Compiled by Wendy O. Dixon
SPOTLIGHTEco Smart Project Educates Visitors, Inspires Developers
By Ashley Kahn
It was a groundbreaking summer for Charlie Rushing and his Eco Smart Project.
On July 17, 2008, ground broke on the Idea/Demonstration House in Shalimar, Fla., with construction due to commence in September.
The forward-thinking, Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) certified project will showcase the best in green products under one roof, while incorporating “Smart House Technology” to control and monitor all systems. Its goal is to teach builders and potential homebuyers the guidelines and best practices for eco-friendly construction by giving the public access to working models of the latest green products and services.
“I designed and developed the first green energy efficient and extreme storm mitigated model home in the area in 1991,” says Project Director Charlie Rushing. “At that time, green homes were in the future.”
Today, more than 100 companies support the Eco Smart Project’s Idea/Demonstration House. The floor plan includes a main home, private cabana home and guest home, with wraparound porches and 180-degree waterfront access. Outdoor features include a maintenance-free pool and spa, as well as waterless grass.
The home will be open for five years as a tool for consultation and education of professionals and consumers at no cost. Clients will be instructed on retrofitting existing homes and commercial businesses or working with architects and designers to suit their green goals.
“Clients are amazed at how much more money, energy, water, maintenance and labor we can save them, and how much more comfortable and healthy their homes can be if green products are used,” Rushing says.
The Eco Smart Project welcomes architects, developers, builders, contractors, realtors and students to tour the home, which will feature thousands of green options from construction to appliances to landscaping.
“We are excited to help advance the ‘greening’ of our country and the world with a cutting-edge, certified green project that will open the eyes of all who take the time to tour it,” Rushing says. “We will help to guide everyone to sustainable living and saving of our precious resources, teach you how to save money and how to live healthier and safer in our green designs.”
FORT WALTON BEACH
Commitment to Military Spouses RecognizedThe leader of a local charity was recently named “Executive of the Year” by the Florida Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. James C. Binnicker is the president and CEO of the Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV), a non-profit charity that provides a home for the surviving spouses of retired enlisted service members. Binnicker received the FAHSA Executive of the Year award, which recognizes the highest qualities of leadership, innovation and commitment.
NICEVILLE Partnership in Education and CommunityWalton County and Northwest Florida State College (NFSC) have partnered to build a $30 million Community Services Complex on the college’s Niceville campus. It will house the county’s Emergency Operations Center, NFSC instructional programs, ROTC and a new athletic arena. The construction contract has been awarded to Speegle Construction Inc. of Niceville.
DESTIN Destin Chamber Awarded Marketing Grant VISIT FLORIDA, on behalf of the Florida Commission on Tourism, the private/public partnership responsible for marketing Florida as a visitor destination, has awarded an Advertising Matching Grant of $2,500 to the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce for the 2008-09 fiscal year. The purpose of these grants is to help local governments and nonprofit entities accomplish more effective tourism marketing. Shane Moody, Chamber President and CEO, says, “These funds will be used for continued tourism promotion and will help us continue to position the Destin area as a world-class resort.”
Destin Dentist Named Invisalign Premier ProviderThe Dennis Lichorwic, DMD, dental team has been named an Invisalign Premier Provider, recognizing select doctors who have achieved an exceptional level of experience. Based on usage, Dr. Lichorwic and his team represent the top 2 percent of North America.
CRESTVIEWNew Florist in CrestviewFelicity Flair, Crestview’s first flower, treat and home boutique, held its grand opening in June. The family-owned business features specialty gift items, and hand-designed floral arrangements.