Modern Eco Courtyard House in Florida

Front Family 2

This is a newly constructed contemporary home in Winter Park, Florida.  It was designed for a family of four by John Drake of Green Apple Architecture and has 2,988 square feet, as well as terraces, courtyard spaces, and cozy family gathering areas.  As a certified green home, it’s also a good example of the kind of home that can be built with proper planning, a decent budget, and the right team. 

Back at Kitchen

Certified at the Gold level by the Florida Green Building Coalition, this home has some impressive green elements:  shady overhangs, energy efficient windows, remote controlled clerestory windows, a well-insulated envelope, Solatubes, solar hot water, etc.

Though architect-designed, it was built for the approachable price of about $164 per square foot.  If you count the terraces and roofed spaces, the cost was more like $125 per square foot.  In addition, efficient systems help keep energy costs down. 

Lyndol Development built this green courtyard home, and One Stop Green provided green consulting and commissioning services.

Loft Family Kids Hall


Master Bath Kids Bath


Courtyard Family

[+] Get more info on this home from Green Apple Architecture.

Credits: John Drake. 

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  • MrSteve007

    I think there should be a new rule. Unless you have an extended family of 6+ living in the house, no house over 2,000 sq/ft can be considered ‘eco.’

    Each family member in this house has nearly an equal amount square footage to an average family of 4 lived in, in the 50’s.

  • Sea Wolf

    Agree with MrSteve007. 2,998 sq. ft. for 4, by definition, cannot = cozy. Moreover, though this house may be modern and green, it is still a snout house . . . garage thrust forward, more welcoming to cars than to people. I’ll bet the house next door has a front porch so its inhabitants can commune with the neighbors, so much more connected to the street than this fenced off compound.

  • Anonymous

    2988 square feet for 4 people. However eco friendly it is, it is a huge waste of space. “As a certified green home, it’s also a good example of the kind of home that can be built with proper planning, a decent budget, and the right team.” A decent budget, hmm wonder if that means you have to have the means to do so.
    Eco friendly for the masses is not here as yet and wont be for a while. Unless we give major tax breaks to low income folks to buy into eco friendly environments and transportation systems these things will be the new toys for the rich.

  • bruteforcecollaborative

    come on clowns, this is a GSF calculation – which means the NFA could be anywhere on the order of 7-14% smaller, depending on the type of insulation used/wall thickness. besides, nearly ALL the homes in winter park are ‘snout’ homes’ – christ, nearly all the homes in florida are. also, this project doesn’t have what nearly all its neighbors do – a swimming pool.

    additionally, panning a project on square footage alone is asinine. you don’t know the client’s programming needs – maybe the house is designed for the grandparents to move in. maybe one of their children is disabled and requires dedicated space. maybe the house is also a home office, thereby foregoing additional office space in another location.

    size alone isn’t a function of how green or ungreen something is.

    • MrSteve007

      Ah yes, the old *2-story* home with a gravel driveway that is actually planned for disabled children and the elderly argument . . .

  • Frodo_17

    I’m not totally sure what makes this home ‘eco’ either. Perhaps it is, but we are short on details. Is it built out of FSC framing or recycled materials? How energy efficient are the windows. How much insulation was put into the envelope? What does a gold rating from the Florida Green Building Coalition mean? Is it comparable to a gold rating from LEED? How does it’s energy use compare with other homes of similar size in Florida? Without these details, I would call it a nice, 1/2 million dollar, 3000 sq. ft. contemporary home – in Winterpark, Florida.

    • Preston

      Windows: PGT Industries, aluminum frame with insulated glass; insulation: Corefill 500, block filler, and BioBased Insulation, spray polyurethane foam; and AC: a small, variable speed system.

    • Doug

      I would love to see the homes in this blog provide some real numbers to go along with the hyperbole. I’m sure it must have had an energy rating, so what was the HERS, Window U and SHGC values, R-value of walls and ceiling, AC seer rating, furnace AFUE. The energy component of a building is far more important than “remote controlled clerestory windows”. Many of us are looking here for inspiration and ideas for our own projects, and shouting green when a bit of bamboo is used just belittles many peoples true effort.

      • Preston

        I agree and we will provide that information when available. Keep in mind, this site isn’t only about ultra energy efficiency. We’ll mention some of that. But we look at green design elements in general and will focus on a range of projects, from light to dark green and everything in between.

        I’m really surprised at the negative tone towards this project. I really like it. Love the overhangs and abundant windows. Love the design look with concrete floors (rather than carpet), clean walls and lines, wood accents. It’s simple and open. And as a new dad with a beagle that likes to wander, I don’t mind the fencing and courtyard aspects either. Oh well …

        • Frodo_17

          I think this is a great site. Thank-you for doing it. You showcase lots of great contemporary/modernist homes and structures. I understand your reference to design aesthetics but I would second what Doug has said above. I, and I think many others, are looking for both design, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility. We are all looking for inspiration and ideas. When something is ‘green’ or energy efficient (the two terms are not completely synonymous then a little more information (if possible) explaining what makes it so is critical. There are all kinds of standards of energy efficiency, ecological responsibility – at all levels – from local to multinational. It’s fairly confusing to the non-architect, non-building public. Thanks.

  • bruteforcecollaborative

    you started speaking in (false) generalities, and that’s mostly what my comments were in reference to. i’m not defending or supporting this project, i’m just stating attacking something on SF alone is a ridiculous argument.
    for the record, the average house in 1950s was just under 1000sf (per NAHB), and average family size was 3.3 (per US census) – that would be about 300sf per person, putting this house far from your inaccurate generalization.
    additionally, gravel can be utilized in ADA-compliant paths and a 2 story house utilizing an elevator could be more compact (thermal efficiency) and have less encroachment on natural habitat than a 1-story house.

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