17 Green Features in Our Latest LEED-Certified Project
There’s a reason why building a green home goes above and beyond the standard building codes. Every detail of the environmentally-friendly construction is analyzed and catered to—from building materials to site location.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, there are (at least) 17 features that make up a green home.
As we worked on 4045 Bonita Avenue—our first Steel Structure LEED-certified home built from scratch here in the Grove—we made sure to incorporate every single green feature.
Here’s how we did it and why:
1. Durable roof coating in white reflective color
The Bonita roof features a hot tar mopped mineral surface cap sheet roof system that’s built to last.
2. No particle board
Particle board is a cheap common material, it’s typically loaded with toxic components and lacks durability. Not only did we avoid using particle board, but the Bonita roof sheathing is 5/8 plywood—whereas 1/2 plywood is the minimum code requirement.
Also, none of the cabinetry, doors, baseboards or moldings are particleboard. All the casing and baseboards are made from recycled Styrofoam by Santa Luzia.
3. Building with trees
Not only is it imperative to preserve the trees and vegetation at a build site, but trees also provide natural shade that increases energy efficiency. The Bonita site is full of mature trees that we preserved throughout construction.
4. Low flow / dual flush toilets
Bonita features all low-flow fixtures and dual-flush toilets to help conserve water.
5. Recycled wood products and plastic decking
Bonita exterior siding and rear deck is from Advanced Decking—a local manufacturer of reinforced plastic lumber. The exterior wood steps and powder bath vanity are from reclaimed green heart wood marine pilings.
6. ENERGY STAR appliances
All appliances in Bonita are ENERGY STAR rated to conserve energy. This also helps owners reap the future cost benefits of living in an efficient home.
7. Pre-assembled steel systems
The pre-assembled engineered steel system Bonita uses ensured we did not take longer on the construction site than absolutely necessary.
8. Low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) paint
We used 100% Oikos paints—the highest-rated non-toxic paint on the market—for the Bonita project.
9. Insulated foundation
Having an insulated foundation provides additional energy efficiency to the structure, which is why Bonita’s insulation, rated R-11, was placed under the elevated concrete slab.
10. Properly sized mechanicals
Bonita has two central air conditioning systems with a season energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 16 and 18.
11. Covered entries
Bonita has 15 feet of overhang in the front and 10 feet in the back of the structure. This is yet another energy efficient design that will shield the home from the heat of the powerful Miami summer sun.
12. Xeriscaping and keeping native plants
Xeriscaping is a type of environmentally friendly landscaping that requires little-to-no irrigation.
In order to cut back on the amount of watering needed at Bonita, we incorporated a section of Synthetic Lawns of Miami in the yard while also including native plants, crushed gravel, and no sod. 13.
13. Passive solar design
In order to work with the power of the sun, Bonita offers a high e–glass rating and protective overhangs. The home also includes five skylights that add natural light throughout the interior living areas
For durability and sustainability purposes, Bonita has reinforced plastic decking as its siding. The manufacturer, local to Florida, offers a limited lifetime warranty without any maintenance required. There is no exterior painted surface in this home to maintain.
15. Low energy E-Glass
Bonita contains E-Glass from RC windows, which help shield the home from the sun’s heat in the summer months, while retaining the interior heat in the winter.
16. High-quality insulation and sealing
Bonita has icynene spray foam insulation in the ceiling – R-30 and exterior walls – R-19, while the interior walls contain Batt Insulation R-11. All windows and doors sealed with Grace Peel and Stick 3000 wrap and extra silicone caulking.
17. Vents in attic to control temperature
In order to reduce duct sweating and mold, venting systems have been added to the Bonita attic area to keep it a constant temperature.
If you’re looking for more details on the green features found in 4045 Bonita, let us know. We’ve put a lot of attention into every green detail on this project and are more than happy to explain what we’ve learned along the way.