Best New Building - 2008
The Sands Home
At first glance, this might seem like just another fine example of affordable housing. But Tangelia Sands's new place is the first one in Miami-Dade that is certifiably green, as in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified green. That means builders used renewable materials and designed the home in such a way that the place is considered environmentally friendly to a set standard. Although some upscale buildings have incorporated these elements, this is among the first of its kind built with public money. Remarkably, making the three-bedroom, two-bath home near Liberty Square energy efficient required only an additional $12,850 in construction costs, but Sands and her four kids get to expect an energy savings of $2,500 per year ... while the rest of us get a cleaner environment.