Trade Winds

For the Trade Winds residence in Sarasota, Fla., designer and builder Josh Wynne borrowed detailing from traditional Caribbean Dutch Colonial architecture, including curvilinear parapets, arched doorways, and flat roof tiles. Completed in 2011, the home garnered NGBS Emerald, LEED Platinum, and Florida Green Building Coalition Emerald ratings.

Trade Winds meets EPA’s Indoor airPLUS specifications for indoor air quality. The project uses all low or no-VOC products as well as urea-formaldehyde free plywood. And a MERV-13 filtration system maintains clean air throughout the house.

Wynne and his crew reclaimed the pecky cypress front door from the original house on the property, a bungalow built in the early 1950’s. 91 to 92 percent of the waste from demolition was recycled or reused in the new house, and a local woodworker made the cabinetry. “The client had a real commitment to using local and recycled materials,” Wynne says.

Low-flow Kohler fixtures inside the house and a high-efficiency irrigation system outside, along with low-water-use landscaping, help keep water use to a minimum. Trade Winds received a Gold rating in the Florida Water Star program for its water conservation efforts.

A giant ficus tree in the front yard effectively shades the home’s west elevation. Incorporating this existing element as part of the overall passive cooling strategy exemplifies the project's low-tech green focus. “The client was interested in being as green as possible, without adding systems that might require additional maintenance,” Wynne says.

The waterfront home gets its name from its reliance on the cooling breezes from Sarasota Bay. Its east-facing rear elevation contains a covered balcony and porch, which help with passive cooling. Corresponding windows on the front and rear of the house promote cross-ventilation. The owners reserve use of a 5-zone, 20.5 SEER air conditioning system for particularly hot spells.

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