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Sustainable Designs

Corwin Plan

Design Concepts

The design of this house represents the transfer of ideas and concepts from the owners to the architect who places them onto paper to be built.


Stan and Colette wanted to build a farmhouse that became part of its surroundings, is easily maintained, simple in appearance, yet flexible in its design.


This farmhouse is based on the concept of creating a big house within a modest sized home as beautifully illustrated by Susan Susanka in her book, “Creating the Not So Big House” (see Links to her website).


The home optimizes its 2,300 s.f. of a/c space with its open floor plan, long diagonal views, and a cupola skylight that bathes the main part of the house in daylight, thus further expanding the sense of space.  Shared spaces allow a fuller range of uses without creating specialty rooms that are not fully utilized.


Efficient use of energy and water is a prime concern in the home’s design, with the emphasis on limiting the demand for each by effective design.   

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Site Design

·        The site was first analyzed using a topographic map that showed heights of the land and how the creek interacts with the site. 

·        The house was oriented with the long side facing south to reduce the eastern and western exposures, reducing the heat gain up to 40%.

·        The public areas were located to take full advantage of the creek views.

·        The garden and barn were placed between the house and the busy road to the north to mitigate the traffic noise.

·        The garage was angled to the southeast to take advantage of the prevailing summer breezes thus increasing the air flowing through the breezeway.

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Interior Layout

·        The public areas of the home were placed on the east side of the house to view the creek.

·        The foyer, dining, kitchen and living areas were given definition within the large single room in which they all reside by the central fireplace.  This allows each to have their own identity but share views creating a bigger house feel.

·        The fireplace pod is not only given importance by its position in the center of the room but also by placing a cupola above it that bathes the whole room in sunlight.

·        The study opens onto the great room increasing the perceived size of the home and allows the owners to communicate between rooms.

·        The study in turn opens onto the guest bedroom to take advantage of this specialty space that is only occasionally used by visitors.

·        The mudroom allows owners to have a place to put their muddy garden boots and hang up their raincoats within an organized secondary entry.

·        The laundry was placed next to breezeway where the clothes will be hung to dry and close to the bedrooms where most of the laundry is generated.

·        The breezeway acts as a classical buffer between the typically smelly garage and the house ensuring better air quality within the home.

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Green Building Components

The following notes a few of the items that will make this a certified green home:


·        A white metal standing seam roof is used for high solar reflectance and to ensure clean water collection for the cistern.  The roofs are hipped wherever possible for hurricane protection.  The garage roof is gabled to maximize the storage in the attic.

·        Water blown foam insulation (Icynene) is applied to roof sheathing creating a non-vented attic space.  The non-vented attic greatly reduces moisture from passing from conventional attic to a/c space via vapor diffusion through the gypsum board or even faster through any recessed light or vent penetrating the ceiling.

·        A Panelized wall system (All-Wall) consists of poured concrete surrounding 2” of polystyrene insulation in the center of the pre-manufactured panel.  This highly durable strong assembly has no wood products for termites to eat or live in and requires minimal surface preparation when used as the interior wall.

·        Solar heat gain is reduced in a number of ways.  The walls on the south and east sides of the house are covered by porches, elsewhere a three-foot overhang  provides shade and keeps the rain from wetting the walls.  Windows facing east and west not shaded by porches are Low E for southern latitudes, the remainder are clear glazed.  

·        Solar tubes and a cupola brightens the home with controlled sunlight.

·        The garage is detached from the house for safety and health concerns.

·        Propane gas is used whenever a heat source is required due to its higher efficiency.  These appliances include the clothes dryer, the stove and barbeque grill.  The fireplace is the primary source of heat and will continue working even if the electrical power fails.  The fireplace is surrounded by stone (mass) thus holding the heat and also creates a centerpiece hearth within the farmhouse.

·        Water collecting cisterns store rainwater for plant irrigation, flushing toilets, laundry and showers.  The two polypropylene tanks are buried to reduce the accumulation of algae and for aesthetics.  Filters are placed between the roof and the cistern and polishing filters are used prior to water going into the house.

·        A solar hot water heater will be placed on the roof above the tank located in the house.  A re-circulating system will be placed in line between the kitchen and tank.  This system prevents water from being wasted while waiting for the water to heat up at the kitchen faucet.


The “green” building aspects will be documented using the Florida Green Building Coalition’s checklist.  The home will be inspected and seek a FGBC certification thus enabling the owner (and future owner) to know that they are not kind of green but are a certified green home.

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Interior materials

Barbara Hoey, an interior designer from Sarasota , specializing in ‘green’ earth friendly materials, specified the following interior finishes to be used in the home.


Carpet: Shaw Industries, Philadelphia Carpets

Fiber content: 100% polyester made from 100% recycled PET (such as soft drink and ketchup) containers, which are permanently resistant to staining.


Linoleum Flooring:  Forbo Linoleum,Inc.

Product: Marmoleum Fresco

Made primarily of linseed oil, wood flour, and rosin binders, mixed and calendared onto natural jute backing.


Tile Flooring: TerraGreen Ceramics,Inc.

Product: TerraTraffic 12x12 tile

Made from over 55% recycled glass and select ceramic materials


Countertops:  Bathrooms only

Product: Avonite Solid Surface - Cottonwood K1-6600

Made from waste resin from it's basic solid surface product line, recycled to create the Cottonwood series, keeping the waste from entering the landfills. 


Paint:  AFM Safecoat

No or very low VOC emissions





            Robert A. Andrys Architect

            23031 Tuckahoe Road

            Alva , Florida 33920



Structural Engineer

            Harvey Engineering, Inc

            6213-D Presidential Court

                        Fort Myers , Florida 33919



Landscape Architecture:

            Mike Sosadeeter

            Resource Management Group

            200 South Washington Blvd, Suite 10

            Sarasota , Florida , 34236



Interior Design:

            Barbara Hoey

            1266 First Street, Suite 9

            Sarasota Florida 34236



General Contractor:

            Charles Kinglsey, Building Contractor

            2036 Wilna Street

            Fort Myers , Florida 33901



Green building certifying agent



Cape Coral , Fl 339xx




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