SINCE 2009 Tivoli Homes of Sarasota has been specializing in green-built homes certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition. Many of them are built in the Key West cottage style, with features like metal roofs, charming front porches and attractive fiber cement siding over concrete block. Twenty-one such homes have been built in the Cottages of Callista Village development on University Parkway (now sold out) and several have been built on customer-owned lots. Tivoli has also extensively remodeled several homes for customers seeking a more energy-efficient, greener lifestyle. Several new projects are in the works, along with more construction on customer-owned lots as well. We find that customers appreciate being green, but even more importantly, they enjoy seeing substantial savings on their utility bills every month.
We make available in our construction innovative features such as Icynene spray foam insulation in the attic. Icynene is a spray foam product that is applied to the underside of the roof deck, creating a sealed attic of “conditioned space.” The usual Florida attic has insulation on the ceiling, with the attic temperature reaching as high as 140 degrees on a typical summer day.
Since our primary mode in Florida is cooling rather than heating, the air conditioning system usually must be sized larger and work harder to push air through ducts located in this hot environment. But with the spray foam system, the attic temperature is usually within five degrees of the house temperature, which allows for a smaller-sized air conditioning unit, while greatly increasing the efficiency of the system. The spray foam is also a healthier alternative to typical insulation, with the added benefit of noise reduction. The humidity in the attic is removed as well, allowing homeowners an opportunity to design a storage area that would otherwise be wasted space.
In addition to the spray foam insulation, Tivoli is also installing solar hot water heaters or heat pump water heaters in our homes. Since hot water generally accounts for about 30% of the typical utility bill, this provides substantial savings for our homeowners. Combined with the spray foam and other features, the savings are quite significant. The efficiency of the home is also greatly impacted by the windows we select - Winguard windows from PGT. They are impact-rated and insulated with low emissivity (low-e) glazing that reflects the sun’s heat.
Many of our roofs are unpainted 5-V crimp metal that reflects solar radiation. We have a cool attic to begin with, due to the Icynene system, and having a metal roof is another significant factor in the efficiency of the home. Also, metal is the most wind-resistant roofing material for Florida.
Part of being green is being durable and low-maintenance. Most of our homes built in this style have fiber cement siding over concrete block. This makes for a very durable, low-maintenance home that is simultaneously appealing to the eye. A vapor barrier is applied to the outside face of the concrete block and then the siding is applied to that. Any cracking that takes place in the grout points is not transferred to the exterior surface, as it would be with stucco - eliminating the possibility of moisture and mold in the walls.
Other green features we include are recycled content carpeting, low or zero volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and adhesives, and high-efficiency air conditioning systems. Our owners tell us that their cottages are the most comfortable homes they have ever lived in. We love to hear compliments like that!
32 South Osprey Ave. Ste. 203