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The Madera Community in Gainesville, FL

Low-Impact Development
Madera Community, Gainesville, Florida

The Madera community in Gainesville, Florida, has been designed for resource and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, environmental sustainability, durability (including termite resistant construction), and cost effectiveness.It is the intent of the developers to design, build, and sell market-rate housing that is exemplary in energy performance and sustainability features. Located on a fully wooded 44-acre site in Gainesville, directly adjacent to the University of Florida campus, Madera consists of 88 lots.

Low-Impact Development (LID) Practices for Storm Water Management
With more stringent design requirements, costs for traditional storm water collection and conveyance systems have risen sharply. Low-Impact Development (LID) techniques can offer developers a more cost effective way to address storm water management through site design modifications and "Best Management Practices" (BMPs). Madera incorporated these strategies to develop in an environmentally responsible manner. 

Decreasing impervious surfaces can be a simple strategy to avoid problems from stormwater runoff and water table depletion, by reducing surfaces that prevent natural filtration. Reducing roadway surfaces can retain more permeable land area. The street design at Madera helps to limit clearing and compaction with streets that are 20 feet wide compared to an average residential street of 35 feet.

Infiltration storage tank systems can be designed to store rainwater for dry-period irrigation, rather than channeling it to streams. Madera’s infiltration tanks hold up to a third of roof run off.

Limited street lights decreases the impact of development on wildlife. Madera has half the lights typically used for street lighting. The street lights are shaped so that the light is thrown down to avoid lighting the unnecessary areas.

Native landscaping, works with preexisting conditions, particularly climatic. The health of Florida’s estuaries, rivers, lakes and aquifers depends partly on how the yard is landscaped and maintained. Florida-friendly landscaping emphasizes these major principles that can create and maintain beautiful lawns and gardens:

          * Right Plan, Right Place            * Control Yard Pests Responsible

         * Water Efficiently                    * Reduce Stormwater Runoff

         * Fertilize Appropriately             * Protect the Waterfront

         * Mulch/Recycle                        * Attract Wildlife

Low-E coated windows
Emissivity is a measure of how much a glass surface transfers radiant heat. Low-e windows have a coating that consist of microscopically thin metal or metal-oxide layers deposited on the glazing surfaces that diffuse radiated heat by reflecting it, rather than allowing it into the air layer. Low-e coatings are strategically placed between double panes. The most effective position
for the low-e layer is based on the window’s orientation and the climate in which it is installed. For example in southern climates, where cooling costs are the dominant factor, the low-e surface is placed on the exterior pane to reflect solar radiation away from the window. Many variations exist for particular applications, including low-e coating on a plastic film suspended between the panes.
Low-e windows bring benefits to the occupant by contributing to a more consistent indoor temperature and by reducing heating and cooling costs. 

Low-VOC Paints
Paints that contain low or not volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can reduce harmful chemical vapors in the home that may trigger asthma or other breathing ailments. Pittsburgh Paints’ Pure Performance™ Interior Latex Paint has no VOCs. In addition, it has an antimicrobial compound that makes the paint mildew-resistant when dry.

Mastic-Sealed Ductwork
The ducts have been sealed with RCD Mastics to help prevent dust, soil and other pollutants from entering the system.

The Madera community is a model of how thoughtful design and technology can result in an energy efficient, high-quality home with minimal impact on its surroundings.

For more information about building a "green" home in Madera or on your own lot please contact Ben Phillips @ 352-682-9704 or visit our website at

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