MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With an eye toward the future, Little Gables’ leaders broke ground Sunday on the city’s first two certified ‘green’ houses.

Architect and developer Carlos Ruiz de Quevedo, who also chairs the Coral Gables Green Task Force, said the project, in the 4400 block of SW 11th Street, has been a labor of love.

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“For the past three years I have been asking builders, investors and developers to provide me with Green inventory to sell and everyone seems to be hesitant. So I decided to do it myself to show the local housing industry that there is a market for green houses in South Florida and that green houses can be affordable,” said Ruiz in a statement.

So what will make these two houses so different from homes currently being built across South Florida?

“The walls will be insulated reinforced concrete to keep heat and humidity out and offer hurricane protection. The windows will be airtight impact resistant with laminated tinted glass,” said Ruiz. “The roof will be metal with reflective paint to reflect the sun’s rays and insulated with rigid foam insulation creating an unvented attic that will be about 50% cooler than conventional roofs resulting in smaller AC and lower electric bills.”

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The lighting in the homes will be controlled through wireless programmable switches. The homes’ air conditioning will have Wi-Fi smart thermostats and they’ll also be solar ready. Ruiz predicts these homes will use about 70% less electricity than conventional houses.

The homes will also feature high efficiency plumbing fixtures to save water including a gutter system and tanks which will collect rainwater for irrigation.

“While these houses are a little more expensive than conventional they pay off the investment due to lower operating costs,” added Ruiz.

“We want Little Gables to be an example of green living. This began years ago as the neighborhood planted over 100 live oaks and other native trees in our swales, promoted recycling and worked with the County to clean some of our problem properties,” said Karen Shane, President of the Little Gables Neighborhood Association.

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Ruiz said when complete, the homes will be sold in the mid to $500,00o range.