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Green Home Renovation Partnership with Rainbow Rehab

A stellar example of our sustainable community partnerships is our Green Home Renovation, a collaboration with Rainbow Rehab, Inc., for an energy retrofit of an older home at 303 Putnam Drive, Tallahassee, in 2009. This effort resulted in achievement of the U.S. Green Building Council’s “LEED for Homes Gold” certification.  The LEED award was presented by the local chapter of the U.S.Green Building Council (USGBC) at Sustainable Tallahassee’s Green Drinks on November 28, 2012 to Buddy Holshouser, President of Rainbow Rehab, the current homeowner, and the team involved in this project. 

This renovation created a home that is 40% more efficient than most new US homes and 30% more efficient than new homes built to the Florida building code. 

Some of the features include: closed-cell foam insulation throughout, tankless water heater, metal roof, energy star appliances and HVAC, thermal windows and energy efficient lighting, re-use of existing beadboard walls and ceiling, water permeable exterior hardscaping, and effective landscaping to control runoff and eliminate or reduce the need for watering. 

The structure was originally built in 1939 with local cypress which protected against rot and infestation. However, there was no insulation and the house had become blighted from disrepair and neglect. By careful re-use of materials in the renovation the landfill waste was minimal.  The home also achieved an Energy Star rating with a HERS score of 60.

The dedicated team from inception throughout the renovation and finally to achievement of LEED certification includes:

  • Anne Hingst, founder of Rainbow Rehab
  • Buddy Holshouser, President of Rainbow Rehab and Team Leader
  • Mark Worley, U.S. Green Building Council member and volunteer builder, and board member of Sustainable Tallahassee
  • Marc Dick, landscape designer
  • Rachelle McClure, LEED project team leader, LEED AP
  • Steven Service, energy and LEED rater, and board member of Sustainable Tallahassee
  • Jeanette Castillo, who created the documentary film
  • Mark D. Powell, PhD, Sustainable Tallahassee board member who coordinated the completion of the LEED certification in 2012
  • More than 100 volunteers, including many FSU students
  • Cristina Freeman, President of the Florida Capital Region chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council

See this amazing achievement and the volunteer participation in this video documenting the process and featuring many of the team listed above.  It was produced by the FSU School of Communications.  You can also copy the link you'll find HERE.

Learn more about the LEED certification at www.usgbc.org/leed/homes or visit the website of the local USGBC chapter at www.usgbc-fcrc.org.

The LEED Green Building Rating System (LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a cutting edge certification of sustainably built and operated green buildings.  

The U.S. Green Building Council administers the LEED rating system in an effort to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life for the people who use the buildings.  

The rating system is consistently updated in an effort to encourage market transformation towards more sustainable practices.  LEED certified buildings represent the top 20% of the market in terms of sustainability.


Achieving LEED certification of a home is not simple because every aspect of the home, inside and out, must be environmentally responsible.  Out of 100 potential LEED credits for green features of a home, the home on Putnam Drive achieved a score of 70, eligible for the “Gold” level of certification.  2012 figures show that 670,000 houses nationwide had achieved LEED certification, with 172,000 of those achieving “Gold” level.  In Florida, as of 2012 there were only 366 certified homes, with only 3 in Tallahassee, evidence that the LEED certification of the home at 303 Putnam Drive was a huge accomplishment by the project team.

Learn more about the LEED certification at www.usgbc.org/leed/homes or visit the website of the local USGBC chapter at www.usgbc-fcrc.org.

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