There is a lot of talk about “green building” in the media, generally accompanied by photos of ultra-modern, technology-laden new homes. However, the ability to design homes that are environmentally friendly and that take advantage of natural cooling abilities has already been incorporated into most historic Florida homes. Prior to the introduction of air conditioning, Florida builders used techniques that “green” designers are now advocating, such as deep covered porches and wide eaves, window awnings and shutters, and operable windows. While we Floridians may not be willing to turn off our air conditioners in August, these features do allow us to make the most of Florida’s more temperate seasons while reducing our energy consumption. To take advantage of the natural good design of a historic home, open windows and doors, turn on ceiling fans and spend a quiet evening on your shaded front porch and have a “green” day.
Image courtesy the Florida State Archives.