London Bay Homes is taking the luxury homebuilding world by storm – completing its first ever solar-powered home in Naples.
“We pride ourselves on leading innovation and creating a better way to build. Solar power was the next logical progression in London Bay’s more than 30-year evolution and we’re grateful to our clients who really wanted to push these boundaries with us,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of London Bay.
Located in The Estuary at Grey Oaks, the 6,000-square-foot estate highlights London Bay Homes’ breadth of expertise in custom homebuilding. It incorporates advanced and emerging technologies that only years ago seemed futuristic – like energy-storing Tesla Powerwalls in lieu of a generator – and relies on Florida sunshine for most of its power.
The owners were living in a home they built with London Bay Homes in the early 2000s and were looking for a change. “They wanted to push the boundaries of solar power, green home and energy efficiency and felt London Bay Homes was the right company to guide them through the process,” said Steve Miller, vice president of London Bay. “Any time you have the opportunity to work with the client for a second time, the energy throughout the creative process is even more collaborative and the communication is more open. There is established trust and transparency, which leads to better design and exploring options outside the box like technology and solar, for example, but also on lifestyle.”
Dramatically different than their previous home which had a central courtyard with a pool, the new residence features an open-concept floor plan maximizing indoor-outdoor living. London Bay’s team of architects, interior designers and building professionals partnered with Florida-based Goldin Solar, the state’s leading installer of Tesla technology, to achieve the right balance of aesthetic and function. Design concepts that, on the surface, seemed contrary were resolved through architecture, innovation and automation.
Using 3D modeling, the home was positioned strategically to ensure optimal sun exposure to fuel 78 solar panels. To address interior heat gain and increase energy efficiency, extended overhangs shade windows from the outside while automated window treatments and smart lighting inside react to natural sunlight at different times of the day and year. In the master suite’s walk-in closets, sensors detect when the rooms are unoccupied and turn off lights.
To maximize energy efficiency, the home was designed using features such as higher-rated wall insulation and insulated windows to reduce energy usage and improve indoor air quality. Multi-zoned air-conditioning conserves energy in seldom-used parts of the home, sensors monitor water consumption, and the Tesla Powerwalls store power for future use.
“London Bay Homes was one of the first builders to use the Tesla technology in Naples,” Miller said. “The theory is that the home will produce enough power throughout the day that it can draw off the Powerwalls every evening, and when necessary, in storm conditions with minimal or no assistance from the power grid. We believe the house is going to be close to net zero. If we can minimize the electrical load on the house, then solar should be producing the lion’s share of the energy needed.”
“While the financial savings aspect is an added benefit, for these clients the primary goal was more about being an early adopter of solar power,” Miller said.
As a custom estate by London Bay Homes, the new home also caters to the clients’ lifestyle and needs – a second study for her, a sink in the pantry for preparing shakes, a four-car garage with one bay used to store their bicycles and outdoor recreation equipment, and a lighter, more contemporary interior aesthetic created by Romanza Interior Design. The home also seamlessly connects the indoors to large outdoor living spaces. Artificial turf provides a solution in shady areas of the lawn and doubles as a putting green.
“It may sound obvious, but you have to listen to your clients and learn what’s important to them,”
said Miller. “Lifestyles change, tastes change. After 18 years in one of our homes, this couple was ready for a new adventure and something drastically different. As a result of this collaboration, London Bay Homes continues to evolve and add to our repertoire for future clients. We listen, we learn.”
London Bay Homes’ custom home designs can be seen in private residences throughout Port Royal and Old Naples to Park Shore. Homebuyers benefit from London Bay Homes’ over 30 years of building experience and a reputation for superior customer service, attention to detail, continued innovation and premier quality. An in-house team provides a collaborative, personalized approach to homebuilding, creating private residences that make the most of their homesites and exceed expectations. The company has received more than 450 industry awards for homebuilding excellence.