Design Based on Sustainability

Design Based on Sustainability

February 4, 2020

This Florida Case Study Home depicts the sustainable attributes of the residence.  Tom Jones, AIA, a principal architect of the firm, is eloquent is outlining the project’s pertinent requirements.  “When you do sustainable design, you try to do things in a away that minimizes or mitigates the use of man-made energy sources,” he explains.  “The reason we do that is to design the house for its location and climate. Sun angles and exposures are critical.”  Tom calls attention to Florida’s unique environmental dilemma: Designers want to capture the abundant natural light but must employ creative solutions to mitigate the accompanying heat gain. 

The exterior form, colors and material selections in this home, work for its Southwest Florida location. A rectangle volume with the proper dimensions allows natural light and breezes to pass easily through interior spaces.  A long, narrow three-dimensional shape from the overall house gives way to the ingress of coastal breezes and subtropical sunshine.  The white painting of the building’s exterior serves to reflect the heat away from the structure, more than any other color.  Accenting the facades with wood elements softens the aura of a modern aesthetic; this is achieved by the use sunshade devises, columns and cladding regions.

Passive cooling, which decreases the temperature inside the building without mechanical assistance such as air conditioning, is paramount in the design of the house.  Sunshade devices filter the sunshine, blocking some of the heat while harvesting the daylight.   Tom explains cooling the house through natural convection. “Beyond the front door is a double-height space that becomes a convective shaft,” he says.  “Opening windows at certain times of day allows cooler air to come in and displace warm air. The warm air naturally rises and exhausts at the top, where there are operable windows.  That natural flow is a way to create a cooling effect in the house.”

Rainwater harvesting and rooftop photovoltaic panels further reinforce the sustainability of the residence.  A crawl space catchment system allows the storage of runoff from meteorological events.  The water is filtered for gray water, as used in utility sinks, toilets and for priming the swimming pool pump.  Tom explains how the solar panels help as well.  “They’re laid flat all along the length of the highest roof. In a sustainable home, they are there simply to create electricity and offset the need for electrical utility.  This is a method for harvesting sunlight.”

An ever-increasing catalog of strategies can be used today in designing a house that puts sustainability at the fore.  “What would a home be that is suitable for this area in terms of environmental variables and considerations?”  These are some things done specifically to address the local climate environment by the Florida Case Study House. “ 

This project provides and excellent example of how green design can boost energy efficiency of a luxury residence in Naples. 

633 Tamiami Trail N, Suite 300  |  Naples, FL 34102  |  239-594-9778
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