ANNA MARIA – Not only does the Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue being developed by Lizzie Vann and Mike Thrasher feature historic buildings, it also is making history with its green innovations.
"In Florida, it will be the first LEED platinum building and the first net zero energy complex, which will generate as much energy on site as will be consumed in a given year," explained Raymond Kaiser, director of Green Building Services for Stewart Engineering, which is providing the LEED guidance and is the engineering firm for the project.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
On Friday morning, the complex was the first stop on a tour of green sites by members of FARE, the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, FARE Executive Director Mike Antheil said.
"FARE is the largest trade association for renewable energy in the state," Antheil explained. "Our objective is to create jobs and grow local economies through renewable energy and energy efficient development."
A team effort
As the crowd assembled at tour the site, Vann Thrasher thanked the team that is making it possible – contractor Dan Gagne, engineer Lynn Townsend Burnett, Village retail manager Kate Wight, architect Gene Aubry, solar expert Tom Stockebrand and Kaiser.
The site includes the 1913 Rosedale Cottage and the 1935 Sears Cottage, moved from another location on the street. Vann Thrasher said she plans to open the buildings in six weeks, but has not finalized what businesses that will be located there.
"This site is about the future, but has an interest in the past. This was Will Bean's home when he met with Charles Roser to create the Anna Maria Beach Company to develop Anna Maria," Vann Thrasher said.
"This was the beginning of Anna Maria, but we have a new beginning – we want to be the first net zero energy building in Florida. We want to have an interpretive center here, so people can come and see what they can do."
"What makes this project sustainable is location. It's walkable, and the trolley stops just outside the door," Kaiser pointed out.
Kaiser said the materials in the Rosedale Cottage are either being reused or recycled and noted, "When you retrofit an old building, there's more labor involved, so it creates jobs."
The first stop on the site tour was a well being drilled for the geothermal heat pumps. Mike King, of Symbiont Service, Corp., said pumps would transfer water from one well, and then it would go through a heat exchange and be pumped back into a discharge well.
Geothermal heating and cooling taps into the renewable solar energy from the sun's rays that's stored in the ground and provides savings from 50 to 70 percent on utility bills.
The second stop was the cistern system being installed by Raindrop Cisterns. Jack Burden, of Raindrop, said the system would capture water to be used in the building and also supplement the irrigation on the property.
He said the system also would capture the property's stormwater, reducing runoff, and a second cistern system using bladder technology would store water for future use.
"There is no water waste," he pointed out. "They'll use every drop that falls on the property. It protects the natural environment and is not demanding of the water utility."
Rex James, of Eco Technologies, said his company installed photo voltaic cells at Beach Bums across the street, and power generated there is being brought to the Village. Photo voltaic cells convert solar light photons into electricity. Both buildings in the Village also will have photo voltaic cells installed on their roofs to power the site.