News Section: Environment
Anna Maria Historic Green Village Presented USGBC’s Highest Award
MANATEE -- The Anna Maria Historic Green Village achieved LEED Platinum certification and a Net Zero Energy designation from the U.S. Green Building Council last month, making the paired accomplishments a first for Florida.
Tucked away along the coast of Manatee County and led by Lizzie and Mike Thrasher, Anna Maria Island’s Historic Green Village harbors new and restored “Old Florida” structures for retail use, functioning on renewable energy. The couple’s backgrounds in environmental entrepreneurship allowed them to pursue their shared passion for green lifestyles and home design.
|The Rosedale (right) and Sears (left) cottages before renovation|
On May 9, following an April 26 congratulatory letter, county officials, USGBC members, the BRCVB and local residents gathered in the Green Village to celebrate the Rosedale and Sears Cottages receiving LEED Platinum recognition, the council’s highest green building award.
Eleven months after its manifestation, the Green Village began generating more energy than it consumed. “Our vision was to create a showcase for homeowners, building contractors, school students, business and government decision-makers and influencers—so that they can see what’s possible and can then adapt our ideas in their areas," said Mrs. Thrasher. "We hope that our ‘show and tell’ project becomes recognized globally as a benchmark in sustainable working and living."
The USGBC acknowledges individuals committed to initiating and maintaining sensible energy practices within the design, construction and performance of their commercial or industrial developments. The Historic Green Village obtained LEED Platinum certification using a Smart Energy District and Net Zero Energy through green technologies, like energy efficient windows and lighting, and monitored power use. Since March 2000, 48,000 projects around the world have become LEED accredited.
Seven commercial buildings and two rental units will construct the Green Village once it is completed. The Rosedale and Sears Cottages, Angler’s Lodge, Pillsbury House and “New Build” currently frame the property, and among the five lots, three were revived on-site, while the Sears Cottage and Angler’s Lodge were transported from their original 20th century standings to be recycled into the project.
Seaside treasures from the past incorporated in modern, environmentally conscious building are part of the development’s 8,000-square-foot appeal. “We are delighted that so many people from across the county have come to join us celebrate the rebirth of these historically significant buildings,” L. Thrasher said. “It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from an amazing team of people that have invested so much time and passion into what we are creating.”
Under LEED Platinum criteria, each Historic Green Village building is heavily insulated, a cost-effective way to conserve energy in any home, and equipped with access to geothermal heat pumps reducing the air temperature to a comfortable level. Additionally installed are photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops that enable excess electricity to flow from one neighboring micro-grid to another.
Moreover, solar water heating is used in the Village Café, the first business to open its doors to the island community. The café, painted with low-emitting materials, sealants and solvents, is housed within the Rosedale Cottage and owned by the Thrashers. Another retail unit dedicated to using and distributing non-toxic, recyclable product is Rhonda Grote’s Relish, a vintage and artisan boutique. Recently expanding as a marketplace and department store inside the Angler’s Lodge, or “Thelma by the Sea,” Relish now sells everything from one-of-a-kind clothing to resourceful home entertaining goods.
The Green Village possesses all the necessary initiatives to support a practical approach to decentralized energy and sustainable living. Ninety percent less potable water is consumed because the property established an interconnected water system harvesting rainwater, stormwater and greywater. Rainwater is stored in bladder cisterns under the deck of the Village Café and spread to flush the various Green Village bathrooms, as hard cisterns below the parking lot irrigate the surrounding native plants with its collected stormwater. Greywater from the café, treated inside brackish purifiers, is also released to further refresh the landscaping.
However, despite being walker, biker and beach bum friendly, Anna Maria has no medical facilities, and the Green Village hopes to occupy its Pillsbury House with a health center in the near future. In addition, the site’s “New Build” will be finished mid-2012, welcoming another retail space.
Paving the way for environmental design and technology while producing 30 percent less energy, the Thrashers converted the Rosedale and Sears Cottages into two of only 14 buildings in the state that meet LEED Platinum standards. The Historic Green Village’s achievements aid in the global effort to promote more energy efficient architectural projects, never straying from its roots in Floridian yesteryear.
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