1978 mold-ridden ranch house beckoned for a sustainable makeover, ending up designated the greenest house in Florida by the Florida Green Building Council (FGBC) in 2009.
Our environmentally-conscious client hired MGB to have the residence entirely gutted and remodeled, except for its foundation and four concrete block walls, helmed by architecture firm Osborn Sharp.
A full second story was added to the new home, which doubled the living space. The main entry was detailed with terraced travertine steps that “float” over a shallow water feature. These lead one gracefully into the home past a stone waterfall—meriting the Zen moniker.
A combination of green building practices—insulated attic; water saving plumbing; Energy Star appliances; zero VOC paints; on demand hot water heater—and passive energy design was used, including five-foot overhangs for shade, resulting in a reduction in energy load. An open floor plan with accordion door systems flanking both sides of the great room facilitates walls being open to as much as 20-foot spans for optimal cross-ventilation. Part of the passive design was to create a “heat chimney” with the stairwell. When the windows at the top are open, cool exterior air can be drawn into the home allowing warmer air to rise up and escape to the outdoors.
Because the owner favored serene Asian influences, the home’s clean aesthetic reflects the same by the use of intricate dark wooden screens, polished travertine flooring, Zen garden-type flora and deep overhangs reminiscent of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. A caged exterior space supports use of the pool and pool space year round, as the home is located on a salt-water inlet with insects a seasonal issue.