I am building a new home in Ponte Vedra Beach, and am hoping to qualify for the LEED Gold certification. Our "green strategy" involves three primary elements:
1. Efficiency - We used ICF for our concrete walls, bought super-efficient doors and windows from Luxbaum, installed icynene in the ceiling and around all openings, and positioned the house to optimize energy efficiency. The goal of this part of the strategy is to limit the amount of energy consumption, regardless of the source of the energy.
2. Renewable energy - We are installing a 23 kW photovoltaic electric generation system, a geothermal heat pump for hot water and air conditioning, and energy recovery ventilation. Energy calculations suggest that all of the energy that we use will be generated by these renewable sources.
3. Sustainability - We have built the house to last essentially forever, and have utilized reclaimed material wherever possible. We are capturing all rainwater in an elaborate rainwater harvesting system, and will use it to provide the water required by our drought tolerant garden.

Visit our web site www.hartresidence.com to learn more.

If there is sufficient interest, I would like to see an Energy, Environment, and Sustainability forum established. I think students at UNF could benefit from learning more about how to build and live in a green home. Again, if there is any interest, I would like to invite students and others to tour the house (particularly now, while it is under construction) to see what we are doing and to meet the many qualified people contributing to the effort. I would also like to encourage the university to offer courses in this general field, and would be happy to share my experience from thirty years in the international energy industry as a guest lecturer.