2020 Alton Road: Anatomy of a LEED Home

2020 Alton

2020 Alton inspires major drive-by gawking. Photo: John Patron

The luxurious super-green house underway at 2020 Alton Road in Miami Beach is moving right along on its way toward LEED Platinum certification. Outfitted with top-of-the-line, energy-efficient products and systems, this project—from the Florida Green Home Design Group—strives for superlative indoor air quality and net-zero energy use.

The current asking price for the two-story five-bedroom, solar- and wind-fueled, rainwater-harvesting, totally iPad-automated house is $2.2 million. Even now, before the decorative details and finishing touches have been completed, it’s easy to appreciate 2020 Alton Road, on track to become the smartest, safest, and most energy-efficient residence in town.

46 tempered glass solar panels occupy the roof. Photo: John Patron

Prior to installing the solar light tube and solar panels, the surface of the roof was treated with waterproofing, light-reflecting, and heat-reducing compounds by Lanco and Harris. The three-part system includes a clear primer, several coats of a black waterproofing material, and then a final coat of “Silicone Urethanizer”, which goes on bluish and ultimately turns white. Reflecting 78% of sunlight and boasting an emissivity level of 90%, the system is a relatively inexpensive green alternative, which keeps the roof feeling and looking cool.

The electronic organization of the house is “cool and practical,” says Edwin Melendez, president of MultiMedia Innovations, the contractors hired to seamlessly integrate technology with lifestyle at 2020 Alton Road, “an eco-friendly tech savvy smart home that you can control from anywhere in the world with your handheld device.” Two dedicated iPads will seemingly float on the walls via magnetic induction, and all the house’s electronic systems, such as the five security cameras, alarm, thermostat, music, television, and solar and wind energy will be controlled via iPad, cell phone and computer.

To say the house is well-insulated is an understatement. The ceiling has been insulated with six inches of ICYNENE open-cell spray foam; the exterior walls with three. It took one week and approximately 100 gallons of spray foam to insulate the house.

ICYNENE expands 50-100 times once it is sprayed. Photo: John Patron

In addition, general contractor Robert Arkin installed fiberglass wool insulation to enhance sound quality inside the house. “We don’t need to put it in,” says Arkin, knocking on one insulated wall and then on another that has yet to be insulated. “You can hear the difference!”

The high-performance CGI windows, built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and to provide sound insulation from outdoor traffic, consist of two panes of impact-resistant glass separated by an air space.

2020 Alton Road - Windows

Each window cranks open from the top. Photo: John Patron

A low-E coating reduces heat absorption. Prior to installation, the concrete window surround was sealed to prevent leaks.

The Florida Green Home Design Group worked with lighting expert Uli Petzold to design an efficient, functional, and dramatic lighting plan using Kreon USA LED fixtures.

2020 Alton Road - LED Lighting

Kreon’s LC22 fixture will hang in dining room. Photo: Kreon USA

Compared to an average household’s use of 7,000 watts with a 90% heat/10% light ratio, Kreon fixtures supply 700 watts of light with a 10% heat/90% light ratio. While a suspended fixture will hang in the dining room, the majority of fixtures slip into square, recessed niches placed close to the wall. Petzold explains, “The reflection off the wall amplifies the light output and you’ll need less lumen flow, which saves energy.”

New developments are happening faster than I can write, and completion is slated for June. Construction and installations have been basically smooth. Robert Arkin and Matt Lahn say they have had to make only minor revisions to the original plan. Arkin says with a smile, “In theory, what works on paper dot, dot, dot.” Architect Ari Sklar is pleased with the progress too. Since the project began, he has learned so much, and is amazed the quick pace of green technology. “Systems are getting better every few weeks,” he says.

To learn more about the making of 2020 Alton Road, check out the 2020 videos on You Tube, or visit the property’s website.

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