IMPORTANT NOTICE: Public comments for modification requests to the FGBC Green Commercial Building Standard Version 2 close on December 31, 2014. If you would like to propose changes to the Standard, submit the Modification Request Form to FGBC by December 31, 2014.
Certified Green Homes in Florida
Tops 15,000 Units - FGBC #1
City of South Miami Passes Resolution
To Secede and Create a 51st State
Officials in the city of South Miami have passed a resolution in favor of splitting Florida in half so South Florida would become the 51st state. They say that Tallahassee isn't providing South Florida with proper representation or addressing its concerns when it comes to sea-level rise and potential catastrophic impacts.
The resolution lists the northern border of what would be the state of South Florida as being Brevard, Orange, Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. Orange County is particularly important because that's where the South Florida Water Management District begins. It was even suggested that a Central Florida city could possibly be the state of South Florida's capitol. In total, the proposed 51st state would include 24 counties. [Resolution]
Clean Energy Jobs in Florida
Threatened by Lack of Policy
Tens of thousands of Florida's clean energy jobs could be at risk if state regulators approve proposals by investor-owned utilities to gut their energy savings goals. The "Clean Jobs Florida" report indicates there are 130,000 clean energy jobs in Florida, about 75,000 in the energy efficiency field, which ranges from LED bulbs to solar hot water heaters. That could make the clean energy sector vulnerable if cuts are approved.
Florida ranks No. 3 in the nation for solar potential and could generate 25 times its electricity needs with clean, renewable sources. That could save homeowners and businesses billions of dollars, the report states.
Florida's investor-owned utilities see it differently. They have told state regulators that energy efficiency programs are more expensive than generating electricity at one of their plants. As such, the investor-owned utilities — Tampa Electric, Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light — want to cut their energy efficiency goals by more than 90 percent.
Instead of the energy efficiency measures they say have become too costly, the utilities favor building power plants that they control. Even when the projects are solar power plants or other renewable energy sources, the utilities want to build and operate them rather than see individual customers installing solar panels on the roofs of their homes or businesses. [More]
Clean Jobs Report
Solar Policy Symposium Planned
FlaSEIA to Host Dec. 5 in Orlando
Gearing up for the 2015 Legislative session, the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) is hosting a solar policy symposium to engage stakeholders for setting the strategy and direction of solar policy in Florida. Solar advocates, including businesses, associations, interested groups, and other stakeholders, are invited to participated in the planning session and collaborative event scheduled for Friday, December 5, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $75 and includes a reception and dinner with keynote. Learn More
USGBC-South Florida Hosts
Annual GalaVerde Event Nov 1
The USGBC-South Florida Chapter is hosting its annual GalaVerde awards ceremony on November 1, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Ft. Lauderdale. GalaVerde 2014 will recognize and honor those outstanding projects, businesses, individuals, and USGBC Chapter members who are LEEDing the way to a more sustainable built environment in the South Florida community. Marge Anderson, Executive Vice President of the Energy Center of Wisconsin and Chair-elect of the U.S. Green Building Council, will serve as the keynote speaker. [More]
Green Building Certification System Final Rule Issued
By Energy Department for All Federal Buildings
The Energy Department is pursuing a suite of initiatives to strengthen federal energy management through increased focus on measurement of energy use in federal buildings and energy efficient building design. Principal among the efforts is the Department’s issuance of a final rule that requires verified energy and water performance for new and retrofitted federal buildings that are certified by private sector green building certification systems.
The rule, which goes into effect Nov. 13, ensures that in cases where agencies choose to use green building certification systems to meet federal sustainability and energy standards, they must choose a system that verifies enhanced energy and water efficiency. By requiring re-assessments at least every four years, the rule will ensure energy and water savings continue well beyond the initial building opening or retrofit. System requirements for the verification of energy and water performance in new construction and major renovations will lead to reduced consumption through active energy and water management.
To further the Department’s sustainability and energy savings efforts, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) recently updated its Federal Building Energy Use Benchmarking Guidance, which designates the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as the sole benchmarking tool for federal agencies. [Final Rule] [More] [Energy & Water Use Benchmarking]
FGBC Announces Senior Officers Election Results
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) membership has elected Nathan Ritter as President for the 2014-2015 term, which begins October 8, 2014. Mr. Ritter is Vice President of GreenBuilt Solutions in Orlando, and holds professional designations as an FGBC Certifying Agent, a LEED AP BD+C & Homes, Certified Green Professional (CGP), Florida Water Star (FWS) Certifier, and Class I Energy Rater.
Mr. Ritter has an undergraduate degree from Florida Southern College and earned his Master's degree in Sustainable Construction Management from Drexel University. He has spent the last 15 years in sustainable construction and consulting on high-performance homes and commercial structures.
His goals for FGBC are to continue the successful efforts that increase the use of the FGBC certification programs, and to grow the membership by adding value through education, advocacy, and professional relationships.
Also elected to FGBC Senior Officer positions were:
Deirdre Irwin - Vice President (Second Term)
Irwin is the statewide coordinator for the Florida Water Star program(SM), a water conservation certification program developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). Irwin received a Diploma in Environmental Management from Dublin Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland before coming to work for the St. Johns River Water Management District in 1989.
Regina Booker - Treasurer
Regina Booker is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA). As the COO, Mrs. Booker is responsible for the management and oversight of the agency's 1600 units of affordable and federally-assisted housing, as well as agency programs to promote resident self-sufficiency and employment.
Margaret (Peggy) Christ - Secretary
Mrs. Christ is the Broker/Owner of Bee Green Realty LLC and has over 30 years' experience in real estate development. She holds a NAR (National Association of Realtors) Green Certification, is FHA 203k Construction & Rehab Certified, and Shortsale, Foreclosure & REO certified. She serves as the Manatee Association of Realtors 2014 Treasurer, the Manatee Association of Realtors Green Chair from 2011-2014, and the Manatee/Sarasota Builders Industry Association Green Chair.
Town of Jupiter Earns Florida Green Local Government Certification
The town of Jupiter has been recognized as a certified Florida Green Local Government after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Green Local Government certification program. Jupiter achieved 22.3 percent of its 318 applicable points, earning it a silver-level designation. [More]
Renewable Energy Groups Form Coalition
To Push for More Solar in Florida
Solar energy proponents announced on September 10, 2014, a new coalition that will push for increased use of renewable energy in Florida. The coalition includes three major renewable and clean energy organizations: the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association (FlaSEIA) and the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE) industry groups, and the nonprofit Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE).
The organizations say Florida laws and the state's investor-owned utilities have hampered the growth of solar power in the Sunshine State. Last week, FlaSEIA elected Reed Wilson of Florida Green Team/Aquatherm Solar Supply as its president. Wilson brings over 30 years of experience in the solar industry in Florida and promises to provide assertive leadership to the solar industry in Florida. Wilson's election was followed by the hire of long-time solar advocate Mike Antheil as the organization's new Director of Advocacy.
Florida's largest utilities — Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric — want to reduce conservation goals by more than 90 percent and have attacked solar as unreliable and costly. The utilities have stated that intermittent cloud cover and zero production at night hinders solar without an efficient battery system.
The coalition said it aims to combat what it characterizes as misinformation by the utilities and the influence of their message on Tallahassee. In particular, the coalition said it wants to ensure that the state preserves net metering, which allows solar power users to sell excess electricity they generate to the utilities at wholesale prices. [More]
Multi-Family Energy Retrofit Program
Moving Forward by FHFC
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) is developing a funding mechanism for distribution of just over $7 million to create a revolving loan fund to carry out energy retrofits on older rental apartment properties within its portfolio. Loans will finance energy efficient improvements identified in an energy audit on each eligible property. Maximum funding amount is $5,000 per unit in construction costs plus $40,000 soft costs.Eligible applicants will be multifamily developments within the FHFC portfolio that were originally completed prior to December 31, 1999. [More]
The Program for Resource Efficient Communities at the University of Florida will track utility data on properties that undergo a MERP retrofit.
Leaders in Corporate Sustainability Announced
The 2014 results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Review were announced by RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices on September 11, 2014. The DJSI World includes only the top 10% of companies per industry, making it the gold standard for corporate sustainability. Who are the leaders in corporate sustainability? Check out the Report.
FGBC Background and Mission
The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Florida corporation dedicated to improving the built environment. Our mission is "to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs."
FGBC was conceived and founded in the belief that green building programs will be most successful if there are clear and meaningful principles on which "green" qualification and marketing are based. We are a membership-based organization governed by a Board of Directors and corporate officers who are elected by the general membership.
The FGBC is continually finding new and innovative ways to educate builders, developers, local governments, and consumers about how to achieve a healthier, more environmentally sustainable future.
The purposes of the Florida Green Building Coalition are:
- To administer certification programs based upon the green building standards
- To award its certification mark to qualified projects
- To educate the general public, businesses, institutional and governmental bodies of the long term benefits of sustainable development and green building practices
- To encourage housing affordability by increasing building sustainability
- To stimulate statewide acquaintance and fellowship among members and others interested in green building practices
- To provide opportunities for members and other interested parties to increase their knowledge of green building practices.
2004 - Sustainable Florida 'Best Practices' Award
2013 - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) Exemplary Water-Energy Program