Project Spotlights

Featured Projects

Evernia Place – Top Scoring FGBC Green Certified High-Rise in State
Evernia Place, an 85-unit affordable senior housing project in West Palm Beach, has been certified as a Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building certification program. Evernia Place achieved 65 points of the 50 minimum required score, making it the highest scoring FGBC Green High-Rise project certified to date.

Evernia Place was sited on an infill property in a redevelopment area of the city, which utilized existing infrastructure, eliminating the need for construction of additional roads and public services.
The project performs over 25 percent more efficiently than required by the Florida Energy Code, providing the residents with low energy bills. Each unit is equipped with Energy Star Appliances, energy-efficient lighting and high-efficiency air conditioners.

The cumulative water savings will easily exceed 50 percent over traditional construction through the use of low-flow, highly-efficient interior water fixtures and appliances, plus the incorporation of Florida Friendly Landscaping and soil moisture sensors.

The most impressive part of this project is how Evernia Place weighs all of the concepts of sustainability – putting the residents, the environment, and the economics in balance to provide a great sense of community, easy access to services, and affordability. [More]

Homecrete Homes Adopts FGBC Certification
In a community development known as Westcliffe Estates at Tradition that was started by an HGTV Green Home project in 2009, Homecrete Homes will be building green certified courtyard homes

All homes will be certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) under the ‘Florida Green’ Home Certification Standard. Criteria in the standard incorporate building methods and products superior to traditional code-built homes, and provide energy efficiency, water conservation (both indoors and in landscaping), reduced maintenance requirements, and protection from natural disasters, such as hurricanes, termites and wildfires.

“Our courtyard styled home design and building method will be the ultimate complement to the home specifications of the HGTV Green Home at Westcliffe Estates,” says Bob Cenk, Vice President of Homecrete Homes.

Homecrete Homes builds all of its structures using some key product features that contribute significantly to the green effort including:

  • Insulated Concrete Form Walls that use polystyrene (EPS) foam with reinforced concrete.
  • Tinted Low-E Impact Windows (no exterior storm shutters required.)
  • Spray foam under the roof deck. This also allows for the attic to become a conditioned space reducing hot air infiltration from the attic into living spaces, reducing utility costs. When combined with ICF walls and the window package, it produces a highly energy-efficient building envelope.
  • High SEER rated mechanical equipment.

“We are excited to welcome Homecrete Homes into the Tradition community. Their unique energy efficient building methods will add another dimension to the home choices available within Tradition and further Tradition’s commitment to sustainable development,” says Wesley McCurry of Fishkind & Associates, development managers for Tradition, Fla.

Marc Rutenberg Homes
The Castaway III  - Who Wouldn’t Want One?

The Castaway III is a 4,552-square-feet model home that boasts a Florida-Friendly landscape where 90 percent of the plants are drought tolerant.  With a HERS of -15, it also qualifies as a Net Zero Energy home.

Marc Rutenberg Homes prides itself on being a green builder. The Castaway III, a 4,552-square-feet model home in Palm Harbor, is not only drop-dead gorgeous, it's efficient in many areas, smart and powerful. It produces its own energy with solar panels, shuts down power-consuming devices when not needed, and provides feedback to the homeowner in real time. Many of the products used in construction were made from recycled or renewable materials.

The Castaway III model home was the company's first No Electric Bill home. It received a platinum-level certification from the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC)  under the "Florida Green" Home Standard. With a HERS of -15, it also qualifies as a Net Zero Energy home. FGBC Certifying Agent Drew Smith of Two Trails, Inc. in Sarasota thinks the Castaway III may be one of the most efficient and green homes in the Tampa area.

But Rutenberg didn't stop with energy efficiency. Proving you don't have to sacrifice beauty for efficiency, the Castaway III earned the Florida Water Starsm certification for water efficiency. The home boasts a Florida-Friendly landscape where 90 percent of the plants are drought tolerant. It also has a variety of options for high-efficiency appliances and fixtures that help conserve water inside the home. Learn more about Florida Water Star and how to incorporate it into your projects.

The home features:

  • LED lighting. Although initially more expensive, LED lights are cooler, longer lasting and cost less to operate.
  • 60 solar panels generating enough electricity to serve the needs of the home plus return power to the grid
  • A solar water heater with an electric backup for cloudy days
  • Energy Star windows
  • A 5-zone heating and air-conditioning system
  • Air venting systems designed to keep the indoor air healthy
  • A foundation made of low-carbon footprint cement
  • Aerated Autoclaved Concrete block walls
  • Synthetic gypsum drywall made from recycled material
  • Low-Flow water fixtures, including faucets, toilets and appliances
  • Special shower systems for mildew-free showers
  • Carpet made from recycled plastic bottles
  • Bamboo floors
  • Recycled glass tile
  • Countertops made from concrete and recycled materials
  • Wood treatments made from Goodwin Company's (Micanopy, FL) river-recovered logs
  • Smart irrigation system that senses environmental conditions and adjusts the amount of water output
  • Electric vehicle charger in the garage

Abacoa Achieves ‘Florida Green’ Land Development Certification
Entrance to Abacoa's 5,000 homes

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has recognized Abacoa as a ‘Florida Green’ Land Development after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Green Land Development certification program.

The standard requires substantial environmental stewardship beyond typical development practices and requires careful planning through knowledge of the site as well as applying best management practices regarding wildlife preservation, stormwater, transportation, landscaping, and utilities.

Abacoa achieved 210 points for the designation, which has a minimum 200-points requirement.

The FGBC Land Development Standard includes program criteria addressing:

Abacoa fountain
  • Protection of Ecosystems
  • Conservation of  Natural Resources
  • Creation of a Green Circulation System
  • Incorporation of Green Utility Practices
  • Creation of Community Amenities
  • Promotion of Green Building Practices through 
  • Covenants and Deed Restrictions
  • Development of Green Education Programs and Demonstration Projects

    Covered walkway

Nature Trail

Abacoa excelled at protecting its natural resources and created a great walkable community where nature can coexist with residents.Part of the efforts in protecting ecosystems includes a 260-acre greenway that serves as habitat for gopher tortoises and provides stormwater management.

Greenway bridge made out of recycled material

The traditional neighborhood design of the development, combined with incorporating a University campus, stores and parks, have the potential to greatly reduce vehicle use compared to that in typical developments. Signage within the development about the nature in the area provides valuable educational information to residents and visitors.

Some of Abacoa’s green achievements include:

  • Conducted tree, topographical, soil and wildlife surveys prior to design
  • Created conservation areas and nature parks
  • Preserved the most valuable spaces for biodiversity
  • Restored native wildlife habitat, provided wildlife corridors, and developed a management plan for wildlife habitats
  • Preserved or provided aquifer recharge areas in uplands
  • Reused or recycled materials on site
  • Preserved upland buffers to enhance preserved wetlandsReclaimed Water Sign
  • Minimized land disturbance due to utilities
  • Supplies irrigation system with storm or reuse water
  • Sub-metered parcels by end user to encourage conservation
  • Installed sidewalks and trails so as to make a continuous transportation route for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Road design self-enforces speed limits of 25 mph or less in residential areas
  • Planted native shade trees along streets for neighborhood aesthetics, traffic calming and to provide shade to pedestrians utilizing sidewalks
  • Shade trees were incorporated into parking areas
  • Provides ample public space and amenities that are available to residents and within safe walking distance
  • Community amenities include a tennis center, golf course, a community pool and clubhouse, a tot-lot, walking trails, preservation areas, a theater, and stadium
  • Environmental education signage throughout the community, in sales center, and on website
  • Website contains links to green resources and educational material [More]
Recycling Station Community Garden planted and tended by Abacoa Garden Club, distributes produce to area non?profitsElectric Charging Stations  free for electric cars


Chico's National Store Support Center in Fort Myers Certified by FGBC

Building 10 on Chico's National Store Support Center campus in Fort Myers, Fla. has been awarded the Florida Green Commercial Building designation by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Florida Green Commercial Building Certification program. With a score of 130 points, Chico's Building 10 received the bronze level certification on June 21, 2013. The designation represents achievements in a number of categories, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, site preservation, indoor air quality, materials, and durability, including disaster mitigation.

Architectural services and FGBC Certification documentation for Chico’s National Store Support Center were provided by GMA Architects and Planners of Fort Myers who have been serving the needs of Chico’s on their 60 acre campus since designing their World Headquarters Building over 15 years ago. GMA has been a continuous member of the Florida Green Building Coalition since FGBC was formed in 2000. At the time, GMA employee Rob Andrys served as the first FGBC Vice President in 2001. Site design was by Hole, Montes & Associates, with Theresa Artuso providing the Landscape Architecture. HOK Architects Tampa office provided interior space planning and design services, Balfour Beatty Construction was the Construction Manager.

Some of the unique, innovative green strategies utilized by Chico's include:

  • Fleet of electric and solar powered golf carts are utilized by Associates while on campus in lieu of combustion vehicles to reduce fossil fuel use and emissions.
  • Food Service purchases local and organic products and uses plates, cups, and utensils made from biodegradable, compostable material.
  • Associate Wellness Program - The fully outfitted Campus Wellness Center features no-cost personal trainers, diet counseling, and smoking cessation programs. There are also outdoor walking and running trails on campus and encouragement for bicycling. Incentives for health insurance programs are offered for Associates who participate in these programs.
  • Associate Wellness Program - The fully outfitted Campus Wellness Center features no-cost personal trainers, diet counseling, and smoking cessation programs. There are also outdoor walking and running trails on campus and encouragement for bicycling. Incentives for health insurance programs are offered for Associates who participate in these programs.
  • Green Policy - As a result of the FGBC experience, several of Chico's standard operating procedures regarding sustainability have been formalized as Policy, such as green housekeeping and pest control.
  • Onsite Services - Chico's provides a large array of onsite basic services to Associates, not typical of this type of business. Some are outlined in the FGBC credit for “Access to Basic Services,” but Chico’s continues to expand the program and eliminate the need for additional travel miles. [More]

Perrone Construction-Sarasota Bird Key Custom Home in Sarasota

Perrone Construction in Sarasota doesn’t let size matter. The company is committed to promoting and building green even with its “McMansion” clientele.

This 8,189 s.f. custom home is touted as being the largest green certified home in Sarasota. It features steel and concrete exterior wall structural elements, Timberstrand recycled engineered studs on interior walls, and Insul-Deck insulated concrete forms floor systems.

The home received multiple green building certifications, including a platinum-level score of 199 from the Florida Green Building Coalition, an emerald rating under the National Green Building Standard, and a LEED silver rating. In addition to the green building certifications, the home earned a Florida Water Star Gold rating for water conservation and, using high-efficiency 16 SEER variable-speed, multi-zone air-conditioning systems to reach a HERS of 59, met the requirements for Energy Star certification under the new, stringent Version 3. Michael Sollitto (Sarasota) was the FGBC Certifying Agent for the project.

As with all green building projects undertaken by Perrone, a comprehensive approach was taken and each component of the home was evaluated. FSC certified tropical wood products were used for the custom mahogany entry and garage doors as well as custom built-ins. Low VOC paints and venetian plaster were used for interior finishes.

The home is built to Miami-Dade hurricane standards and its hurricane-rated and insulated Loewen windows were another contributing factor in attaining its green designations. A Florida-friendly landscape design was used and incorporated high-efficiency irrigation systems, non-cypress mulch and drought tolerant Zoysia grass.

“Many of the practices we already had in place in our company lent themselves to the green building certification,” says Richard Perrone. “By adding a little bit to what we were already doing, we were able to build a very beautiful and sustainable home. We always knew that by using best practices we were building green, but it feels good to have the certification verified by independent certifiers. It’s assurance to our customers that the green features we claim have actually been incorporated into the home and evaluated to give optimal performance.”

Arbor Homes of Seagrove

Arbor Homes of Seagrove is raising the bar for Walton County home construction standards by being the first project in the area to achieve a gold-level Florida Water StarSM certification for water efficiency and a platinum-level green home certification by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

For over 20 years, builder Rod Joly incorporated into his projects energy-efficient HVAC systems with SEER ratings that exceeded the Florida Building Code requirements. His wife, Michelle Joly, attained the designation of GREEN REALTOR®, so she understood the importance of green home features and how to communicate their value to homeowners.

The couple’s passion for sustainability eventually took them down a path of “walking the talk,” and so Arbor Homes of Seagrove was conceived. Their vision began with the wisdom to formally develop a core group of green professionals (known in the industry as a ‘green team’) to ensure that a systems approach to the construction process was taken. This collaborative process considers the house as one system with interdependent parts, each of which affects the performance of the entire system and it results in optimized building performance.

The green team consisted of builder Rod Joly of Arbor Homes of Seagrove Development LLC, REALTOR® Michelle Joly of Davis Properties of Northwest Florida, developer Greenway Park, LLC, green consultant and certifier Pattie Glenn of Green$mart®, Inc., energy-rater Todd Trusty of Energy Services LLC, and permaculture designer Chandra Hartman of cfhdesignstudio.

The home achieved a score of 211 points, aided by a HERS index of 51, to earn the platinum-level certification by the Florida Green Building Coalition. This energy efficient home features a tight building envelope using 2x6 frame construction with combined open cell SeaLite in the floor, closed cell InsulStar insulation in the attic, and blown cellulose insulation in the walls. Indoor air quality and comfort were achieved by using a zoned RUDD RHPL Series variable speed17 SEER heat pump featuring a passive fresh-air ventilation system. The piered home site incorporated pervious driveway materials with innovative storm water treatment to reduce runoff.

The gold-level Florida Water StarSM certification was achieved through incorporation of both indoor and outdoor water conservation measures. Its zero turf yard features native plantings and edible landscape of fruit and herbs, with only 15 percent of the landscape served by micro-drip irrigation from a community non-potable, shallow well piped from the development of Greenway Park. Its interior features include Delta Graile and Grohe WaterSense® faucets, Kohler dual-flush toilets and a Rinnai Tankless Hot Water on-demand system, along with water-conserving ENERGY STAR® appliances.

Progresso Point High-Rise Residential Building Government Certification

Location: Fort Lauderdale
Owner: Reliance Housing Foundation
Certified: 3/9/12
Certification Level: Certified
Points: 55

Progresso Point is the first building certified under the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Green High-Rise Residential Designation. It is a 76-unit affordable housing project of the Broward County Housing Authority and the Reliance Housing Foundation

The project recycled more than 75 percent of its construction and demolition waste. Units are 50 percent more efficient than Florida Building Code requires, achieved through the incorporation of Energy Star appliances, dual flush toilets, tankless water heaters, programmable thermostats, and Energy Star qualified lighting in all open and common areas. Other green features include minimizing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through the proper selection of materials and finishes throughout, and use of drought tolerant landscaping that reduces use of potable water for irrigation by more than 75%. [More]




Tropical Farms Laboratory

Owner: Martin County
Certified: 9/1/11
Certification Level: Certified
Points: 50 

Alys Beach Certified Green Development

Developer: Alys Beach
Certified: 5/26/11
Certification Level: Certified
Points: 212

Village at Gulfstream Park Achieves Certification

Developer: Forest City
Certified: 8/30/2010
Certification Level: Certified
Points: 203
Facts & Figures

  • Total Project Size - 1,000,000 square feet
  • Retail GLA - 750,000 square feet with ± 410,000 square feet in Phase I
  • Residential - 1500 units when fully developed
  • Clubhouse - 310,000 square feet
  • Office - 140,000 square feet with 90,000 square feet in Phase I
  • Mixed Use - retail, restaurants, cinema, residential and office
  • Parking - more than 7,000 spaces
  • Amenities - gardens, pedestrian promenades, fountains, clubhouse, paddock, thoroughbred racetrack and turf course

Green Achievements

  • Redevelopment of site to complement existing use of Gulfstream Park
  • Reuse and recycling of existing materials on site, such as the use of existing demolished concrete as sub base for new surface parking lot
  • Creation of a vibrant urban environment with pedestrian oriented streetscapes and the provision of ample pedestrian facilities to encourage pedestrian activity on site and connections into and out of the project
  • Highly connected to surrounding transportation infrastructure and the provision of an internal network of streets to continue existing street grid
  • Provision of bicycle parking adjacent to buildings
  • Mixture of land uses planned to provide close proximity between residential, retail, and employment opportunities as well as shared parking
  • Offsetting of energy use through the purchase of renewable energy credits
  • Weather controlled reuse irrigation system providing reuse water irrigation for all common areas
  • Sub-metering of water consumption for all users
  • Green landscape management plan
  • No language in covenants and deed restrictions limiting green practices
  • On site green buyer training program
  • Paperless marketing program and green purchasing policy for internal operations
  • Environmental Education signage to educate users of environmental benefits of green development practices
  • Website contains links to green resources and educational material

For More Information, visit the Village at Gulf Stream Park website