By Iris Richmond. For the first time, one of WCI Communities' models will be completely green. Environmentally friendly, that is. Still in the planning stages, the model will offer home buyers an array of options packages to meet their own green standards. Packages will start at around $2,500.

The Bonita Springs, Fla., builder is paying roughly $75,000 more than the cost of building the model for the green features, such as flooring made from bamboo, carpets made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and an HVAC system that tracks humidity and passes air over ultraviolet light to kill mold and mildew, to name a few. Homes will be built speculatively or to suit the buyer.

The green model, which WCI expects to complete by the beginning of 2003, will appear alongside several conventional models at appropriately named Evergreen, a 364-acre community under construction in Palm Beach County, Fla. Evergreen's 1,000 units will range from $200,000 to $600,000. The company declines to say how much more it will charge to build a green home.

"WCI is moving away from the experimental stage and bringing green building into a more production-related environment," says Ken Plonski, director of communications for the builder.

After working out, and fully implementing, the remaining details of Evergreen, to be completed by 2005, the builder intends to take the green-model concept to Venetian Golf & River Club, a new community in Venice, Fla.

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, October 2002