: Winter Park, Fla.
Square footage: 3,050
Total project cost (not land): $750,000

The objective was to build the first LEED Gold-certified home in central Florida and to make every element/product/function of the home have a green story behind it. Another goal was to show that a home can feature good design while also being green.

The scope was three bedrooms, four baths, an office, outdoor living areas, low utility bills, a rainwater collection system and rooftop terrace with a small green roof. The home was built as a LEED experiment and as a green showcase home. Challenges included finding the right products and systems, and evaluating the cost vs. benefit for each one. Regarding materials, each trade was asked to provide green options with supporting documentation. These products ranged from concrete that uses fly ash to green-labeled carpet.

Cost vs. benefit examples include: choosing not to use photovoltaics as they would not pay for themselves quickly enough, but using a solar water heater which pays for itself in one to two years.