Synergy Building Corp. builds the Largest LEED Platinum Home in Sarasota County verified by Two Trails Green Building Consulting.

Synergy Building Corp. is a design/build construction management company that has achieved a new first for Sarasota, the largest LEED Platinum home in Sarasota.  This area of Florida is a hot bed of firsts for the green building industry.  Synergy Building chose Two Trails Green Building Consulting as consultants and verifiers for this project to help them achieve this new first for the Sarasota area.

One reason Florida in general is an exciting area for the green building industry is because of Drew Smith of Two Trails.  Two Trails has consulted on projects with accolades such as: Highest Scoring LEED home in the World, Top 5 scoring LEED homes in the World, First LEED Platinum School in the Nation and now for Sarasota, Synergy Building has achieved the largest LEED Platinum home in Sarasota with this residential project located on Manasota Key consuming 9600 square feet.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a home, building, or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The Synergy Project not only achieved LEED Platinum on this project, but has achieved a few other 3rd party certifications such as Energy Star Home Certification, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Indoor airPlus Certification, Florida Water Star Gold Certification, Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Certification and the Florida Green Building Coalition Platinum Certification.

To understand this project is to look at the builder, Synergy Building Corp., which is headed by Joe Jannopoulo. Synergy Building is a design/build construction management company.  Joe is a native to Sarasota and has been in business since 2000.   He describes the company approach to construction as artistic with a focus on client services.  What differs them in the market place is their ability to provide beneficial input on the design project with origination being from either an architect or a client.  They are not just a follow the plans only builder, but is focused on what is right for the project, not the profit bottom line.   Joe likes to work on projects that are special in their own way and feels can leave a legacy to what he has built.  Joe is proud of the flexibility and availability that he is able to offer his clients.  If things need to be changed from the plans he is there to assist with [nggallery id=1]the process and available to do that for his clients.  This opportunity for input on the project should be the norm with luxury custom homebuilders, but the fact is many are just trying to get the project done as fast as possible and move onto the next one.  Synergy also knows that when working on projects they need to lean on their chosen experts in the field.  He credits the local subcontractor pool in the area as excellent and has found a great team that he trusts to provide the best expertise in their field weather it be painting to plumbing.  Joe stated, “No matter what business you are in hire an expert, because if you haven’t, you have not done your project a good service.” Synergy has worked on various styles of homes over the past few years those being French, Contemporary remodel, Chinese Pagoda and now the largest LEED platinum home in Sarasota.  They would classify themselves as a true custom builder.

Synergy’s take on green building is that architects are trying to design efficiently and clients want homes that are not going to cost a lot to maintain.  Weather or not they want to design a green home those two principals lead them to the practices of designing a sustainable home. Ironically this in turn produces a home that in most respects will proceed down a path that is highlighted by a third party certification.

Joe found the green building portion of the project had a few unexpected surprises for this Manasota Key home.  While the energy modeling was done on a high conservative side he tailored the construction to follow the plans for lighting and appliances.  With a tight building envelope they were able to use a smaller HVAC system. They also increased the photovoltaic system because they were able to make the roof bigger, which increased the quality and output of the modules, which in turn increased the kilowatts produced by the solar panels.  With the reduction of consumed energy in 6200 square feet of conditioned space out of the total 9600 square feet of the home they are estimating high at $75 a month electric bill.  If the homeowners are conservative with their usage the number could be dramatically less.   They were also surprised that it is some times difficult to get the look of a surface with certain green products, but they were delighted to see many new products on the market that can achieve the high end look that custom built home clients want.  What is gratifying to Joe is the home does not look like a green home, more like any other high-end home, but to his delight is built to sustainable practices.

Two Trails is proud to have been chosen by Synergy Building Corp. for their first LEED project.  To be able to achieve these certifications for this large of a home and for their first LEED project is something Synergy can be sure to add to their legacy as they move forward onto the next project.  Joe stated, “The nice thing with working with Two Trails is they are the experts in this field, which allowed me to just be able to keep building.”

Synergy Building Corporation |


About Drew Smith | Two Trails, Inc. was founded in 2001, by an innovative builder who set out to change the methodology of conventional building science. Drew realized that the only way to change the industry was to become the resource for the knowledge on how to implement healthy, sustainable projects. He “hung up his hammer” and opened one of the first green building, consulting firms in the nation.

By helping to develop standards for the American Lung Association, National Home Builders Association, Florida Green Building Coalition, and USGBC LEED for Homes by either writing the standard or testing the viability of the standard in the field, he was able to provide his firm with a thorough understanding of the science of building sustainable, healthy, environmentally conscious, and affordable solutions for the building industry. He was “green” before “green” was more than a color.  Our President, Drew M. Smith, LEED AP BD+C, was the founding President of the Florida Green Building Coalition and is the first Governor appointed Green Building Commissioner for the State of Florida. Two Trails, Inc. provides hands-on consulting making it easy to achieve certification.

About Two Trails, Inc. | Two Trails, Inc. is one of the nations premier Green Building Consulting firm established in 2001. We provide green consulting services nationwide for commercial, residential, remodeling, and developments seeking to obtain LEED certification and/or LEED commissioning by USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Energy Star by the U.S. Department of Energy, & Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) certifications.

Contact Information:

Tom Rupp

Two Trails, Inc.

Communications and Marketing Manager

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