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Rob's Home Page



July 26, 2001


South Eastern Building Conference

Orlando , Florida 

Hello my name is Rob Andrys, I’m an Registered Architect from Ft. Myers specializing in sustainable green building designs.


Folks ask, what does that mean?


I explain that it me, it means designing a home that takes into account the context of its location, Florida not Boston , its design acknowledges the site onto which the building will sits and its orientation to the sun.  A green home minimizes the damage to the world’s ecosystems, and the ecosystem that surrounds the house.  It values the existing site resources and works with them not wipe them away or ignoring them, because its not nice to ignore mother nature.


To be sustainable it must be built to last a hundred years because a home cost too much to throw away anymore.  Therefore this house must be durable and require low maintenance.  They are designed for flexibility and in a style such that it has a timeless architecture also resulting in a long life.


It’s a building that will not damage your health by allowing materials to off-gas into your body.  This green home should also not be a place where mold will actually turn it green.  Moisture is controlled, ventilation is designed into the mechanical systems, vapor barriers are installed correctly, and rainwater is kept out of the walls.


Green buildings use methods that conserve fossil fuels by being energy efficient.  They also use less water and other natural resources.  These resources long taken for granted are now in high demand with less supply resulting in price increases and rationing.


Finally green buildings promote the recycling of construction materials and reduction of solid waste.  From the packaging that surrounds the new products put into the home to the recycling center in the new kitchen the waste is converted into new produces.


Sounds simple enough, but to some it might seem like a pain in the posterior, or too much trouble without making any money for all the effort.


Green building design and construction is new, it takes some time to change the way we’ve done things in the past put really its just common sense.  I’m not going to go into all the ways that it saves money over the life of the mortgage or the lower cost of a mortgage for that matter.  I won’t mention how green buildings have a higher resale value or a marketing edge, that will be done by other members of FGBC speaking here today.


I would like to explain how these set of standards were developed, why they were put together the way you see them and how to qualify as a FGBC “Green Home” recipient.


First off - we look at similar green building programs throughout the United States .  We then resolved to make ours voluntary, flexible and as inclusive as possible.


Next, we listened to builders, architects, homeowners, government representative, just about everyone and anyone to get a standard that reflected the realities of building in Florida .  Our homes must be responsive to our hot- wet- sticky -humid summers and dry winters not to mention some occasional hurricanes, floods and house eating bugs.


A committee was formed to take all this information and assembled them into a single list.  This list was then distributed many times for public input.  Comments were taken and the standards revised many times, as Eric Martin will tell you. 


Finally, last week we gathered the last comments and established the standards that we now have.  This is version 1.0 and admittedly has some wrinkles that will be ironed out by the next version in July of 2002.


Along with the standard checklist goes a reference book that explains what you have to do in order to achieve the points in that category.    


The preamble to the standards checklist explains how the point system works, the minimum points and prerequisite items that must be attained.


In order that everyone knows that everyone else is playing fair and by the same rules, a “Certifying Agent” is brought in for an independent review of the application.


The Certifying Agent reviews the paper work submitted by the applicant, inspects the building, verifies that photo documentation, sales receipts, manufacturer’s specification data or any other back-up information is provided as required by the reference book for credit.


The Certifying Agent will complete the information and send it to FGBC along with a fee of $ 50 for members and $75 for non-members for each house.


FGBC will check that all submittals are completed, points have been calculated appropriately and then send the FGBC Green Home certificate to the certifying agent.


As a side note, it will be far better to contact the Certifying Agent before construction starts.  It would be more advantageous to contact them before the design begins on the home so they will be able to point out ways to more easily comply with the program.  


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