Coastal Architecture for Our 21st Century – Three Home Designs

Adelia Avenue House - Small Green Home Design - Front Yard


Introducing the Adelia Avenue, Goodrich Avenue, and Gillespie Avenue Houses! All three home designs shown here are forward-thinking and innovative solutions to urban living and a low-carbon lifestyle for Sarasota, Florida.

The Adelia Avenue House

An Efficient Layout

These green home designs find a balance between domestic comfort on one hand, while limiting size on the other. Efficient floor plans form the essence of green living: every square foot of the home needs to be climate controlled, generally consuming fossil fuel resources and polluting the atmosphere in the process. Where the building itself is concerned, all of it exists through the extraction, manufacture and transportation of material resources. Simply by reducing their size, these designs reduce the impacts that buildings and their construction place on the environment.

These multi-story homes have minimal building footprints. This promotes greater density of inhabitation, more compact public infrastructure, promotes rainwater infiltration, and increases the area for food gardens and native plants on every lot.

The Goodrich Avenue House

Local Architecture

The small green homes directly respond to, and allow control of, our sunny and humid climate through the design of the building shell. These houses minimize the need for air conditioning and lighting to begin with.

Extended overhangs and porches prevent our intense sunlight from directly striking the exterior walls. The overhangs are designed for the path of the sun at our latitude. This encourages direct solar heat gain during winter months, and strategically shades the building during the hottest parts of the year. Bahama shutters likewise prevent heat gain through the windows.

Ceiling heights are 9’ to 11’, which allows warmer air to gather overhead, out of the immediate area of dwelling. The centrally-located stairwells provide a route for the warm air to be drawn into the return air plenum of the air conditioning system.

The Gillespie Avenue House

Construction Systems

The small green homes utilize a prefabricated wood panel wall system with prefabricated wood trusses. The wall panels are structurally engineered to resist Florida’s hurricane load requirements.

Exterior components include zero-waste wall and roof sheathing, reflective metal roofing, and lap siding over a rain screen drainage system. Window units and door units are of primary importance in promoting energy efficiency, and these houses include fiberglass framed, impact resistant units with low-e insulated glass.

A high efficiency AC system with heat pump, centrally located within the core of the homes and entirely within the climate control envelope, provide active control of thermal comfort. Supplemental outdoor air is carefully introduced and de-humidified with an energy recovery ventilator. Additional green building systems include EPA WaterSense plumbing fixtures, EnergyStar appliances, and a roof- mounted solar hot water panel.

Interior finishes are designed for improved indoor air quality. These include hand-troweled gypsum plaster wall and ceiling finishes, tongue and groove reclaimed heart pine floor coverings, and low VOC paints. Interior doors, trim, and cabinetry are milled and fabricated from local reclaimed wood sources.