Save the Date

September 23, 2016

In This Issue:

EEBA Report: High-Performance Homes Can Be Built Without Additional Cost
Healthy Buildings Enliven Bottom Line
How to Get Tax Credits for Salvaged Demolition Materials
The Next Phase in Green Building Is Healthier Buildings
What to Consider When Evaluating Renewables for Your Energy Procurement Strategy
Real Estate Coalition Questions APB's Green Guidance
Florida Could See One-Third of State Lands Developed by 2070
Lennar Buys WCI in Master Stroke of Opportunity
New FAA Rules Make It Easier for Construction And Real Estate Industries to Utilize Drones
Sustainable Florida Announces Best Practice Award Winners
Solar Decathlon 2017 Will Highlight Living Small with Green High-Tech
WERS Training Comes to Florida November 2-3, 2016
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: John Abney, Sr. - Abney + Abney Green Solutions
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
Job Opportunities
Articles of Interest:
Graphene-Based Sheets Make Dirty Water Drinkable Simply and Cheaply
Competition Could Drive PACE Program Prices Down
GE to Quit Making Geospring Heat-Pump Water Heaters

EEBA Report: High-Performance Homes
Can Be Built Without Additional Cost

Today, more enlightened and efficient home designs and advances in home-building science have emerged while the cost to build green has dropped substantially. As market demand for higher performance homes rapidly increases, it is now high-risk for a builder to not move down the path towards constructing homes that are comfortable, high-performance, environmentally responsible and economically competitive in this evolving marketplace.

It is a risky financial decision for a homebuyer to build their home at today's minimum standards, as rapidly changing building codes and the explosion of home certifications will make their home code-obsolete and performance-obsolete in the next few years.

EEBA's guide "Best Practices: High-Performance Homes, No More Cost" will convey many builder-proven real-world strategies and approaches as to how a better high performance home can be built without additional cost. [More]

Healthy Buildings Enliven Bottom Line
A new report from Dodge Data and Delos details "how the design and construction industry is helping to drive efforts to introduce preventative medical intentions into our built environment, where we spend more than 90% of our time," says Delos CEO Paul Scialla.

The US design and construction industry is gearing up for wider adoption of building practices that prioritize the physical, mental and social well-being of tenants and occupants, says the report. Titled "The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016," the report also finds that the owners of such buildings have already begun to realize business benefits, such as increased leasing rates and higher asset values.

"The increased attention to building health impacts is just beginning," says Stephen A. Jones, senior director of industry insights at Dodge Data.

Comprising the top five among healthier building features now in use are the following: better lighting/daylighting exposure; products that enhance thermal comfort; spaces that enhance social interaction; enhanced air quality; and products that enhance acoustical comfort. Use of nearly all of these features is expected to grow considerably along with further pioneering approaches like the use of biophilic design features, i.e. spaces that enhance tenant mood and opportunities for physical activity. [More] [Report]

How to Get Tax Credits for Salvaged Demolition Materials
Green demolition is a lucrative practice-it can decrease landfill costs, for one thing. And, whether you're a commercial enterprise looking for cost-effective demolition approaches, or a homeowner hoping to keep renovation costs down, demolition salvage efforts can represent savings in another major category: Tax write-offs.

Here's how it works: The demolition client hires a deconstruction contractor to salvage building materials. Rather than destroying the structure with a wrecking ball, the salvage demolition contractor dismantles it by hand. Lighting, roofing, flooring, cabinets, windows, doors, and even framing lumber are preserved intact and donated to charitable organizations for tax purposes. This does require more labor than traditional demolition, but in the end the building owner saves money after receiving the tax write off.

As an example, Pamela and Scott Weiss saved about $66,000 by following this deconstruction process. The Weisses paid roughly $20,000 for deconstruction-about twice the cost of traditional demolition. An appraiser valued the deconstructed materials at $159,000. Come tax time, the Weisses can apply that $159,000 write off to their tax bill, which will work out to about $66,000 of savings according to their tax bracket.

  • Step One: Choose a Qualified Tax-Exempt Charitable Organization.
  • Step Two: Choose a Licensed Deconstruction Contractor
  • Step Three: Hire an IRS-approved Appraiser to Determine Donation Value
  • Step Four: Submit Tax Form


The Next Phase in Green Building is Healthier Buildings
The financial benefits of green building have been well established. Studies have repeatedly shown green building certification lead to lower operating costs, such as reduced utility bills and lower total lifecycle costs.

Another business benefit: building owners report seeing a median increase of 7 percent in the value of their green buildings compared to traditional buildings. So it's not that surprising that green building is outpacing overall construction growth in the US.

But as green building increasingly becomes the norm, driven both by market demand and environmental regulations, some savvy developers and owners and looking to the next phase of green building: healthier buildings that improve employee wellness. [More]

What to Consider When Evaluating Renewables
For Your Energy Procurement Strategy

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)-energy supplies that aren't produced by traditional large centralized fossil fuel plants-continue to be a hot topic among organizations seeking to reduce their environmental impact and increase cost-efficiency.

Considering Renewables, published by Ecova, aggregated and analyzed trends from commercial and industrial leaders nationwide, found that:

  • 15% of respondents are currently leveraging DERs at a majority of their sites
  • 20% have already implemented DERs in pilot sites
  • A full 1/3 are considering DERs for their organizations

While incorporating DERs like solar, wind and battery can offer significant benefits, the impact varies greatly depending on your industry, your location and your priorities. Learn how to assess the benefits of DERs with these five key considerations:

  1. Understand stakeholder priorities
  2. Identify constraints early
  3. Be ready for a marathon
  4. Financial risks in grid supply
  5. Today's opportunities

Considering Renewables: Five Key Considerations for Integrating Renewables into Your Procurement Strategy, can help you explore whether DERs are right for your organization, when to make the investment and how to make a strong business case for DERs. [More]

Real Estate Coalition Questions
APB's Green Guidance

An industry coalition led by the Real Estate Roundtable submitted on Sept. 6 a comment letter to the Appraisal Practices Board stating their concerns about its first draft of the "voluntary" guideline "Valuation of Green and High Performance Property: Commercial, Multifamily and Institutional Properties."

Industry groups joining The Real Estate Roundtable in signing the letter were the National Apartment Association, the National Association of Home Builders, NAIOP, the Building Owners and Managers Association International and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

In its letter, the coalition noted several "significant" concerns about the draft, including:

  • The need for closer consultation with facilities engineering and management experts to better guide an appraisal standard based on a building's actual energy efficiency performance.
  • The need for appraisers to "dig deeper" into a building's sustainable features instead of assuming that a LEED rating or other certification automatically serves as a proxy for higher property values.
  • The need for a thorough review of high-performance tenant-leased spaces within commercial buildings that may positively impact an asset's appraised value - particularly considering an anticipated "Tenant Star."


Florida Could See One-Third
Of State Lands Developed by 2070

Unless communities across Florida change their approach to growth, more than one-third of all the state's land could be developed by 2070 as its population continues to swell, a "Florida 2070" report released September 15th concludes.

The Florida 2070 report is a joint project from the University of Florida GeoPlan Center, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the nonprofit 1000 Friends of Florida examining the state's development trends and possible effects decades from now. [Map] [More] [Region by Region]

Lennar Buys WCI in Master Stroke of Opportunity
With intense focus in housing these days going to questions, speculation, and initiatives around entry-level, young adult home buyers, Lennar pounced on a prize diametrically opposite that point of focus. It agreed to acquire renascent Florida high-end community developer and builder WCI.

The deal is all about timing, and it speaks to a masterful job of optimizing WCI's value by CEO Keith Bass and his team, as it does to an opportunistic past-mid-cycle stroke of brilliance by Lennar CEO Stuart Miller, President Rick Beckwitt, and their team.

The transaction will combine two of the largest homebuilders in Florida. With a legacy that spans more than 60 years, WCI has established a leading expertise in developing amenity rich, lifestyle master planned communities catering to move-up, active adult and second-home buyers. In the latest 12 months ended June 30, 2016, WCI delivered 1,118 homes with an average sales price of approximately $444,000. [More]

New FAA Rules Make It Easier for Construction And Real Estate Industries to Utilize Drones
The new Part 107 FAA Rules took effect, August 29, 2016. Unlike the previous requirements for flying a drone commercially, the new rules are much more simplistic and permissive of a broad amount of commercial drone usage.

Here's what you need to know:
To fly a drone commercially, there are now four major requirements:

  1. be at least sixteen years old;
  2. register your drone online;
  3. pass an aviation knowledge test administered at an FAA-approved testing center2; and
  4. pass review by the Transportation Security Administration.

There are still restrictions, though. Without a waiver from certain provisions in the FAA's Part 107 rule3, you cannot:

You may request a waiver of these restrictions via an online portal at [More]

Sustainable Florida Announces
Best Practice Award Winners

The Best Practice Award recognizes businesses, organizations and individuals for their dynamic work in helping to create a sustainable Florida. The winners of the 2016 Best Practice Award are:


Solar Decathlon 2017 Will Highlight
Living Small with Green High-Tech

Students from Embry-Riddle and Daytona State College (DSC) are Team Daytona Beach, one of just 14 collegiate teams worldwide selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy's prestigious Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. Team Daytona Beach is the only team in the international competition from Florida.

Team Daytona Beach's entry into the 2017 Solar Decathlon is The BEACH House. The BEACH House is an acronym for Building Efficient, Affordable and Comfortable Homes. The 1,000 square-foot house is designed for a small family with the desire to live sustainably, without sacrificing comfort. It features an open floor plan that will provide the energy-saving ability of a high-technology house at an affordable price and is designed to perform in central Florida's hot and humid climate. Shading, daylighting and natural ventilation are some of the zero-energy methods used in The BEACH House to decrease energy costs and increase living comfort. The project will seek 'Florida Green' Home certification administered by the Florida Green Building Coalition.

Team Daytona Beach will be working together on a nearly two-year endeavor to fully design, construct, operate and assess the house before shipping and reassembling it at the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition site in Denver, Colorado in fall 2017. The 14 teams will be judged on criteria that include architecture, market appeal, engineering, affordability, and energy balance. Solar Decathlon teams will be competing for $2 million in prize money to be divided among the highest-placing teams. [More]

WERS Training Comes to Florida
November 2-3, 2016

The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) is a predictive, performance-based water efficiency program for residential properties. It takes into account all indoor and outdoor water usage. Verifications are carried out by a 3rd party, similar to EPA's WaterSense for Homes or Florida Water Star certifications. After the analysis is completed, properties achieve a score on a scale of 0-100, with zero being most desirable.

The WERS Program will start its expansion eastward (from New Mexico) by holding a WERS Verifier course in Maitland, FL. Hosted at the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) Service Center, the class will begin at 9a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Pre-registration is required. [More]


John Abney, Sr. - Abney + Abney Green Solutions
John Abney, Sr. is a state-licensed general contractor with more than four decades of experience in the construction industry. Most recently he has joined Abney + Abney Green Solutions as a Project Manager. Abney + Abney Green Solutions guides project teams through the green building certification process.  Specializing in both the commercial and residential markets, the firm provides green building services for projects pursuing the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), LEED®, and National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certifications. The firm is based in Palm City, Fla. For more information please visit

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

Daniel Abou-Jaoude
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Marcos Muriel
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Wes Wooldridge
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Danny Youngsman
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Jesse Belknap
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Rick Campbell
Skanska USA Building Inc.

James Eschelbach
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Phil Etheridge
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Trent Hamilton
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Gavin Speaker
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Josh Newsom
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Brandon Patterson
Skanska USA Building Inc.

Cesar Morales
Skanska USA Building Inc.

George Pastor
Merrill, Pastor and Colgan Architects
Vero Beach

Faisal Syed
Syed Design Group
Rosemary Beach

Funding Opportunities:

FHFC Multifamily Energy Retrofit Program
National & State Green Building Funding Opportunities
St. Johns River WMD
South Florida WMD Water Programs
Southwest Florida WMD Water Programs

Education Opportunities:

October 6, 2016
FGBC Certifying Agent Annual Verification Class
Gainesville, FL

October 18-19, 2016
FGBC Certifying Agent Designation Class


Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) Course Listings
Building America Webinars
Energy Star Webinars

Job Opportunities:

APA Florida Job Board
Florida Facility Managers Assn Job Board
Green Dream Jobs
Institute for Market Transition (IMT)
Build Your Future Scholarships