Location: Sarasota, Fla.
Principal: Josh Wynne
Founded: 1998
Size: 5 employees
Little-known fact: Our first LEED-certified project (Codding Cottage) was the highest scoring LEED Platinum home in the U.S. at the time of certification and the first LEED for Homes v.1 in Florida.

What was the biggest lesson you learned from your project, Trade Winds?
Josh Wynne: Among other things, we learned that extremely high levels of sustainability can be achieved by implementing simple design techniques and diligent conservation efforts. The use of expensive secondary systems such as solar PV, rainwater cisterns, and greywater recovery are not necessary if the proper design is in place and all opportunities for conservation have been exhausted.

What insights from this and other sustainable projects would you share with other professionals?
Sustainable homes start with good design. If your house is inefficient without the inclusion of secondary systems (such as air conditioning), it will be far lass efficient when those systems are factored. Passive design principals are imperative in a truly sustainable home.

What is your firm's philosophy on sustainable design?
Every client wants a sustainable home. Some clients require an education to help them realize that.

What kinds of sustainable solutions are non-negotiable for your firm? What are the baseline standards your firm aims to meet with every project?
Every home is Energy Star-certified and FGBC-certified (a regional accreditation through the Floria Green Building Coalition,). Honestly, through education, we push our clients further than they ever intended on going.

What are the top energy-saving features you put in your projects?
Tight, well-insulated building envelopes, proper solar and natural ventilation design, and high efficiency HVAC systems. Obviously renewable energy systems are great when the budget allows.

How do you think these types of innovative green solutions might become standard?
Standards are what we make them. Our standards are maximum energy conservation, maximum water conversation, complete indoor health considerations, maximum durability and regional environmental stewardship.

Read more about Josh Wynne Construction's Trade Winds in EcoHome's case study.