In 2009, Sustainable Tallahassee partnered with Rainbow Rehab, Inc., to begin renovation of an older home at 303 Putnam Drive. This effort resulted in achievement of the US Green Building Council’s “LEED for Homes Gold” certification. The LEED award was presented by the local chapter of the U.S.Green Building Council at Sustainable Tallahassee’s Green Drinks on November 28, 2012 to Buddy Holshouser, President of Rainbow Rehab, the current homeowner, and the team involved in this project.
The dedicated team from inception throughout the renovation and finally to achievement of LEED certification includes:
- Anne Hingst, founder of Rainbow Rehab
- Buddy Holshouser, President of Rainbow Rehab and Team Leader
- Mark Worley, US Green Building Council member and volunteer builder, and board member of Sustainable Tallahassee at the time of this project
- Marc Dick, landscape designer
- Rachelle McClure, LEED project team leader, LEED AP
- Steven Service, energy and LEED rater
- Jeanette Castillo, who created the documentary film
- Mark D. Powell, PhD, Sustainable Tallahassee board member who coordinated the completion of the LEED certification
- More than 100 volunteers, including many FSU students
This renovation created a home that is 40% more efficient than most new US homes and 30% more efficient than new homes built to the Florida building code. Some of the features include: closed-cell foam insulation throughout, tankless water heater, metal roof, energy star appliances and HVAC, thermal windows and energy efficient lighting, re-use of existing beadboard walls and ceiling, water permeable exterior hardscaping, and effective landscaping to control runoff and eliminate or reduce the need for watering. The structure was originally built in 1939 with local cypress which protected against rot and infestation, and by careful re-use of materials the landfill waste was minimal. The home also achieved an Energy Star rating with a HERS score of 60.
The LEED Green Building Rating System (LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a cutting edge certification of sustainably built and operated green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) administers the LEED rating system in an effort to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life for the people who use the buildings. The rating system is consistently updated in an effort to encourage market transformation towards more sustainable practices. LEED certified buildings represent the top 20% of the market in terms of sustainability.
LEED certified homes are required to meet sustainability standards in seven different categories:
- Sustainable Sites
- Locations and Linkages
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Awareness and Education
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
For this reason, all parts of a LEED certified home can be considered to be green. But, the homes are also healthy, comfortable and durable.
Achieving LEED certification of a home is not simple because every aspect of the home, inside and out, must be environmentally responsible. Out of 100 potential LEED credits for green features of a home, the home on Putnam Drive achieved a score of 70, eligible for the “Gold” level of certification. Nationwide, 670,000 houses have achieved LEED certification, with 172,000 of those achieving “Gold” level. In Florida, there are 366 certified homes, with only 3 in Tallahassee. That is evidence that the LEED certification of the home at 303 Putnam Drive is a huge accomplishment by the project team.
An outstanding video documenting the process and featuring many of the team listed above was produced by the FSU School of Communications - click HERE to see the full video and the completed home.
You can learn more about the LEED certification at www.usgbc.org/leed/homes or visit the website of the local USGBC chapter at www.usgbc-fcrc.org