Project Spotlights

Featured Projects

Melody Tower

Melody Tower, a 497-unit high-rise residential and retail mixed-use project of the 27th Plaza Corporation in Miami has been certified as a Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC). Arturo Griego with itecdesign in Opa Locka, Fla. served as the project's architect and FGBC Designated Professional responsible for coordinating the green building and verification process.

Located in the Edgewater arts and entertainment district of downtown Miami overlooking Biscayne Bay, Melody Tower is within walking distance to cultural events, culinary experiences, and sporting opportunities, as well as easy access to interstate highways.

A pool and recreation deck provide an urban oasis for residents, while the fitness center and social room create places of community and connection.

Towards sustainability efforts, the project conducted equipment testing and balancing to verify field installed equipment, such as the HVAC, lighting, renewable energy, and hot water systems, met the owner’s performance requirements and were operating correctly. Other energy conservation measures included the installation of Energy Star appliances (dishwashers, clothes washers), automatic timers or motion sensors on lighting controls, and the use of light-colored finishes on interior walls to reflect natural lighting.

Water conservation efforts included the installation of drought tolerant plants for at least 80 percent of the landscaping, a properly installed irrigation system that incorporated separate zones for turf and landscape beds, and correct placement of the spray heads to avoid overlapping spray and runoff. In each of the units, low-flow kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower heads and dual-flush toilets also play a big role in minimizing the projects water use. High-efficiency clothes washers with a water factor of 4 or less round out the water conservation tactics.

The building was located on a greyfield redevelopment site, which utilized existing infrastructure and placed the project convenient to existing basic services and public transportation.

The heat island effect of the building was reduced by using highly-reflective exterior wall materials and locating the parking under the building. Electric vehicle charging stations were provided in the parking area.

Low impact development (LID) strategies were used to collect and treat stormwater entirely on the site.

Indoor air quality was enhanced through the use of: highly-efficient MERV filters; low VOC paints, stains and adhesives; certified green label carpet; and green cleaning products and maintenance practices.

Occupant comfort and enjoyment was enhanced by providing daylighting and outdoor views to 75 percent of the indoor spaces and using acoustical wall systems with sound reduction attributes.

The project recycled more than 75 percent of its construction and demolition waste.

Beachwalk Resort:
First FGBC Certified Green Building in Hallandale Beach

Beachwalk Hotel & Condominiums, a 300-unit upscale high-rise resort, is the first building in Hallandale Beach 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.
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.

FGBC-certified projects complete a technically rigorous building assessment and construction process to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner.

Located along the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway in Hallandale Beach, Beachwalk provides a peaceful atmosphere, free from busy crowds and with exclusive private beach-club services. At the same time, Beachwalk is just minutes from golf and country clubs, thrilling racetracks and casinos, fun-filled parks and attractions, high-end shopping, world-class dining, entertainment, the arts, and more. 

Towards sustainability, the project required that all building HVAC&R systems be free of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Halons. Inhalation of air containing high levels of some HCFCs may lead to health effects including chest tightness, irritation of the respiratory tract, and breathing difficulties. Exposure to high levels of some hydrochlorofluorocarbons may also affect the nervous system, heart, liver, kidney and reproductive system.

Other measures taken to ensure a healthy indoor environment for occupants and workers incorporated the use of products with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as paints, sealants, carpet, and insulation. During construction, an indoor air quality management plan was followed to reduce possible particulate contamination of ducts and other airflow systems.

Biophilic design and architecture aims at creating strong connections between nature and man-made environments, and has proven benefits, including helping office workers be more productive, encouraging children to learn, and helping hospital patients get better. Beachwalk provided 75 percent of the building’s interior spaces with natural daylighting and views to the outside. To provide quiet enjoyment within the hotel rooms and condo units, acoustical wall systems with sound reduction attributes were used. 

The project recycled more than 75 percent of its construction and demolition waste, and used recycled materials when possible. 

For disaster mitigation, Type 1-A fire-resistive, non-comustible construction was used for a 3-hour fire safety period of exterior walls and structural frame. Floor/Ceiling assemblies have a 2-hour rating. In addition, impact- resistant glazing and fire-resistant exterior wall cladding, roof covering and sub-roof, soffit, and vent materials were used.

To minimize the project’s site footprint and disturbance, parking lifts were utilized. This technology enables parking more cars in less space, thus potentially allowing for more green space around the building. Other benefits are reductions in traffic congestion and pollution.

For water conservation, low-flow plumbing fixtures were used, a hot water recirculation system was installed, drought tolerant landscaping was installed, and an efficient irrigation system reduced potable water use by 75 percent.

Celebration Community Development District Facility
Earns FGBC ‘Florida Green’ Commercial Building Certification

The Celebration Community Development District Facility 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.

The project achieved 127 points out of a required minimum of 100 to earn it a bronze-level designation. To date, it is the only FGBC certified commercial building within Osceola County, yet accompanied by 423 certified homes, 2 local governments (City of St. Cloud and Osceola County), and one land development project - Harmony.

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.

FGBC-certified projects complete a technically rigorous building assessment and construction process to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner.

Some of the Celebration CDD facility’s green achievements include:

On Top of the World Receives
Water Conservation Award

On Top of the World was recently honored with a Florida Communities of Excellence Award in the large community "Best Water Conservation" category. The active adult development located in Ocala has over 4,000 homes, 200 clubs, six swimming pools, eight tennis courts, three golf courses, 15 miles of exercise paths, a cultural center, and a working cattle ranch that won an Environmental Stewardship Award in 2012.

Homes are built to Florida Water Star standards, with sink faucet aerators, Water Sense dishwashers, low-water toilets, low-flow shower heads, and digital water meters that identify potential leaks. Irrigation standards include point source drip irrigation for beds, smart controllers, evapotranspiration sensors for new homes, and pressure-regulated heads with high-efficiency rotators.

The golf courses have conducted irrigation audits and seen significant savings from using handheld soil moisture probes and a liquid overseed program.

In its efforts, On Top of the World hosts an annual Water Conservation Expo to bring professionals and homeowners together and provides ongoing education through newsletters and workshops. The community provides or encourages the use of ecologically sound landscaping practices as outlined by the University of Florida's Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) Program, which helps homeowners reduce water pollution and conserve water resources. [More] [More COE Awards]

Kessler, Premier Construction Win Parade of Homes Green Awards
The Tallahassee Builders Association just wrapped up its annual Parade of Homes show, which included seven entries in the Green Awards category, sponsored by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

Kessler Construction
4969 Southern Oaks Drive

Score: 173, Level: Gold

The Southern Oaks Model Home by Kessler Construction was highest scoring home in the Green Awards category of the Tallahassee Builders Association Parade of Homes.

Kessler Construction took highest-scoring green honors for its model home in the Southern Oaks development located at 4969 Southern Oaks Drive in Tallahassee. The 3,319 square-feet home earned a gold-level score of 173, out of a 100-point requirement.

A Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) of 53, along with an Energy Star Qualified rating and incorporation of low-voltage or photovoltaic exterior lighting ensures the home will be exceptionally energy efficient. Other energy conservation measures include sealing and insulating the floor joist perimeter, installation of energy-efficient appliances, and using light-colored interior paint that reflects the suns heat. These measures will reduce energy use about 5,700 kW/h per year for a savings of approximately $740.

Innovative irrigation technology, 100 percent of the landscape planted using drought-
tolerant plants and trees, and several inches of mulch applied around all plants greatly help to reduce the home’s water needs, as do the indoor low-flow plumbing fixtures and appliances.
To protect the occupants’ health, the home has an air barrier between the garage and living spaces, which keeps harmful auto fumes and chemical vapors from entering the indoor environment. Other approaches that ensure good indoor air quality were sealing all slab penetrations, constructing a capillary break between the foundation and framing, installing a controlled mechanical ventilation system, and venting the kitchen range hood to the outside.
The use of healthy insulation, flooring materials,  and low VOC paints, plus avoiding any use of wood products containing exposed urea-formaldehyde (often found in cabinets and furniture) adds to ensuring improved indoor air quality.

Premier Construction & Development
3673 Velda Oaks Circle

Score: 171, Level: Gold

Premier won top honors in the Green Awards "Under 1900 s.f. category for its 3673 Velda Oaks Circle home.

Premier Construction & Development won in the green “Under 1900 square-feet” category for its home located at 3673 Velda Oaks Circle. The home was certified at the gold-level with a score of 171 and is Energy Star Qualified. Advanced ladder-T wall framing and two stud corners with drywall clips allow for full wall insulation, increasing the home’s energy efficiency. Based on the HERS of 64, this home will be approximately 26 percent more efficient than a home built to the minimum Florida Building Code requirements.

To address water conservation, low-flow plumbing fixtures were installed, 100 percent of the landscaped plants and trees are drought tolerant, and the irrigation system was verified for optimal performance and elimination of overspray onto non-porous hardscapes.


A Universally designed living area will help accommodate occupants with mobility limitations. Other health focused approaches include a controlled mechanical ventilation system to keep the indoor air cleaner while also maintaining an appropriate humidity level. Minimizing the use of carpet and using healthy flooring and insulation also acts to create better indoor air quality.

In addition to practices and products that make the home healthier, measures that reduce the home’s environmental impact such as using locally produced materials and materials containing recycled content protect Florida's natural resources. Implementing a jobsite waste reduction plan eases the burden on local landfills and sends materials to a recycling process.

Adams Quality Homes
5704 Sumter Hill Lane
Score: 150, Level: Silver

This beautiful craftsman-style home with a large great room includes a custom built-in bar with wine chiller / refrigerator combo, and a gas fireplace with built-in cabinetry. In addition to its green certification, it received second place (Silver) in the $300,001 to $385,000 Parade competition.

The master bath has a large shower with frameless glass door, whirlpool tub, plus custom wood shelving in the closet for perfect organization of shoes and clothes.

The gourmet kitchen features GE Profile appliances and a walk-in pantry finished with custom wood shelving. Quality construction shines throughout the living room and master bedroom enhanced with double pop-up ceilings and three layers of crown molding.

This home is Energy Star Qualified, which ensures that the building envelope and mechanical system meet very high performance criteria. With all the energy-saving tactics implemented, it is projected that the home will save the homeowners approximately $755 or 4,366 KWh per year compared to a minimum code-compliant home.

Evenly shaped turf areas, the use of drought tolerant plants, and installation of innovative irrigation technology work together to minimize the outdoor water demand of the landscape. Indoors, low-flow faucets and showerheads further enhance the home’s water conservation.

Moisture control for protecting the interior from harmful mold and gases was achieved by sealing all slab penetrations and having a capillary break between the foundation and framing. Due to the efficiency of the building envelope, a controlled mechanical ventilation system was used to regulate the proper amount of fresh air and moisture within the home.

The attached garage has an air barrier between it and the home’s living spaces to ensure no harmful vapors from auto fumes or stored chemicals contaminate the indoor air. Other measures for improving the air quality within the home include the use of low VOC paints, stains and finishes, and installation of healthy insulation and flooring. In addition, all ducts and the range hood were sealed to eliminate infiltration of contaminants during the construction process.

Recycled content materials, materials locally produced, and advanced framing techniques conserve natural resources and minimize the building’s impact on the environment. By implementing a jobsite waste management plan, as much construction debris as possible was recycled for other uses, further protecting Florida’s natural environment.

Richard Sneed Construction
7265 White Clover Court
Score: 147, Level: Silver

At 2,077 SF, this four bedroom, three bath, split plan boasts a media/study/office, covered porches and a deep foyer entrance. The flex room located off the foyer is ideal for many uses or as a formal dining room. In addition to its green certification, this home won first place (Gold) in the $300,001 to $385,000 category of the Parade competition.

The spacious, open family room is equipped with multi-media hookups above the gas fireplace and mantle; and has built-in bookshelves on both sides. This expansive great area adjoins a gourmet kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and eat-in dining area.

The master suite includes a huge walk-in closet, deluxe master bath with double vanities, seamless glass, walk-in shower accented with river rock flooring that trickles to the separate jetted tub. The fourth bedroom can easily be converted to a second master bedroom or in-law suite.

Other features include a large laundry room and drop-zone area, 2-car side entry garage, covered front entry porch and covered rear porch over-looking the beautiful backyard.

The exterior design of the home minimizes the amount of surface area impacted by the sun’s radiant heat, thus helping to reduce the demand on the air-conditioning system. That, along with the covered porches, light colored interior wall paint, and energy-efficient appliances helped this home achieve a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) of 63 and will reduce the energy use by approximately 4,366 KWh per year, saving the homeowners approximately $547.

Low-flow faucets and showerheads, low-flush toilets and drought tolerant plants used in the landscape all help to conserve water.

Steps to ensure healthy indoor air quality include placing an air barrier between the garage wall and living spaces to eliminate penetration of auto fumes or stored chemical vapors into the home. The gas water heater was placed outside the conditioned space of the home to eliminate combustion gases accumulating in the home. All slab penetrations were sealed, a capillary break placed between the foundation and framing, and wall assemblies were constructed to allow proper wicking of moisture, thus eliminating possible mold formation.

The controlled mechanical ventilation system ensures thermal comfort for the occupants, plus it safeguards that adequate fresh air is circulated within the home. The use of low VOC paints, stains and finishes, minimal use of carpet, and selection of healthy flooring materials also serve to provide a healthy indoor air environment.

Two-stud corners and T-wall framing with drywall clips for full wall insulation reduces thermal bridging and maximizes material resources.

Several efforts were taken to ensure the natural beauty of the site was maintained. Construction equipment was restricted to designated parking areas to minimize soil compaction and maximize tree survivability. Wildlife habitat was preserved for future enjoyment by the homeowners.

Trudeau Fine Homes
4205 Sierra Woods Trail
Score: 173 Level: Gold

(A complete green profile will be published once the home is certified.)
This unique French Colonial/French Creole home exudes custom, quality construction. Evidence of that is displayed in the bell curve roof, reclaimed 136-year old beams and cypress ceiling, period millwork, and reproduction-style lighting. An open floorplan provides the opportunity of aging-in-place in future years.

A chef-level kitchen with custom cabinetry, historic, site-finished solid oak floors, and solid alder doors add to the character and sophistication the home exhibits. A mudroom with drop zone serves to reduce contaminants that can be tracked into the home. The enclosed sunroom overlooks a brick terrace and serene backyard, while the grill porch and workshop provide relaxation destinations for the homeowners.

Sailfish Splash Waterpark

This state-of-the-art recreational complex was created in response to citizens’ of Martin County identifying an aquatics complex as a top priority for the county’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The two-acre water playground features a 1,000-foot lazy river, two four-story water slides, a 253-foot speed slide, a 7,326 square foot interactive splashy playground, 700 lounge and deck chairs, and Wi-Fi.

Earning 109 points, the project received a bronze-level designation under the FGBC Florida Green Commercial Building certification standard on April 29, 2016 through the assistance of FGBC Designated Professional Kyle Abney, Abney + Abney Green Solutions in Palm City.

The competitive swimming pool area is host to USA Swimming sanctioned short-course and long course swim meets, FHSAA swim and diving meets, and water polo competitions.

Cabana Cove offers secluded cabanas staged with cushioned wicker sofa and chairs, ceiling fans, electricity, and a concessions server for a relaxing day.

Sailshade canopies and funbrellas throughout Sailfish Splash Waterpark create plenty of shade. In addition, the facility serves patrons with physical disabilities with fully accessible entries and mobile pool lifts. Moreover, “green” water treatment and geothermal temperature maintenance help care for the environment.

Green achievements include advanced building systems commissioning and energy performance between 35-40% above building code requirements.

Water conservation efforts encompassed the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures, including toilets, faucets, and showerheads. In addition, the landscape achieved Florida Friendly Landscape Program certification

The chosen site provided close access to public transportation and many basic services, such as restaurants, school, supermarket, fitness center, and senior care facilities. [More]

Innova Eco Building Systems
Innova Eco Building System in Miami received the 2016 SIPA Building Excellence Award for Affordable Housing at the 14th Annual Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) Building Excellence Awards on April 5 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The winning project was the St. Croix Sugar Mills Villas for the Housing Authority, 34 homes and club house. The project was scored on four criteria including how the use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) resulted in quantifiable energy efficiency; design and structural engineering innovation; creative use of SIP construction; and overall environmental sustainability.

Due to the hot humid, hurricane prone climate of St. Croix, the developer was looking for a low-maintenance, durable and mold resistant alternative to typical construction. Additionally, since the cost of electricity on the island was high, he was also interested in a construction method that would reduce energy demand. The perfect solution to his problem was Innova Magnesium Oxide SIPs (MGO).

Congratulations to FGBC Member Jerry Gillman, CEO of Innova Eco Building System. [More]

FGBC Hits 12,000 Certified Green Homes Mark
Premier Construction in Tallahassee, named one of the Top 15 FGBC builders in the state last year, has propelled FGBC to its 12,000th green home submitted for certification and Premier to its 333rd.

With a score of 144 and a HERS of 65, the home earned a silver level 'Florida Green' designation, verified by FGBC Certifying Agent Randy Conn, principal of ES Green & Company, also in Tallahassee.

Bay House by Melo Group
Bay House, a luxury condo project developed by the Melo Group, has achieved the certified Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building designation 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.

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.

FGBC-certified projects complete a technically rigorous building assessment and construction process to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner.

Bay House Miami is located in the East Edgewater area, surrounded by cultural, historic, entertainment, and business districts. It features 165 two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 1,581 to 1,720 square feet. Rich with amenities that include a pool, spa, meditation garden, summer kitchen, fire pit, and cabanas, the project has a 20,000 sq. ft. resort deck and common areas that allow residents to enjoy the elements of nature and outdoor activities.

Energy efficient, tinted, impact resistant, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and windows limit radiant heat gain and enable residences to enjoy the panoramic views. The “Smart Building” advanced technology wiring addresses the needs of a demanding generation requiring high-speed communication, entertainment options, and security.

The design team used building information modeling (BIM) to optimize the efficiencies related to design, estimating, materials ordering, and construction.

To address energy efficiency EnergyStar appliances were used in both the individual units and common areas, lighting power density within individual units was designed not to exceed 0.8 watts per square foot, and lighting was equipped with automatic timers or occupancy sensors. In addition, light colored paint with a light reflective value (LRV) greater than 50 was used on bedroom and major living area walls to help reduce the need for artificial lighting.

Water conservation approaches included installing drought tolerant plants for 80 percent of the landscape, proper installation and testing of the irrigation system, use of low-flow interior water faucets and showerheads, and use of high-efficiency clothes washers in residential units and common areas.

The site selected for the project was within an FGBC green certified local government (Miami-Dade County) and was a high-density, greyfield redevelopment – all of which contribute to less negative impact on the natural environment. Location of the project within a one-half mile of safe, walkable access to basic services such as banks, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. and access to public transportation help reduce the need for vehicle travel, thus lessening air pollution. Onsite parking included electric car charging plugs and preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles, which help to encourage use/purchase of more eco-friendly vehicles.

Densely developed areas can create what is known as an urban heat island effect, which results in a much warmer atmosphere over the urban area than neighboring rural areas. To help alleviate this, Bay House used Energy Star compliant, highly-reflective, high-emissivity roofing as well as highly-reflective exterior wall finishes.

Permanent walk-off mats were located at the building entrance to help reduce the amount of pollutants brought into the building. Other approaches to provide improved indoor air quality were installation of highly-efficient MERV 13 air filters, use of low VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives, composite wood and insulation materials contained no formaldehyde, carpet installed in common areas was green certified, individual units used 100 percent hard flooring, and green cleaning products and practices are required for maintenance.

For occupant comfort and well-being, natural daylighting and views to the outside were provided for 75 percent of the interior areas. Noise pollution was reduced through increased sound transmission class ratings in wall assemblies and windows.

Resource efficiency measures included acquiring approximately 25 percent of the building materials from local or regional sources.

For disaster mitigation, the project used hurricane, impact resistant windows and doors as well as fire-resistant exterior finishes.

Lotus on Orange
Josh Wynne Construction

Although just recently named as the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) “2015 Best in Green (BIG) Single-Family Custom Home Award Winner, Lotus on Orange is not new to the spotlight. In March 2015, SRQ Magazine (Sarasota) tapped the project as its “Home of Year.” With three green building certifications, it’s another Josh Wynne Construction exceptional project.

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) certified the home back in 2014 at the platinum level with a score of 201 (out of a 100-point requirement). With a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index score of -7, the home also earned an EnergyStar “Net Zero Home” certification. FGBC Certifying Agent Drew Smith from Two Trails, Inc. in Sarasota worked with the project team on the green certification.

Indoor health, energy and water conservation, durable material considerations, and general sustainability were important design considerations. At least 80 percent of the windows, doors and structural components of the home came from locally produced materials (within a 700-mile range).

Zero VOC paints, low VOC sealants and adhesives, minimum use of carpet, and healthy insulation all contributed to creating a healthier indoor air quality (IAQ). Other IAQ approaches included  installation of a controlled mechanical ventilation system, EnergyStar bath fans, whole house positive filtration, and a Manual D duct design.

The large expanses of carefully placed glass allow for natural daylighting throughout the home while large sliders and casement glass allow for passive ventilation throughout the home. The views are centralized to the natural flower pond in the front courtyard as well as the pool and outdoor living areas to the rear.

Polished concrete floors were chosen for their durability, thermal massing effect, and their natural beauty. Cypress wood detailing, terrazzo tiles, and bamboo panels counter-balance the smooth white walls of the homes interior, which serve to provide bouncing light and a frame work for viewing the outdoor spaces. The landscape is 100% Florida friendly and uses reclaimed water for irrigation.

La Joya Villages Earns Outstanding Affordable Housing Project
From Florida Redevelopment Agency

La Joya Villages is a public-private partnership that includes 55 new rental units priced for low to moderate income families and individuals. The project contains a small community garden, ample parking, a sound wall to buffer noise pollution and green building techniques that were used throughout the construction process. In addition, a percentage of the units have been set aside specifically for Veterans.

The project was built using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act meant to clean up abandoned and foreclosed properties in the most economically distressed neighborhoods. In addition to providing quality housing and community meeting space, this development significantly increases the local tax-base and provides much needed revenue for the City’s General fund.
La Joya Villages earned green certification under the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Florida Green Home Designation Standard with a score of 145, earning it a silver-level rating. Kyle Abney of Abney & Abney Green Solutions in Palm City was the FGBC Certifying Agent that guided the La Joya Villages green team through the certification process. Green Components

Michael K. Walker & Associates - 849 Siesta Key Circle – Sarasota
At the time of its certification, this impressive three-story home built by Michael K. Walker & Associates located at 849 Siesta Key Circle in Sarasota held the best (lowest) HERS score (-11) of all green homes certified this year by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC). Only two other homes in the past 4 years have scored a lower HERS.

A home with a HERS of “0” or less is referred to as a “Net Zero Energy” home, meaning it produces as much energy as it uses (or more in the case of -11) through renewable resources, such as solar panels. The excess energy is typically sold back to the utility, reducing the home’s energy costs. (Check out the RESNET searchable HERS database.)

To help reach this level of energy efficiency, the home incorporated a number of green approaches, such as sealing and insulating the floor joist perimeter, installing energy-efficient appliances, using light-colored paint on the interior and exterior walls, sealing the penetrations of recessed ceiling lights, and equipping the home with a comprehensive set of ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures.

The green certification designation represents achievements in a comprehensive set of categories in addition to energy efficiency, such as water conservation, site preservation, indoor air quality, materials, and durability – including disaster mitigation.

To conserve water, low-flow water fixtures and appliances were installed, and reclaimed water is used for irrigation. In addition, the landscape consists of drought tolerant plants compatible with the local environment and grouped by maintenance requirements, such as sun and water needs.

All slab penetrations were sealed and a central dehumidification system installed to control moisture within the home. Low VOC paints, stains, finishes, and sealants reduce the risk of poor indoor air quality that can result in respiratory ailments, as does minimizing the use of carpet. Other approaches include installation of a controlled mechanical ventilation system, ENERGY STAR bath fans, venting to outside for range hoods, fireplaces and dryers, and an efficient HVAC filter.

Some other unique green achievements of this platinum-level certified home include:

  • High efficiency irrigation system which utilizes the geothermal well as the primary irrigation water source
  • Geothermal heating and cooling (HVAC) used for the domestic hot water, the pool & spa
  • The high performance solar system produces approximately 15,000 watts
  • Bamboo flooring
  • Contains an emergency power backup system
  • Uses high efficiency LED lighting

Serving as FGBC Certifying Agent, Drew Smith, President of Two Trails, Inc. in Sarasota, guided the project through the certification process and helped its green team optimize green strategies.

University Park of Boca
University Park of Boca, a four-story, 159-unit student housing project in Palm Beach County, has been certified as a Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

Located in the heart of Boca Raton, University Park is convenient to restaurants, shopping, and local colleges. A shuttle service to campuses, a swimming pool, courtyard gathering place, fitness center, juice bar, and game room all serve to create a destination place for students, reducing the need for automobiles.

When planning the project, the design and construction teams utilized building information modeling (BIM) to optimize the efficiencies related to design, materials, construction, and operations.

The energy performance of the building is 30 percent better than required by the Florida Energy Code, augmented by the installation of Energy Star washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ceiling fans in each unit. Light colored interior finishes with a high solar reflective value also help to improve the building’s energy performance.

At least 80 percent of the plants and trees incorporated into the landscape are drought tolerant. Other water saving landscaping approaches include soil moisture sensors, mulching of beds, a properly installed irrigation system to avoid overlapping coverage, the use of micro-irrigation in beds, and onsite training for facility managers.

Indoor water conservation measures include the installation of dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets rated at 1.0 gallons per minute (gpm) or less, low-flow showerheads, and high-efficiency washing machines with a water factor of 6.0 gallons per cycle or less.

The project was a greyfield redevelopment, meaning it transformed an abandoned or under-utilized commercial area, thus making use of existing utilities and roadways and reducing infrastructure costs. This type of “repurposing” has significant economic benefits to the community.

Eighty percent or more of the roof incorporated high-reflective and high emissivity material, thus reducing the heat island effect. The heat island effect is when buildings and pavement absorb a significant amount of light and radiation and emit it as heat, thus increasing the temperature of cities.

Through the proper selection of paints, stains, adhesives, sealants, and materials with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a healthier indoor air quality was achieved for occupants. Other air quality measures included prohibiting smoking throughout the building and protecting all ducts, range hoods and bath fans during construction to avoid pollutants from entering and contaminating the duct systems.

Other green features include:

  • Owner and project team participated in a 4 hour green design charrette where the FGBC Designated Professional detailed each line item in the standard checklist
  • The project team included a certified FGBC Green Designated Professional
  • Design team and construction teams used a BIM process to optimize the efficiencies related to design, estimating, materials ordering, and construction
  • Was designed and constructed using small units
  • Owner designated representative developed a list of owner project requirements related to each of the categories of the high-rise standard
  • Design team representatives developed and documented how the design will achieve the Owner Project Requirements
  • Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) Engineering Firm worked with the Architect or design team leader to verify field installed equipment meet OPR, BOD and is installed and operating correctly
  • All building HVAC&R systems are free of HCFC’s and Halons
  • Provides a design that is 30% more efficient than FL Code
  • Energy Star qualified Refrigerators are installed in each unit
  • Energy Star qualified dishwashers are installed in each unit
  • Energy Star qualified clothes washers are installed in each unit
  • Energy Star qualified ceiling fans are installed and located in the main living area and each bedroom of each unit
  • Fixtures include automatic switching on timers, photocells, or motion sensor controls, OR provide > 95 lumens/watt, OR are solar powered
  • Utilizes light colored walls/ceilings in main living area
  • Utilizes light colored walls in bedrooms
  • Landscape comprised of a minimum of 80% of drought tolerant plants
  • No Cypress Mulch is used
  • Irrigation includes separate zones for turf and landscaped beds and a multi program controller
  • High-volume irrigation does not exceed 60% of the landscaped area
  • Irrigation uses head to head coverage for rotor/spray heads
  • Has correctly installed micro-irrigation in landscape beds and narrow areas
  • Facility manager was provided with installed irrigation plan, on site training and written instructions
  • Soil moisture sensors or other weather-based irrigation is installed appropriately to control irrigation at ground level and for outdoor amenities
  • All installed toilets comply with the low-flow criteria AND have a minimum MaP (Maximum Performance) rating of 600 OR are WaterSense certified
  • All installed lavatory fixtures comply with the low flow requirements
  • All installed showerheads comply with the low flow requirements
  • Copy of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPP) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Notice of Intent (NOI) is onsite
  • Utilizes erosion and sedimentation control
  • Building is located on a site that had an existing hardscape or other structure that had to be replaced
  • Is located within 1/2 mile of and has safe and walkable access to basic services
  • Is within a 1/2 mile of one existing or funded rail node or 1/4 mile safe and walkable access to mass transit
  • Provides securing locations for bicyclers for 5% of total occupants
  • 80% or more of the roof incorporates high-reflective and high emissivity material, thus reducing the heat island effect
  • There is no net increase in stormwater runoff from pre-development conditions to post-development
  • Provides onsite treatment of stormwater to remove 80% of (TSS) total suspended solids and 40% of (TP) total phosphorous
  • No smoking allowed in the common areas of the building and only in outside designated areas that are located 25 feet or more away from all doors, operable windows, HVAC equipment, and fresh air intake
  • Indoor Environmental Quailtiy was protected during construction according to Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association guidelines for occupied buildings under construction
  • Main entrance of the building is covered with no less than 50 square feet of roof to protect entrance from rain
  • Has a covered path from parking to the main entrance or a Porte cochere at the main entrance
  • Utilizes a sealed combustion water heater, or an electric water heating system
  • Utilizes a sealed combustion furnace, or an electric heating system, such as a heat pump
  • Provides views to vision glazing for 75% of all occupants
  • All grout lines between tiles are less than 3/16" wide
  • All ducts, range hoods, and bath exhaust fans were protected during construction
  • All adhesives and sealants meet VOC limits
  • Interior paints and coatings are less than 100 g/l for non-flat paint and less than 50 g/l for flat paint
  • Exterior paints and coatings are less than 200 g/l for non-flat and less than 100 g/l for flat
  • All insulation products are free of formaldehyde
  • ALL installed glazing is impact resistant
  • Utilizes fire resistant exterior wall cladding, roof covering or subroof, soffit and vent materials
  • Uses a single lever shutoff valve requiring only a 90 degree turn on clothes washers
Monroe County Fire Station #8-Stock Island
Monroe County’s Fire Station #8 in Stock Island 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. The project achieved 168 points out of a required minimum of 100 to earn it a Silver level certification, making it the highest scoring FGBC certified commercial project to date.

The building was designed to be 42 percent more energy efficient than required by the Florida Building Code and will rely upon renewable energy through green power purchase agreements for 75% of its power needs over the next two years.

For water conservation, toilets, faucets, and showerheads were low-flow rated. In addition the site used all Florida Friendly plants and a rainwater collection system to deliver 100 percent of the irrigation needs for the landscaping, thus negating the use of valuable potable water.

To safeguard the health of building occupants through improved indoor air quality, all paints, stains, adhesives, and sealants used were rated low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), cabinets and insulation were free of harmful urea formaldehyde, and healthy flooring was used in 80 percent of the building.

Sixty-one percent of the materials used contained recycled content, and many of the materials can be recycled at the end of their useful life.

Urban heat island reduction was achieved through the use of shaded areas and hardscapes with a high solar reflectance value.

Other green features include:

  • Testing and balancing of installed mechanical, lighting, water heating, and renewable energy systems to insure optimal performance and compliance with the owner’s energy efficiency goals.
  • Energy efficient lighting using less than 0.8 watts per square foot
  • Dual flush toilets with less than 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf) for one of the flush options
  • Urinals using less than 0.5 gpf
  • Lavatory faucets using less than 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm)
  • Kitchen faucets using less than 1.5 gpm
  • Rainwater harvesting system used for irrigation
  • 100 % of plants & trees used are from the Florida Friendly Plant list
  • Irrigation system properly installed and tested
  • Building was redevelopment of an existing site and located within ½ mile walking distance of existing basic services, such as grocery store, bank, pharmacy, park, restaurant, school, and medical offices, etc.
  • Roof and hardscapes shaded or comprised of highly reflective materials to reduce urban heat island effect
  • Use of Low Impact Development (LID) alternatives to collect and treat stormwater
  • Provides alternatives to vehicular transportation, such as bike storage, showering & changing rooms, and preferred parking for alternative fuel and high-occupancy vehicles
  • Exterior lighting complies with Dark Sky requirements to reduce light pollution that allows for protection of wildlife and preservation of night skies to increase the number of stars visible
  • Entrance walk-off mats to reduce pollutants and contamination from entering the building
  • Chemical and cleaning product storage rooms ventilated and under negative pressure to eliminate harmful fumes within occupied spaces.
  • Low VOC paints, stains, sealants, and adhesives used on interior
  • Use of healthy flooring and insulation containing no urea formaldehyde
  • Occupants can control individual lighting either through ambient or task lighting
  • 100% of occupant spaces receive natural daylighting and have line of sight to the outside
  • Walls, windows and roof have sound transmission mitigation
  • Accessible area for collection of recyclables and separate collection area for proper disposal of light bulbs
  • Use of recycled content construction materials
  • Use of materials that can be recycled at the end of their useful life
  • Use of local or regional materials
  • Hurricane mitigation features such as shutters and renewable energy back-up power for uninterrupted operations
  • Termite prevention that uses alternatives to traditional soil poison, such as borate or Alkaline Copper Quaternary lumber, bait systems, rainwater and irrigation diverted at least 3 feet from foundation, and landscape located a minimum of 3 feet from exterior of building
  • Physical termite barrier such as stainless steel mesh, elastomeric plumbing boots, or other means of sealing all slab penetrations
  • Flood prevention strategies, including finished floor elevation and all mechanical equipment at least 12” above the 100-year flood plain
  • Fire resistant exterior finishes

Gables Ponce Phase II
Gables Ponce Phase II, a luxury apartment community developed by Gables Residential in Coral Gables, has earned green building certification 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. The project achieved 67 points of its 50 minimum required, making it the highest scoring high-rise in FGBC history.

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.

FGBC-certified projects complete a technically rigorous building assessment and construction process to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner.

Phase II of Gables Ponce offers 119 apartment homes and 24,000 square feet of office space. It also includes an expansive pool deck and community spaces for gatherings and relaxation, such as the lounge-like Café de Ponce and Club Ponce, a gaming room complete with ping-pong and billiards. The mixed-use community is steps away from the shopping hub of the Village at Merrick Park, and has close proximity to the bustling retail, fashion, dining and business offerings of Miracle Mile and downtown Coral Gables.

The project was designed to be 25 percent more energy efficient than typical code-compliant buildings and will purchase at least 75 percent of its energy needs for two years through green power agreements. Water conservation efforts include the use of drought-tolerant plants for 75 percent of its landscaping, reduction of potable water use for irrigation on 75 percent of area irrigated, installation of ultra-low-flow toilets, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and water-efficient washing machines.

For improved indoor air quality, healthy building materials were used, such as low VOC paints, stains, and adhesives; carpet and composite wood products free of harmful formaldehyde; and insulation products that do not give off gas toxic chemicals.

A construction waste management plan was implemented that diverted a minimum of 75 percent of the waste from the landfill. To minimize the parking area footprint, vertical parking lifts were installed. [More]

Turning Leaf Construction 2615 Oglesby – Winter Park
This impressive two-story lakefront home built by Turning Leaf Construction and designed by Dirk Arace of Arace Designs, both located in Longwood, features a spacious and easy-living design constructed with advanced building materials that set this home apart from the others through its superior energy efficiency. The home received a silver level “Florida Green” certification through the Florida Green Building Coalition.

Serving as FGBC Certifying Agent, Tracy DeCarlo, owner of One Stop Green Home Certification in Apopka,  guided the project through the certification process and helped its green team optimize green strategies.

Earning the maximum points in the Energy category, this home has a superior "shell" using Fox Blocks insulated concrete form (ICF) exterior walls, Energy Star windows and doors, and open-cell spray-foam insulation (5 inches) under the roof.  This fortress of thermal efficiency limits energy consumption and scored a 53 HERS Index Rating.

Function and efficient operation were key factors in the indoor design. All paints, stains and adhesives used, as well as the hardwood and carpeted floors, met the low VOC standards.  Porcelain tile in the wet areas (bathrooms, laundry room) was used for easy care and control of any overflow water.  The windows and doors allow for natural daylighting while the evening hours find the home illuminated using LED fixtures throughout.  The indoor environment is maintained with three high-efficiency HVAC systems each at 16 SEER and utilizing introduction of outside fresh air that is conditioned before it is introduced into the indoor environment.

Comfortable, quiet and safe, this home showcases luxury amenities throughout. A brick-pavered courtyard with facing garages welcomes you to a grand front porch framed by 22-foot tall columns.  Walking into the home, a custom built stairway greets you and ascends to a balcony bridge that overlooks the living area featuring a fireplace and large windows filling the room with natural light. The balcony bridge leads to three oversized bedrooms, an upstairs laundry room and the master suite with its huge walk-in closet and picturesque lakefront views. 

The great room, with custom ceiling details and built-in cabinets, is an open design that flows into the expansive kitchen that features an ample center island, a windowed-wall eating area, a hidden pantry and a wine cellar. 

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this home's design is the 10-foot tall full-wall sliding glass doors that hide-away to allow for seamless outdoor living on the covered porch – complete with a custom summer kitchen and built-in fireplace. From the covered porch, stone steps lead to the custom pool, spa and pool deck with its unique integration of stone and turf to create an amazing hardscape setting that enhances the western sun view of Little Lake Fairview. The pool and spa features a salt sanitizing system and variable speed pump.  To complete the outdoor fun, a 100+ foot wooden walkway leads to the boathouse that includes a sun deck, boat and jet ski lifts. 

And, while the indoor environment boasts luxury amenities and energy efficiency throughout, the exterior of this home received careful planning to be sure it existed and operated efficiently within its environment. Swales strategically located create a flow to mitigate rainwater allowing for percolation rather than flow into the lake. The turf is a drought-tolerant Bermuda requiring minimum irrigation and  highlighting the landscape design are Florida native plants and pine needle mulch.  The exterior paint uses light colors with high reflection to reduce heat island effect.  Large roof overhangs shade the entries and provide comfortable, covered open areas to relax and enjoy the lakefront views.

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

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