Project Team:

  • Developer / Owner: University of Miami
  • Architect of Record: Jorge L. Esteban of Accolade
  • Design Architect: DPZ
  • Interior Designer: Taylor and Taylor
  • Landscape Architect: Geomantic Designs
  • MEP Engineer: Martin Vilato Engineers
  • Contractor: Coastal
  • LEED Consultant: The Spinnaker Group
  • LEED for Homes Provider: E3 Building Sciences


Sustainable and Environmental Achievements:

The Ibis House is currently registered within the LEED for Homes rating system by the US Green Building Council.  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system,providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.  Developed by the USGBC (US Green Building Council), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. 


Some environmental and sustainable achievements include:


Location & Linkages:

  • The site is located within an existing development on a previously developed site promoting urban infill and within walking distance to bus stops offering over 30 rides per day.
  • Within the development is 21 acres of natural preserve offering open space for recreation for the occupants.

Sustainable Site:

  • Erosion controls such as silt fencing and stormwater inlet protection have been implemented to prevent against construction activity pollution.
  • Stormwater will be managed from the roof and onsite through the permeability of the vegetated open space and gutters and exfiltration trenches from hardscapes, ensuring all stormwater infiltrates into the aquifer onsite.
  • Non-toxic pest control measures will be used to deter pests and termites.

Water Efficiency:

  • The project will utilize very high efficient fixtures inside the home; dual-flush toilets, low-flow sinks and showers.
  • A highly efficient irrigation system will decrease irrigation demand and include high efficiency nozzles, separate watering zones based on needs, rain or moisture sensor and a central controller.

Energy and Atmosphere:

  • The Ibis House has achieved a 72 on the preliminary HERS (Home Energy Rating) Index demonstrating the home is nearly 30% more efficient than standard home.  (A baseline home would score a 100)
  • All appliances will be Energy Star rated appliances.
  • The glass will contain a Low-E coating to improve the glass performance by reducing heat gain.
  • Spray foam insulation will be utilized within the walls and roof of the home ensuring it is extremely well insulated, create a sealed attic space protected from high temperatures and seal the home, preventing against excessive air leakage.
  • High SEER HVAC units will be installed to decrease the cooling load.
  • A solar hot water system will be installed on the roof to heat the water for the home with the sun’s energy and hot water pipes are insulated with R-4 insulation to protect against heat loss during distribution.
  • White exterior paint and a white roof will reflect heat from the harsh South Florida sun reducing the cooling load.
  • The home has been designed for natural ventilation with many opportunities for cross-ventilation, shaded outside living spaces and ceiling fans in most living spaces.

Materials & Resources:

  • Over 75% of all construction waste will be recycled and therefore diverted from the landfill.
  • Concrete materials will contain fly-ash for recycled content and be produced locally.
  • Drywall will contain approximately 95% recycled content and be produced locally.
  • Low-Emitting paints, coatings, adhesives and sealants will be used to protect the indoor environmental quality of the home.
  • Roof trusses will be fabricated off-site to reduce waste and spaced appropriately to increase framing efficiency.

Indoor Environmental Quality:

  • All appliances and fireplaces will be vented properly to ensure air quality protection for the occupants.
  • During construction SMACNA guidelines will be followed to protect the indoor air quality for the final occupants.  Any absorptive material will be protected, duct work will be sealed when not in use to inhibit the introduction of dust and debris, construction activity dust activity will be kept to a minimum and smoking, eating or drinking are not allowed inside the project space.
  • MERV 13 filters have been utilized to maintain improved indoor air quality.
  • A dehumidification system will maintain proper humidity levels and also allow the home to operate without HVAC for portions of the year.
  • The garage is sealed from any living space and includes a garage exhaust to protect occupants from any harmful fumes.
  • A central vacuum system will exhaust dust and debris directly out of the home to maintain air quality while cleaning.

Innovation & Design:

  • The Ibis House will abide by a Green Cleaning program ensuring the indoor environmental quality is maintained through occupancy.
  • The home has been designed for adaptability incorporating many accessibility aspects in the design to reduce any future work for potential handicap occupants.
  • The clothes washers have been selected with a low water factor to reduce water consumption.
  • Durability measures have been implemented into the home to protect from risks and an inspection process has been implemented.

Awareness & Education:

  • Education will be provided to the occupants and maintenance staff to ensure they have the proper information to maintain an efficient and healthy environment within the home.
  • The University of Miami will promote the LEED certification of the home and use it as an opportunity to educate the public of the benefit of building a LEED Certified Home.