Miami Beach and LEED Certified Residences
More and more people are realizing the importance and economical value that green homes provide. Green homes, also referred to as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, provide energy efficient, environmentally friendly homes while keeping homeownership affordable. The Arkin/Lahn/Sklar/West Green Build Team uses LEED parameters to direct many of the design decisions. There are four levels of LEED certified homes – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum, with platinum being the highest level and virtually allows a home to be taken off the energy grid. The house on 2020 Alton is an example of a Platinum LEED certified house.
“Miami Beach is pleased to have the region’s first LEED-certified Platinum residential property,” said Tara, of Tara West Luxury Properties, Park Miami Realty, the team’s realtor. “This is an important step forward for our city and its efforts to build a sustainable future.” Building and living in an affordable, energy efficient and healthy home brings together a multitude of important principles to make our community proud. The commitment to be environmentally conscious and provide a healthy home, while promoting social equity is of critical importance to the future of a sustainable community.” There is also a real interest on the part of buyers to have the option of purchasing a LEED certified house – whether it’s Gold, Silver or Platinum.
A residence can be built at any square footage, providing innovative waste reducing techniques, which result in less wood and related materials being used and transported. The home can feature a well insulated building envelope using environmentally friendly spray foam and cellulose insulation; low-e argon windows; high efficiency lighting; and a free energy ventilation system that circulates fresh air throughout the home with high grade filtration to remove allergens. Other features can include a pervious driveway to reduce rainwater runoff, low-flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets, drought resistant landscaping, and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) finishes and paints. As a result of incorporating energy saving design and technologies, houses can earn a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index which in turn allows the homeowner to receive monthly payments by the local electricity company for not using the city’s electricity.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient, healthy, green homes. Developed and administered by USGBC, LEED-certified homes complete a technically rigorous process that includes a home energy rating system (HERS) and on-site inspections to verify that the home is built to be energy and water efficient, environmentally sound, and a healthier place to live. LEED awards points to projects in eight categories of environmental performance: Innovation & Design Process, Location & Linkages, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Awareness & Education. Depending on the number of points earned; a building is awarded a certified, silver, gold or platinum rating.
About U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Since USGBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 20,000 member companies and organizations and a comprehensive suite of LEED® green building certification systems. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations all sharing the Council’s commitment to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy- saving green buildings. For more information, refer to: www.usgbc.org.
The World’s energy crisis and limited natural resources has led us to a time where LEED certified building is a necessity. It is due time that Miami Beach offer LEED certified houses to those buyers and investors interested in protecting the environment and community and ultimately saving in energy costs. As a world travel destination, Miami Beach gains high exposure and visibility throughout the world leading more people to choose this wonderful destination to own a property.