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- Miami Beach's Newest Green Home Goes For Platinum
Miami Beach's Newest Green Home Goes For Platinum
The Florida Green Home Design Group strives for LEED Platinum certification with its 2020 Alton Road Project.
- Photo: The Florida Green Home Design Group
Almost everyone by now should be familiar with the phrase LEED-certified—a program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to promote Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. With respect to residential design, a LEED-certified home accrues credits (points) based on the degree to which mindful design and sustainable performance considers region, site, non-toxic and local materials, and the implementation of systems that conserve and reuse water, manage waste, ventilate air, and promote wellness. According to the USGBC, as of August 2011, 12,690 homes have been LEED-certified and more continue to be built to meet the latest green building standards.
While Gold certification has been the ultimate goal of many builders, a new breed of architects, developers, and contractors—like the visionary team building the house at 2020 Alton Road in Miami Beach, FL—are now pursuing Platinum, the next level and highest LEED category. To qualify, this home must score at least 90 points. With high performance and efficient power-making and -saving systems, this home aspires to operate at "net zero," meaning that it will produce as much energy as it consumes.
For the principals of The Florida Green Home Design Group—architect Ari Sklar, general contractor Robert Arkin, and developer Matt Lahn—the building of a sustainable house like 2020 Alton Road has become an aphrodisiac of sorts. Arkin is all consumed and claims to “eat, sleep and dream green.” Sklar is on a natural high over state-of-the-art advances in green design. And, Lahn confirms its uniqueness by declaring this is “more than just another job!”
It didn’t start off that way five years ago when Sklar purchased the lot with his father- in-law. They considered the "2020" address to be a good omen since there were two optometrists in the family. Their intention was to build a large luxury home on the site and turn a profit. When the recession hit, however, Sklar sat tight. He took notice of the advancements and tax incentives in building green and studied to become a LEED-Accredited Professional (AP). The wait afforded him, together with Lahn and Arkin, the opportunity to not only set a new standard of green building in Miami but impact the community in a relevant and responsible way.
Indeed, official interest in the greening of Miami Beach started in 2007 when Commissioner Michael Gongora founded the Miami Beach Sustainability Committee. “I wanted to build a dedicated committee focused on green issues and to develop a sustainability plan to guide our city for the future,” says Gongora, who serves as committee chairman. Noting the city’s motto—Blue Skies, White Sands, Green City—Commissioner Gongora hopes that 2020 Alton Road will inspire more LEED building and that the city will develop laws to assist in future pursuits.
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