Building green will save thousands of dollars in energy, insurance, and replacement costs for the owners of several new homes built in Florida. Habitat for Humanity in Pinellas is building durable Energy Star-rated homes. Florida Green Building Coalition-certified Glencairn Cottages in Dunedin is the Tampa Bay area’s first entirely green community. Habitat found that although the upfront costs of building durable, energy-efficient homes might be slightly higher, the homes ultimately save their economically disadvantaged homeowners an average of $1,035 a year. Hip roofs built with wind-resistant metal coverings and a second water membrane, double metal wrapped roof-to-wall attachments, and aluminum hurricane shutters save money on insurance and keep the house safe in Florida storms. High ceilings and window placement help reduce the need for electric lights and air conditioning. Air conditioners are 15 SEER, with tightly sealed ductwork to prevent leaks. Low-E windows, radiant-roof barriers, light-colored roofs, and well-insulated attics also help keep the homes cool. The community also features a net-zero home that produces its own electricity with non-obtrusive solar panels and a solar water heater. The Glencairn homes all received LEED Gold Certification, which Dunedin rewards by reimbursing the builder’s permit fees. | Read More