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Green Builder VISION House - Orlando '08

  • 10 - 02/16/08
    The Green Builder VISION Series House - Orlando '08 is being built by Westmont Homes for Roberto & Cyndi Carrion. This third house in the VISION Series will be a high-end architect-designed custom home, demonstrating that green can be not only glamorous, but also sustainable by considering durability and life safety in an active hurricane zone.

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May 26, 2007

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B Wagner

You have covered excellent solutions for conserving water at the user end, however this is not aquifer protection. To achieve aquifer protection, recognized recharge areas must remain unpaved and unpolluted. In addition, sand mines or stormwater retention areas (sources of fill dirt masquerading as lakes) that punch through to the water table, must be restricted or prohibited.

Teresa Watkins - FYN

Brian, thanks for taking the time to comment. You bring up valid points that good government takes into consideration when permitting developments. Providing more green space (without non-source pollutants) for percolation is vital in recharging the aquifer.

Keep in mind, though that the Green Build House 2008 will not be using potable or surface water on a regular basis for its irrigation. This will help the Floridan aquifer by not depleting its finite supply.

Experts estimate that the potable water supply could be depleted within the next 20 years if alternative resources are not used. If every development, or single residential home, and commercial businesses implemented cisterns, reclaimed or recycled water, efficient irrigation, and other alternative sources, the potable water supply would last longer. This would allow public and private water suppliers more time to develop communities with better infrastructure and newer technology that would conserve and protect our potable water supply at a lower cost to the homeowner.

Brian, remember we are not running out of water, we are running out of cheap, potable water. As we deplete the aquifer by irrigating with potable water, we will see an increase in salt water intrusion, even in Central Florida, forcing water suppliers to use alternative water sources and technologies which will raise utility bills to extreme "never-before-seen" highs.

The future homeowners of the Green Build Vision House 2008 will use Florida-friendly principles of right plant, right place, appropriate fertilizing, and efficient irrigation to not only protect Lake Apopka, but also the Floridan aquifer.

You are right, stormwater retention areas are a necessary part of smart development and can be achieved with more but smaller holding ponds, no curbing, to allow for more percolation. The community where Green Builder Vision House 2008 is being constructed provides for wide swales and does not have curbing for this very reason.

With rapid development from residential and commercial industries, we are seeing a rapid loss of ecosystems necessary for wildlife. Sand mines and stormwater retention pond areas have the potential to become valuable wildlife habitat and corridors with proper planning and restoration.

Thanks for writing, Brian. Please keep following the column as we detail the Green House Vision House 2008's phases. Educating government, builders and developers, and Florida residents as to what actions need to take place to protect Florida's precious resources is a critical topic for everyone.

Teresa

David L. Wickham, FIS, ASLA, MS

Anyone that thinks that drawing water from Florida's surface lakes, canals, streams and rivers will help the water shortage for drinking, irrigation, etc. purposes. They don't see, and/or understand, the full short and long term consequences of those actions. Since when do human water needs outweigh those of the native environment, flora and fauna, etc. needs?

Robert Elmquist

The first paragraph states,"...counties have already passed strict ordinances which ban the use of potable water for irrigation." Do you have a list of those counties and, perhaps, ordinance numbers or contact names for those personnel requlating the ordinances? I am interested in obtaining more information on these practices. Thank you.

Roberto Carrion

Polk County is one of the counties. They should be able to direct you to others.

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