I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty darn curious that there aren’t any new LEED Platinum homes in South Florida. Sure, there’s a smattering elsewhere in the Sunshine State with a sizable concentration in and around Sarasota, but in the Miami metro area? Zero, zilch, nada.
That’s all about to change with 2020 Alton Road, a soon-to-be-completed spec project (construction is due to wrap up late spring/early summer) in the heart of Miami Beach that’s aiming high on the LEED scale and garnering a decent amount of positive attention in the region because of it. As far as points go, the project is tracking 108 with the possibility of gaining another 10 or so. From what I understand, the highest-ranking LEED Platinum home in all of Florida is a private residence in Sarasota from Josh Wynne Construction that scored 117. So, yep, 2020 Alton could indeed become not only the first new LEED Platinum home in the Miami area (to be clear, there is a LEED Platinum remodel in Coral Gabels), but the greenest new home in the entire state.
But enough about numbers. From what I’ve seen of the renderings, the Ari Sklar-designed abode will be a sleek, super-modern beauty — all concrete, glass, high-end European appliances, and high-tech bells and whistles. Yes, it’s big (3,200 square feet); yes, it’s luxurious (this is Miami Beach, after all); and yes it’s expensive (the asking price is a little more than $2 million). But the home, projected to be net-zero energy, will also boast a minimal environmental footprint, a rarity in the area for new builds.
Highlights of the fully automated, five-bedroom/five-bathroom home include dual 600-watt vertical axis wind turbines, a geothermal heating and cooling system, 7,000-gallon rainwater cistern, and a HERS rating of between 0 and -2. And then there’s the 11.5-kilowatt rooftop solar array composed of frameless photovoltaic panels produced by 1SolTech. According to developer Matthew Lahn of Arkin Group/The Florida Green Home Design Group, 2020 Alton will be among the first building projects, residential or commercial, to utilize these innovative, American-made solar panels.
And given its location, 2020 Alton's renewable energy systems are storm-resistant: the solar panels are rated for 160 mph winds and the turbines easily collapsible for when things outside get hairy. Additionally, there’s a back-up battery system and the aluminum framed, low-E windows from CGI are built to withstand Category 5-strength hurricane winds. And this is cool: the rainwater cistern and the home’s reflecting pool are both lined with a nontoxic epoxy called Pond Armor that renders the water potable in the event of emergencies.
Other green specs of 2020 Alton include LED lighting throughout, sustainable wood custom cabinetry from Poggenpohl, WaterSense-qualified Toto faucets and fixtures, recycled glass countertops from Vetrazzo, Sherwin Williams low-VOC paints and finishes, and Icynene spray foam insulation. Outside, there’s Resyta decking (check out that roof deck!) and a pool equipped with an EcoSmarte water purification system that eliminates the need for chemicals. Last but not least, I initially worried that 2020 Alton was yet another car-dependent, eco-luxury house tucked away in an exclusive enclave in the middle of nowhere, but the home's Walk Score of 85 is beyond excellent. Hell, South Beach is a short stroll away.
2020 Alton obviously has a lot going on. And it certainly hasn’t gone without recognition: Back in October of 2011, Florida Green Home Design Group was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Miami Beach for the project. The city, once lagging behind in the sustainability department, has embarked on an aggressive greening campaign — there’s even a new motto to reflect this: “Blue Skies, White Sands, Green City” — and FGHDG was honored for playing a crucial role in the efforts.
Lots more info over at the 2020 Alton homepage, including a more detailed look at the home’s features, floorplans, a photo gallery chronicling the home’s construction, and more. There's also a 2020 Alton YouTube channel. I’ll try to revisit the home once it’s completed later in the summer, but in the meantime congrats to Matthew Lahn, Ari Sklar, general contractor Robert Arkin, and the rest of the 2020 Alton team and best of luck in the homestretch.