Green – SRD Builders in Boca Raton to have multiple certifications on new Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club home. By John Johnston Al Gore took credit for inventing the Internet – so it’s not surprising that he’s also taking a lot of credit for what’s become a dramatic shift from viewing environmental concerns as automatically being economically unfriendly, to a nation now where, and if you’re not “green” then just get the heck oughta town. Both providers and consumers are now recognizing the benefits of going green – but what is “green”? In general, being green means purchasing green equipment, materials, even clothing; designing and building green solutions; paying attention to energy consumption, and disposing of and recycling hardware conscientiously – all of which helps us:
- Save cash on energy.
- Meet consumer demand for cleaner, more eco-friendly products.
- Appeal to consumers and partners who want to afflilate with and patronize green firms.
- Comply with government regulations.
- Take care of the planet – its animals, plants and humans.
And there’s also agreement that the recent economic downturn is actually making “green” (with its investment in energy saving and pollution control) more economically attractive, i.e., the Bank of America is committed to investing more than $20 billion in corporate green plans, products and services in the next decade. None of this is lost on veteran Boca Raton homebuilders, SRD Builders. Building homes for 18 years in Boca Raton, SRD is now building a 6,669 square foot “eco-luxury green” home in Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club – one of seven SRD homes under construction there. SRD, which will have built a total of 77 homes in Royal Palm when the current seven are completed, has been “building with green practices for awhile now,” SRD President Scott Dingle said, adding: “But this will be our first certified home.”
Anyone can (and many do) claim to be green – but it’s the certification that makes the claim more than just a marketing tool. And when Dingle says certified, he means certified. The home in question will have the following certifications:
- ENERGY STAR®: Probably the most recognized of the Green Building Practices standards, was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and emphasizes energy conservation. In addition to utilizing energy efficient HVAC equipment, ancillary components and appliances, an ENERGY STAR® home is airtight in its exterior envelope and ductwork, major factors in achieving a healthful and safe indoor environment.
- FORTIFIED® …for safer living is a standard created by the Institute of Business and Home Safety, which is supported by the property insurance industry. The Fortified standard specifically addresses protection against wind, flood and wildfire. The standard focuses on structural fortification which includes resistance to wind and rain penetration, therefore contributing to maintaining the quality of indoor air. This standard is growing in recognition and support – notably in South Florida.
- LEED® for Homes is a national standard created by the U.S. Green Building Council. It emphasizes environmental sustainability including energy conservation with special emphasis on indoor air quality. This standard addresses various regions of the United States and therefore is custom tailored to our warm humid South Florida climate. Minimum requirement for LEED® for Homes is ENERGY STAR® certification.
- FLORIDA GREEN HOME: This standard was created by the Florida Green Building Coalition and emphasizes environmental sustainability including energy conservation and indoor air quality. Within this standard the South Florida climate is well addressed and therefore generally addresses indoor air quality issues. Protection against hurricanes, floods and wildfires is generally addressed. However, a Florida Green Home does not necessarily have to be an ENERGY STAR® home.
- FLORIDA WATER STAR™ is a win-win initiative for Florida’s home builders and new home buyers. Incorporating Florida Water Star™ standards and features inside the home as well as the irrigation system ensures water conservation and gives residents the opportunity to save money – 30 percent or more – on utility bills.
- CRYSTAL QUALITY BUILT™ designates a package of services provided by Environment, Safety and Health, LC – services which include guidance in selecting green practices that are meaningful to the home owner and will enhance and protect the indoor environment. Crystal Quality Cheks™ include inspections and performance testing to verify the home’s tightness, slab dryness, air distribution, air filtering, air quality, climate control, noise and electro-magnetic radiation.
Steve Dingle, Scott’s partner and brother, noted that the home would actually be rated for 160 mile per hour winds, not the 140 MPH required for certification. “And even if we don’t build another certified home,” Steve said, ‘we’re looking to fine tune our skills” for all future construction in general. It’s SRD Project Coordinator Danielle Sharp’s job to do what Scott said has been the primary difference in many cases, between previous SRD projects, and the current “green” home. “Paperwork,” said Scott. Sharp said her “daily” job is to keep up with the paperwork stream necessary to satisfy and obtain all of certifications noted above, and that this home will have. Sharp’s work also includes on site reviews of the on-going work, she said. “We’re committed to environmental stewardship, and utilization of the products that are out there,” said Scott. SRD expects to complete the five bedroom, six full and two half bath home by July 2009.