The Pearl, a single-family home in Oyster Bay, Fla., designed by Josh Wynne, earned LEED Platinum certification without using solar panels, cisterns, or any of the usual elements of green building design. The 4,200-square-foot home is cited to take advantage of passive lighting and cooling with energy-efficient windows, cross ventilation, and oversized eaves that shield the home from direct sunlight but allow in plenty of natural light. “Instead of focusing on supplementary systems that often add cost and complexity—and, frankly, things the homeowner wasn’t interested in in terms of cost and upkeep—we focused on design,” Wynne says. All building products were low-VOC, and many were locally sourced. Ceiling trusses were made from locally harvested pine that were framed on-site, and used seconds, rather than center-cut timber, so fewer trees were cut down. Concrete embedded with locally recycled glass was used for the bathroom and kitchen counters. Coconut palm-husk kitchen cabinets came from coconut palms locally and sustainably grown and harvested. The landscaping incorporates native plants with a low-water irrigation system. | Read More