DUNEDIN — Soon, the homes will be greener on the east side of the street.
That's because the first of 14 environmentally friendly homes in a development called the Glencairn Cottages sprouted Friday.
The Key West model took only one day to build as a 200-ton crane swung four 60,000-pound, prefabricated modules into the air and placed them on top of each other like little plastic Lego bricks.
The units will be bolted together and finished to completion over the next few weeks.
City Commissioner Deborah Kynes dropped by to watch the spectacle at 619 Douglas Ave., one block south of Main Street.
"This is the first completely green development in Tampa Bay and that is really cool," she said. "It's the best of sustainable living."
Already the development with a Celtic-sounding name has won two Aurora Awards by the Southeast Building Conference, which honors professional builders and designers in a 12-state region.
And the Florida Green Building Coalition certified the development as Pinellas and Hillsborough county's first green development, said developer Carl Krave, president of Pocket Neighborhoods.
Krave said he was pleased to be so green — but it wasn't all that easy. "The process took five years," the 58-year-old Dunedin resident said. He went through seemingly endless concepts, designs, commission meetings and permitting requests.
The single-family homes come in three styles ranging from 1,476 to 1,988 square feet with prices starting around $320,000. All are three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.
They come with appliances designed to sip power rather than guzzle it. A tankless water heater, hurricane-impact windows and roofing created to reflect radiant heat are other standard features.
But Krave said his Earth-friendly philosophy doesn't stop there. When he and his wife, Jan, bought the 1 3/4 acre site in 2004, there were five old structures on the property. Rather than tearing them down and hauling them off to the dump, the couple renovated three, moving two to another location and saving one charming little hut to serve as the site office.
The roads within the community will be made from crushed oyster shell to allow water to permeate the ground.
A community pathway will meander through the center of the development and connect Douglas Avenue to the Presbyterian church, hopefully encouraging more to walk.
Krave believes his design not only nurtures the environment, but people, too.
The homes at Glencairn will surround a landscaped courtyard with ambient lighting. Each unit has a private side yard with windows strategically placed for privacy. Large front porches are located on first and second stories.
"We wanted to create a sense of community," Krave said.
The Florida-style cottages are built with modular units created by Nationwide Custom Homes in Virginia. Building with prefabricated units in an enclosed environment is one more way to be eco-friendly, Krave said.
"If you build on site, you might have 8,000 pounds of waste going into the landfill," he said. "This takes fewer crews, leaves less of a footprint on the environment and overcomes Florida's weather problems.
"Going green is not a fad," Krave said. "It's the way of the future."
Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.