Anna Maria – If you’re on Anna Maria Island you have to check out the Historic Green Village. This unique combination of commercial and residential buildings combines today’s modern energy efficient technology in a historic setting. Owners Mike and Lizze thrasher had a vision for Pine Ave when they vacationed here in 2007. The couple bought 4 adjacent lots on Pine Ave which only had two useable properties and a few abandoned garages. In 2009, when the renovations began, they purchased two different historic abandoned houses from around the island; the Sears Cottage, and the Anglers Lodge. The Anglers Lodge is a huge two story house which required 300,000lbs of concrete reinforcement and required a temporary bridge built across one of the canals to move. It took three “heart slipping” hours to move the Anglers Lodge across the canal but was successfully delivered to the lots on Pine Ave. During Renovations Architect Gene Aubry assisted the thrashers in choosing high quality building materials that reduce energy consumption. They also added in a fifth building, brand new, that was built to match the historic look of the other buildings. Mike and Lizzie Thrashers vision was to establish a group of buildings with a high level of sustainability. With the guidance of environmental consultant, Raymond Kaiser, the HGV was able to become only 1 of 100 places worldwide to earn the Platinum LEED certification and achieve Net Zero Energy during its first 18 months of operation.
Net Zero Energy (NZE) building is one that relies on renewable sources to produce as much energy as it consumes. There are several main areas where buildings are evaluated to determine LEED certification. All the buildings are insulated with a special soy based formula that completely seals and insulates attics, keeping them at the same temperature as the rooms. The HGV also uses special energy efficient windows which are designed to allow in maximum light and filter out the heat carrying infrared spectrum. On top of the HGV buildings lay 400 photovoltaic solar panels which generate about 100kw, or 14,000$ in electricity every year. The photovoltaic solor panels collect energy from the minute the sun rises until the sunsets. The surplus in energy not used by the HGV is sent to Florida Power and Light then sent back to them when they need it during rain storms and at night. Also, all rain water is collected in drains and used to flush the high efficiency toilets inside the buildings and water the landscaping. Another way the HGV is saving energy, is the 450ft deep well pull that brings up 80° water from deep below the surface to help cool the AC, increasing efficiency by 30-50%!
The Historic Green Village is an inspiration to the local community and the Thrashers are hoping to influence others by proving that this is possible not only commercially but residentially. Despite the serious impact of this quaint historic village, don’t forget to check out the shopping venue while you’re here. The Relish Marketplace features Vintage clothing and accessories, reclaimed designer fashions and much more. Lastly, make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious cupcake at Hometown Desserts and then browse the Bob Brown art gallery.