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Turning tragedy into triumph has made a lot of people take a look at this project – from Jacksonville, FL Mayor John Peyton - Florida Senator Bill Nelson - and even President Barack Obama. Our hope is that our experience will help educate others how to go “Green”!
Tropical Storm Fay hit us hard on the morning of August 22, 2008. Within hours, the rain and river waters breached the bulkhead and we were knee deep in sewage water. We had no electricity and the septic backed up adding to our fears and consternation. We had to evacuate our home - Villa Paraiso.
We had talked many times before the storm about adding solar power, and ultimately realized we had a blank slate to build whatever we wanted. Stilts were primary, since we never wanted to live through another flood.
We had our Dream home, but we wanted a Forever Dream home and it was important to do it right! Quickly we learned there are literally hundreds of ways to build a home that is sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Green products for homes evolve every day; the costs are falling in line with consumption; and the Economic Stimulus Plan is full of rebates and incentives! We began to see the whole project as an opportunity!
We are proud that our home is registered with the USGBC and is on track to become the 1st Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) home in NE Florida! Our talented and passionate team shares knowledge and creativity freely, and we have been on a major learning curve throughout the process. Learn from our experiences!