Wakulla County Goes Green

Check out the latest trend in home building that takes into consideration the beautiful surroundingsWakulla County Goes GreenMichelle Adamski, Larry D.Sapp and Stan Derzypolski are leading green housing development in Wakulla County

By Ayanna Shields

Michelle Adamski wants her corner of the Forgotten Coast to see the world through green-colored glasses – at least when it comes to energy-efficient, environmentally friendly homes.

There is a simple reason why “green” practices make sense. As energy prices, construction costs and insurance premiums rise, there is a growing demand for resource-efficient homes that help take the sting out of the monthly bills. Hand in hand with that is concern for the environment, an important item in a county where ecotourism rules.

“Wakulla County is leading North Florida in home green building technology,” said Adamski, a certifying agent for the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC). The coalition is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting environmentally friendly construction practices and standards.

Adamski earned her FGBC certification last year, and since then she has teamed up with two construction companies to build three coalition-certified homes in Sopchoppy. She would like to build more in the future.

Adamski said green home building is increasingly popular because homeowners save on their utility bills, they live in a healthier home environment, and there aren’t as many negative effects on the environment. Amenities such as tankless water heaters, programmable thermostats and compact fluorescent light bulbs help homeowners save money, and they also may help lower insurance costs.

Another aspect of building green is building healthy. For example, green homes usually don’t have a lot of carpeting. In addition, the home can use Hardie Board, a form of recycled concrete siding that is environmentally friendly.

The other important aspect of green building is protecting the environment. Wakulla County is a natural-resource-rich area, and residences are surrounded by many lakes, rivers, beaches and forests. People who live in Wakulla love the environment, and building environmentally friendly homes contributes to that sense of caring.

Adamski, Wakulla County’s green building coordinator, first became interested in green home building when she attended a seminar. She then decided to pursue her FGBC certification and promote green building practices in Wakulla.

After completing the day-long training class, Adamski returned home excited to get started. Her first call was to LDS Construction owner Larry D. Sapp.

“I’d heard about him and seen the signs,” she said. “I wanted to talk with him about green building and the FGBC certification process.”

Adamski said she also thought she could have a great partnership with Sapp because she knew that his company already was building energy-efficient and hurricane-resistant homes, and she knew there would only be a few more requirements to meet before those homes could be certified green as well.

LDS Construction built two certified green houses in Sopchoppy, and another company – Stan Deryzpolski’s Three Rivers Inc. – built another one nearby.

Adamski said building green doesn’t mean you will need deep pockets. It’s nice, she said, to have homes at different prices, and building green but affordable housing is just as important as other factors.

Green houses appear to be here to stay in Wakulla County.

“I hope Wakulla County continues to go in this direction,” Adamski said.

The First Annual Green Living and Energy Expo was held at River Springs Middle School in Crawfordville on the very “green” St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Participants exchanged conventional light bulbs for more energy-efficient types, learned about energy-efficient building construction, toured green homes and attended educational workshops. Visit greenlivingenergyexpo.com for more information.

Categories: Forgotten Coast 2007, Forgotten Coast Archive