Construction equipment tore through a Floral Court home last week with one goal in mind: to make room for something better.
Demolished by Keystone Homes, the 27-year-old house on 13 Floral Court is to be replaced with an energy-efficient green home. Other than homes that had to be replaced because of natural disasters, it’s the first of its kind to be built for residential use in Palm Coast.
According to Robbie Richmond, president of the Flagler Home Builders Association and Keystone Homes, the demolished home was showing its age. Aside from everyday building code violations, its foundation remains a concern.
“Soil tests are done,” Richmond said. “Now we’re waiting for the results to see if de-mucking … will be necessary.”
These soil tests, or bore tests, show whether the earth beneath a home can support its weight. Another option to fortify the groundwork could be to “modify the footing,” increasing the size of the foundation and loading it with rebar steel.
The city’s first conscious effort at residential redevelopment, Keystone’s home-to-be will stand as a larger version of the model the company built facing Belle Terre Parkway early last year, on 24 Point of Woods Drive.
Some energy-efficient features built standard into every Keystone home include:
— Solar water heater, with water-flow controls
— Dual-flush toilets, with .6 gallon and 1.6 gallon (standard) flush options
— UV-coated double-pane windows
— Zoysia sod, which requires half the amount of irrigation needed compared to St. Augustine sod
— Chloroform film built into the concrete, which is helps with insulation and bug control
Icynene insulation in the attic also helps to keep temperatures down. Instead of the estimated 120 degrees of most summertime Florida attics, Icynene maintains temperatures closer to 70 degrees.
But not all renovation has to start from the ground up.
“Green remodeling is a viable option,” said Jason DeLorenzo, government liaison for the Flagler Home Builders Association. A relatively low-cost way to upgrade a home and save energy, he said, is installing low-emittance windows. He said most home energy is lost through the windows and doors. A solar-powered water heater is a good option, as well.
By code alone, homes built after 2004 are stronger and more efficient. With life expectancies of about 50 years, though, homeowners should always weigh the upfront costs against the eventual payback rate.
“I am not what you’d call a big environmentalist,” said Alan Hendry, of Virginia, who bought the home at 13 Floral Court in preparation for his retirement. “If you’re going to build a new house, it makes a lot of sense to build it as efficiently as you reasonably can.”
The new 13 Floral Court will be move-in ready by July.
— Mike Cavaliere