December 12, 2016


Merry Christmas or  Feliz Navidad
Froehliche Weihnachten or  Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Mo'adim Lesimkha, Chena tova or 
Buon Natale, or even  Errymay ristmaskay

No matter how you say it, the meaning is the same:

My Christmas wish for you my friend 
Is not a simple one 
I wish you hope and joy and peace 
Your days all filled with sun 

I wish you love and friendship too 
Throughout the coming year 
I wish you laughter, happiness 
Your world be filled with cheer 

May you count your blessings one by one 
And when you have totaled up the lot 
May you find all that you have been given 
Is so much more than what you haven't got 

May your trips be short, your burdens light 
May your spirit in no way grow old 
May your clouds have silver linings 
And your rainbows pots of gold 

I wish this all and so much more 
May all your dreams come true 
I wish you Merry Christmas and 
A blessed New Year too 

Author: Ruth Kephart

In This Issue:

Tiny House Appendix Added to ICC Building Code
WELL, BREEAM Align Standards, Streamline Green Building Certifications
Tesla Officially Acquires Solar City
SolarCity Reveals Expansion Plans for Florida, Including New Jobs
DOE Announces New Ceiling Fan Standards
FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limits
     Sustainability Symposium- January 9, 2017
     CxEnergy 2017 - April 24-25, 2017
Central Florida Water Crisis Plans Draw Skepticism & Controversy
Pulte & Taylor Morrison Buy 550 Acres in Sarasota
     Is This the Future of Green Building Materials?
     Heat Pump Water Heaters Cut Electricity Needs in Half
Pantone 2017 Color of the Year - Greenery
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
Job Opportunities
Articles of Interest:
Cement Sponges Up Lots of the CO2 Caused By Its Production
Solar City/Tesla Microgrid Powers Entire Island
Amazon Dash Can Track Your Trash to Keep Your Kitchen Stocked
D.R. Horton's Freedom Homes coming to Lee County
Top 10 Ceramic Finishes Trends for 2017

Tiny House Appendix Added
To ICC Building Code

The International Code Council (ICC) reported that public comment RB168-16, the tiny house appendix, passed its final round of voting, receiving the required 2/3 majority vote. According to the Tiny House Build organization that is a proponent of the effort, a tiny-house-specific appendix will be part of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), allowing people to receive Certificates of Occupancy for tiny houses when built to meet the provisions of the adopted code appendix.

"RB168-16 brings much needed safety standards to tiny house construction," said BA Norrgard, Volunteer Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity and founding member of the Tiny House Collaborative.

The code has no legal effect unless it is adopted by local governments. [More]

WELL, BREEAM Align Standards,
Streamline Green Building Certifications

In a move that aims to make it easier for green building projects to achieve both the WELL Building Standard and BREEAM, the International WELL Building Institute and BRE have teamed up to identify alignments between the two standards and streamline the process for achieving both.

The WELL Building Standard, launched in 2014, sets performance requirements in seven categories relevant to occupant health and wellbeing: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

BREEAM assesses scientifically based criteria covering a range of issues in categories that evaluate energy and water use, health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

The WELL-BREEAM partnership comes at a time when corporations and the real estate industry are increasingly looking at how the built environment impacts human health as well as sustainability. Per the agreement, the organizations will identify specific credits needed for both certifications and project teams to submit documentation only once. This will save time and money associated with submitting documentation twice to achieve both standards. [More

Tesla Officially Acquires Solar City
Tesla is officially in the solar business. Its acquisition of SolarCity closed on November 21, 2016, after shareholders voted in favor of the acquisition the week before, with more than 85% of Tesla shares voting in favor.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off new solar products in late October to show his vision for the combined companies. The main product was a solar roof that looks like a normal roof, but contains solar cells. Musk said the solar roof will likely cost less than a normal roof, including the price of labor. Glass for the solar roof is made in part by Tesla's new glass technology division. The solar cells for the roof will be made by Tesla and Panasonic at a factory in Buffalo, New York.

Musk also unveiled an improved version of Tesla's at-home battery in October. Called the Powerwall 2.0, it can store 13.5 kWh of energy. [More]

SolarCity Reveals Expansion Plans
For Florida, Including New Jobs

Lyndon Rive, co-founder and CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity Corp., told Orlando Business Journal that the company plans to scale up its services in Florida by adding multiple locations and hundreds of jobs. "It eventually will lead to 200 to 300 jobs based on the demand," Rive said in a phone interview. "We'll need electricians, people in construction, roofers, sales people and administrators."

Right now, SolarCity has a location in Clermont with about 40 employees. [More]

DOE Announces New Ceiling Fan Standards
On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued its final rule on ceiling fan efficiencies. The new standards establish minimum energy efficiency levels, expressed as airflow delivered in cubic feet per minute (CFM) per unit of power consumption in watts (W).

DOE says the new ceiling fan standards will cut the energy use of ceiling fans by about 26 percent. A typical homeowner will save about $25 in energy costs per fan over the 13 year lifecycle of the fan, and commercial or industrial customers save up to $128. The updated standards are scheduled to become effective in late 2019.

The efficiency of ceiling fans can be improved by using more-efficient motors and fan blades and by simply optimizing the fan design such as by adjusting the blade pitch.

DOE estimates that the purchase price of residential ceiling fans will increase by only about $11 with the new standards and that this additional cost will be covered by energy bill savings in less than 2 years. [More

FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limits
For the first time since the housing crisis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is increasing the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2017.

For much of the country, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limit remained at $417,000 for one-unit properties (or single-family homes) in 2016, just as it had for the previous 10 years.

The FHFA announced November 23, 2016 that for 2017, it is increasing the loan limit from $417,000 to $424,100 for single-family homes. [More]

Orlando will be the host city for two outstanding national sustainability conferences in 2017. We are fortunate to have them so close to home. Make plans now to attend both!

Sustainability Symposium- January 9, 2017
If you care about the transition to a sustainable economy, then Green Builder Media's " Sustainability Symposium 2017: Ready for Anything " on January 9 in Orlando is a can't miss event!

It's more important than ever that we take a bold stance to challenge conventional development modelsand inspire continued progress. The Sustainability Symposium will bring together a group of influential stakeholders-building professionals, elected officials, city planners, national media, and passionate sustainability advocates-to discuss how businesses, communities, and cities can pave the way to an intelligent, resilient future.

Don't miss this unprecedented opportunity to join some of today's most forward-thinking sustainability leaders, including Governor Martin O'Malley, Philippe Cousteau, carbon-neutral NASCAR driver Leilani Munter, Mayor Dyer (D-Orlando), Mayor Stoddard (D-South Miami), Mayor Brainard (R-Carmel, IN), and Senior NASA scientist Carlton Hall, in a meaningful and authentic dialogue focused on idea generation and problem solving.

SPACE IS LIMITED, SO CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY! The full Symposium registration fee is $250, but as a member of the Florida Green Building Coalition network, we'd like to offer you a special 50% discount. Enter the code GBMFriends when you register to access the rate of $125.

CxEnergy 2017 - April 24-25, 2017
CxEnergy 2017, the industry's premier event dedicated to building commissioning , energy management, and field testing of buildings and facilities, takes place April 24-27 in Orlando at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.

The CxEnergy 2017 technical program includes 32 presentations and case studies from industry experts across all building science disciplines. The Expo Hall showcases the latest technologies in Cx software, HVAC systems, building automation systems, building envelop materials, energy meters and tools, lighting, and design tools.

Professional designation pre-conference workshops and exams for Certified Commission Authority (CxA) and Energy Management Professional (EMP) are scheduled in conjunction with the conference.

Members of FGBC receive a 10% discount with a promo code FGBC10. Register at or contact ACG Headquarters at or call 202-737-7775.

Central Florida Water Crisis Plans
Draw Skepticism & Controversy

Trying to fill the conflicting needs of the ecosystems of springs, rivers and lakes with the needs of both the current and future populations for water is the basis of a proposal to govern water supplies through 2035.

Officials with the Suwannee River and St. Johns River water management districts, who joined to develop the plan, believe it will provide enough water for both. But environmental advocates are not entirely buying it.

Proposals in the plan to move water from one water body when its flow is high to recharge the aquifer or to a storage area for release when water levels are low is a shell game rather than a solution, said Jim Gross, an environmental advocate that once worked for the St. Johns River Water Management District.

The water management agencies' plan is their first stab at joint water planning. It came about because water usage by the populous Atlantic Coast in the St. Johns district was sucking aquifer water from under the Suwannee River water management district territory. [More]

Pulte & Taylor Morrison
Buy 550 Acres in Sarasota

Late last month, Taylor Morrison and PulteGroup brought two separate land tracts in Sarasota County for a combined $63.74 million for 550 acres. Both transactions are among the largest residential land purchases in the county this year.

Taylor Morrison plans to develop its fourth Esplanade community, Esplanade on Palmer Ranch, on the 227 acres it purchased from McCann Holdings for $36 million. The gated community will include 500 homes at full buildout, and a wellness center and "Bahama bar" will be available to residents. The community is set to open in late 2017.

"We're very excited that we're starting on our next Esplanade community, to offer elevated resort-style living," said Cammie Longenecker, director of Taylor Morrison's Southwest Florida operations.

Pulte plans to build up to 246 homes on the 321.5 acres it acquired in Lakewood Ranch from an affiliate of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. for $27.7 million. [More]


Is This the Future of Green Building Materials?
Companies are increasingly looking for circular-economy approaches to design and use - durable products that can be reused or recycled at end of life.

Noble Environmental Technologies says its technology is helping customers do this very thing: recycle their waste streams into new building materials for reuse. And it says it can partner with just about any business to help it close the loop while reducing its manufacturing costs and waste produced.

Its building product, Ecor, developed in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture, is made from 100 percent recycled material. It's made from fiber-based waste - office paper, cardboard, recycled denim and other fabrics, hemp, jute, sugar cane bagasse, corn husks, wood dust and trimmings, among others - and can be engineered into a variety of shapes for different applications. The company describes it as a sustainable alternative to wood, composites, aluminum and plastic. The product itself is also 100 percent recyclable.

"We call it a fiber alloy," said Noble Environmental's Jay Potter. [More]

Heat Pump Water Heaters Cut Electricity
Needs in Half

The National Resources Defense Council conducted a new study that shows water heaters using high efficiency heat pump technology can cut electricity needs to heat water by at least half. Considering heating water accounts for about 13% of total residential energy use, the impact are far reaching.

Heat pump water heaters are more expensive to buy and install than conventional electric water heaters (although utility rebates and tax credits may be available to reduce this cost). However, because they are so much more efficient, the lower electricity bill will more than cover the difference. Over the typical 13-year life of a water heater, total cost for purchase, installation, and operation of a 50-gallon hybrid water heater can be up to 60 percent lower than for a conventional electric water heater depending on electricity rates and the coefficient of performance. [More]

Pantone 2017 Color of the Year - Greenery

Pantone's Color of the Year is a symbolic color selection - a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. Next year's Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that provides us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.

Nature's neutral, PANTONE Greenery is a versatile shade that lends itself to many color combinations. View the 10 color palettes . [ More ] 

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

Debra Fleming
Affordable Housing Solutions for Florida
Land O Lakes

Robert Cannellos
Next Earth Design
Palm Beach

Troy Roberson
Mitsubishi Electric
Cooling & Heating

Suwanee, GA

Robert Stanz (Rejoin)
Robert J Stanz, P.A.

Johana Bohorquez
Opa Locka

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:

January 10, 2017
Florida Water Star AP Training
Miami-Dade County Extension Office
Homestead, FL

February 9, 2017
FGBC Certifying Agent
Annual Verification Class
Orlando, FL

May 11, 2017
FGBC Certifying Agent
Annual Verification Class
Fort Myers, FL

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