Dr. Sid and Anita Holec’s stunning beachfront home is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified home on Casey Key Beach. Originally built in 1949, the home was the last home built on the existing footprint on Casey Key, which allowed the entire home and guest house to flow onto a common deck that is close to the 165 feet of beachfront land on which it sits.
It was in 2003, while Anita Holec was browsing in a kitchen showroom in New York City, that an IceStone countertop grabbed her attention; it was that beautiful, recycled-glass countertop that sparked her interest in environmentally friendly home design.
“It opened this idea — all of these things are available using recycled products,” says Holec.
The Holecs had started down the path of sustainability, but it was architect Yehuda Inbar and MyGreenBuildings’ Steve Ellis that led them further when they began to remodel their home in 2004. Yehuda and Ellis collaborated with the Holecs and discussed the vision the couple had for the 3,330-square-foot home.
“I loved the fact that you could have what you wanted, without having to compromise anything,” says Holec.
In fact, most of the things that make the house special from a “green” standpoint happen behind the scenes, in the quality of the construction and the construction material selected. Most of the home’s green aspects are not readily apparent — besides, perhaps, the solar panels on the roof.
Holec’s vision for the interior design of the home was achieved using the same green standards and efficiency aspects of the home’s design. Designer Robert Neil created the interior design of the home, which Holec describes as a “subtle, clean feel.”
The home’s green theme is carried out in various ways — dual-flushing toilets, engineered white oak floors, sustainable countertops and a detached garage, to name a few. By having a detached garage, the Holecs earned three points toward LEED Platinum certification, under the garage pollutant category for materials and resources.
To receive LEED certification, homes must obtain a certain amount credits, which they can collect in a number of ways pertaining to categories put in place by the U.S. Green Building Council. Some items on the LEED for Homes Project Checklist that provide points for certification include high-efficiency fixtures and fittings, efficient hot water distribution system and using an existing infrastructure.
The landscape surrounding the home is significant to the green building practice as well, because it provides a large amount of credits for sustainable sites. ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance and Design installed the Florida-friendly and native landscaping. The design mitigates the need for permanent irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers that run off into the Gulf of Mexico and harm the ecosystem.
“With a Platinum-certified home, we incorporated solar panels and other energy-saving features to mitigate the cost of ownership over the long term and minimize the carbon footprint to a level close to neutral,” says Ellis about the design specifications for obtaining LEED certification for the Holec residence.
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