Carlson Studio Architecture took top honors Saturday night in the LEED for Homes category at the U.S. Green Building Council-South Florida chapter’s GALA Verde competition. President Michael Carlson of Carlson Studio Architecture accepted the first place award on behalf of the firm’s 2009 HGTV Green Home entry at the sold-out event held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Resort in Fort Lauderdale. The resort is a member of the Florida Green Lodging Program.
“We are incredibly humbled to be recognized with this honor,” Carlson stated from the podium. “South Florida architecture enjoys an enviable reputation and the caliber of competition this year was considerable.”
Celebrating its 3rd year recognizing and honoring outstanding projects, inspirational businesses, dedicated individuals and chapter members who are LEEDing the way to a more sustainable built environment in South Florida, this year’s GALA Verde was a veritable “who’s who” in green building design and construction throughout South Florida. Eligible entries had to be located in one of the following counties: Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade or Monroe.
Judges evaluated nominees on their demonstration of a holistic approach toward integrating green building and sustainable practices and principles into the design, execution and operation of their project, business or individual leadership efforts as well as the development of innovative solutions to regional challenges.
The HGTV 2009 Green Home is located in the planned community of Tradition in Port St. Lucie on Florida’s southeast Treasure Coast. The home is LEED Platinum Certified by the US Green Building Council. It is a 2,430-square-foot contemporary home that incorporates traditional design elements. In addition to Architect Michael Carlson, members of the design/build project team were HGTV Dream Home Planner Manager Jack Thomasson along with Interior Designer Linda Woodrum, Tradition President Wes McCurry, Contractor Leon Camarda and Landscape Architect Scott Davidson.
The four bedroom-three bath home features construction and design elements that are known to contribute to an energy-efficient, cleaner and even healthier living environment. Sustainable features for the home began by orienting the building to maximize north / south exposures for optimum shading and protect interiors from sun exposure. Natural day light is captured throughout the house with distinctive clerestory windows above the main open living area and solar tube skylights in the hallway and kitchen. The changing daylight in the house also creates a sense of time and connection to nature.
Modern roofing technologies such as high solar reflecting materials and a roof garden create a cool, comfortable patio space. Even though the metal roof appears dark in color with its terracotta red finish, is actually made of a highly reflective material that prevents unwanted heat gain. Solar photo voltaic (PV) cells are discreetly and ingeniously installed above the breezeway connecting the garage to the home. The cells use renewable energy (solar power) to lower electricity use.
A highly insulated, solid concrete wall system known as Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) offers unparalleled storm protection and energy savings. Water saving plumbing fixtures and rainwater collection for irrigation reduce the house's water demands. Healthy materials, furnishings and finishes were liberally incorporated throughout the home's interior to provide superior indoor air quality. Many materials also have recycled content. The concrete foundation and glass tiles in the bathrooms are some examples of this.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the USGBC’s standardized 3rd party verification system, administered by the Green Building Certification Institute, for certifying the world’s greenest, energy efficient and high performance buildings.
For more information about the project
Ben Millar of E3 Building Sciences, Michael Carlson, USGBC-So. FL President Kyle Abney and USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi