June 16, 2016

In This Issue:

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: On Top of the World Receives Water Conservation Award
Minto Communities Announces Three New Large-Scale Communities in Florida
Landowners Win U.S. Supreme Court Wetlands Development Court Case
PV Value Tools Help Appraisers Determine Solar Market Value
BREEAM Rating System Arrives in U.S.
World's First 3D-Printed Building Completed
Energy Sector Stakeholders To Meet in Miami
     Legrand's Intuity Home Automation
     Personal Heating & Lighting Zones Will Follow Workers Around the Office
Will Clean-Energy Desalination be a Game-Changing Water Fix?
German Solar Power Company Relocates Headquarters to Miami
Daytona Speedway in Top 5 Sports Arenas for Solar Energy
Ranchers, Sportsmen Contribute 5,300 Acres To Everglades Refuge & Conservation Area
New Hampshire Doubles Solar Net Metering Cap
Scholarships Available for Craft Training
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Larry Baum, Stellar Homes Group
FGBC Welcomes New Members
Education Opportunities
Funding Opportunities
Job Opportunities
Articles of Interest:
Sarasota’s Scott Paint Sold to Florida Paints
Starwood Scoops Up $566M of Affordable Housing Units in Orlando
What Developers Wished They Knew About Avoiding Moisture and Mold Problems in South Florida Construction - Advice from Liberty Building Forensics Group

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]


Minto Communities Announces Three
New Large-Scale Communities in Florida

Tampa-based Minto Communities has announced plans for three new communities in Florida that will expand the company into new markets with 17,900 new lots and 4.2 million square feet of commercial space. The new communities are located in Naples, Daytona Beach, and Palm Beach. The new projects are:

  • Rural Lands West near Naples, which includes 10,000 lots and 2 million square feet of commercial space. Minto's first phase of this community will be an age-restricted 55+ neighborhood with 4,000 homes
  • A resort-style 55+ community in Daytona Beach that will offer 3,400 residences and 215,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial space, along with an array of amenities
  • Westlake, Minto's new community located in western Palm Beach County, which is approved for 4,500 homes and 2 million square feet of commercial space [More]

Landowners Win U.S. Supreme Court
Wetlands Development Court Case

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 31 that landowners can immediately proceed to court once federal regulators determine that property containing wetlands is covered by the Clean Water Act. The decision could expedite the approval process for entities seeking to develop wetlands.

Land is subject to the Clean Water Act if it contains wetlands connected to a river, lake or other major waterway. Under the law, property owners may ask the Corps whether their land meets that test before deciding whether to apply for a permit. [More]

PV Value Tools Help Appraisers
Determine Solar Market Value

PV Value® is a web-based tool that calculates the energy production value for a residential or commercial photovoltaic (PV) system. The tool is Uniform Standards of Progressional Appraisal Practice compliant and has been endorsed by the Appraisal Institute for the income approach method. Valuing a PV system is done using an income capitalization approach, which considers the present value of projected future energy production along with estimated operating and maintenance costs that are anticipated to occur during the PV module power production warranty timeframe. [More]

The PVWatts Calculator is an interactive web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that allows homeowners, installers and manufacturers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations at specific locations.[More]

BREEAM Rating System Arrives in U.S.
BREEAM, the leading UK green-building rating system, has crossed the pond and is looking to take on its U.S. counterpart LEED.

BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, is managed by London-based Building Research Establishment, or BRE, and used in countries around the world. BREEAM has been the dominant environmental assessment system for buildings in the UK for almost two-dozen years.

BREEAM USA will focus on the BREEAM In-Use standard to address the 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S. that are not currently benchmarking their sustainability efforts using a "scientifically-based green building certification" such as LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED EB). [More]

World's First 3D-Printed Building Completed
3D printing technology promises to revolutionize architecture in the near future, allowing designers to literally click-and-print complex buildings at a lower cost and faster speed than traditional construction methods allow. Another step forward in the field comes via Dubai, where what's hailed as the world's first 3D-printed office was recently completed.

Taking up a footprint of 2,690 square feet, the building is located within Dubai's Emirates Towers complex and will serve as a fully-functional office. A very large 3D printer measuring 20 x 120 x 40 feet did most of the work, printing the building by extruding a cement mixture layer by layer.

It took 17 days to print the basic building, but it then required finishing both internally and externally. The Dubai government says that the labor cost came in at half of what it would be for a building of similar size made using traditional methods.

The workforce included a single staff member monitoring the printer's progress, seven people to install the building components, and 10 electricians and other specialists to handle more technical issues, such as installing the building's electrical systems. [More]

Energy Sector Stakeholders To Meet in Miami
The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) is the largest annual gathering of regional and international energy sector stakeholders exploring renewable energy investment opportunities in the Caribbean. This year the conference is set for October 17-19, 2016 at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami.

CREF 2015 gathered close to 500 delegates from 41 countries. 21 Caribbean countries were represented either by their government or by their utility, or in many instances, by both.

The 2016 agenda features an astonishing array of 100 speakers across 30 sessions recruited to analyze and debate the full spectrum of issues facing the region as it diversifies its energy matrix. The exhibit hall will feature a collection of 30+ vendors and suppliers to the energy market.

CREF is where knowledge meets need, projects meet finance, and where the Caribbean meets the global experience of developing renewables and diversifying national energy matrices.

FGBC members can enter the code "CREF2016-FGBC" for a 15% discount on conference registration. [More]


Legrand's Intuity Home Automation
Home buyers are a finicky bunch, and their purchasing decisions often come down to small details that set one builder apart from another. Recognizing this, Legrand is introducing its new Intuity platform to allow builders to differentiate their homes by way of popular home automation features. With foundation platforms starting under $1,400, Intuity is designed to be a flexible, repeatable, differentiator that won't break the bank or stall production.

The platform incorporates all of Legrand's existing subsystems, including security cameras, intercom, lighting control, and audio, while also accepting a variety of third-party Z-Wave components for features like door locks and thermostats.

In March, Taylor Morrison unveiled its rebranded "Interactive Home" offering. The new system comes as a standard feature in all the homes Taylor Morrison builds in the Houston metro area. Jim Ellison, VP of sales and marketing for Taylor Morrison's Houston division, says the company wanted the ability to scale the smart home solution to its various price points from $190,000 to over $1 million.

The various Interactive Home features Taylor Morrison makes available include just about anything a homeowner could imagine in a 21st century house: WiFi, video door entry, built-in speakers in various rooms, surround sound, lighting control, security, thermostat control, garage control, and more. [More]

Personal Heating & Lighting Zones
Will Follow Workers Around the Office
Architect studio Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) is fitting out an office building with sensors so that its lighting and heating will be automatically adjusted in real-time according to the needs of its individual occupants.

Using a mobile app, individuals will be able to set their preferred temperature. An internal positioning system, which CRA describes as being similar to GPS, will then track users as they move around the building and tailor the environment. CRA characterizes the effect as being like a "thermal bubble" following individuals around. [More]

Will Clean-Energy Desalination
Be a Game-Changing Water Fix?

Desalination is typically an energy-intensive - and thus expensive - way to produce freshwater, which is one of the reason it has been slow to take off as a widespread solution to water shortages. This is what makes renewable energy-powered desalination so desirable, and will play a key role in the market's growth, according to a Lux Research report.

Emerging Green Desalination: Solar and Wave Technologies, says desalination will grow to 140 million cubic meters in 2020, reflecting soaring demand for freshwater and growing viability of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind. [More] [Report]

German Solar Power Company
Relocates Headquarters to Miami

Conergy, one of the world's largest downstream solar companies, has relocated its U.S. headquarters to Miami. Founded in 1998, the German company specializes in the design, finance, construction and long-term asset management and ownership of solar power systems. The solar industry is divided into two segments: upstream, which entails manufacturing, and downstream, which includes installation and finance.

Conergy has pioneered the expansion of solar energy globally, providing more than 1.5 gigawatts of solar power across six continents, it said. To put that into context, consider that the Hoover Dam is a 2-gigawatts facility. Conergy's relocation will add at least 60 high-paying jobs to Miami within the next three years, according to a press release. [More]

Daytona Speedway in Top 5
Sports Arenas for Solar Energy

In February, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) completed the FPL Solar Circuit, a system of more than 7,000 solar panels that generate electricity for the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.8 million customer accounts when the sun is shining.

The FPL Solar Circuit's total generating capacity is approximately 2.1 megawatts (2,100 kilowatts), ranking the Speedway in the top five U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy installations, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association. [More]

Ranchers, Sportsmen Contribute 5,300 Acres
To Everglades Refuge & Conservation Area

More than 5,300 acres of critical ranch, farming, wildlife habitat, flood protection area, and water storage lands have been added to the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area south of Orlando, thanks to several recent conservation partnerships formed by Florida ranchers, sportsmen, state and federal agencies, and non-profits. [More]

New Hampshire Doubles Solar Net Metering Cap
New Hampshire has doubled the caps on energy that both residential and commercial customer-generators of rooftop solar can sell back to the grid, raising the cap from 50 MW to 100 MW.

Net metering programs allow homeowners and other solar customers to sell excess power they generate back to the electrical grid in exchange for a credit. [More]

Scholarships Available for Craft Training
NCCER and the Build You Future (BYF) initiative are offering  scholarships that assist individuals pursuing craft training in the construction industry through an NCCER accredited program or a state/federally approved apprenticeship program in a merit-shop training facility. Ten scholarships of $2,000 each are available. Deadline to submit is July 15. [More]


Larry Baum, Stellar Homes Group
To Fort Lauderdale-based Stellar Homes Group, solar power is not a luxury amenity, instead the homebuilder will be the first in South Florida to include a Photo Voltaic (PV) solar panel system, with a 30 year warranty, as a standard feature in all its new homes.

Each solar panel system has a retail value of $9,160 to $16,128 per home (depending on community), and will be offered standard to buyers without raising prices to offset costs. “Our 5Kw PV solar panel package, combined with Stellar Homes Group’s additional energy conservation features, is expected to result in an estimated energy cost savings of approximately $81,000 over 20 years. Our homebuyers can choose a solar package to suit their needs and can take advantage of the 30 percent federal tax credit,” explained Stellar Homes Group Vice President Tony Valle.

Brown predicts Stellar Home Buyers can save a minimum of $350 to $400 per month on utility bills based on the PV systems installed along with the other energy conservation features installed as standard on all homes.  All solar PV systems installed offer free monitoring and control options to provide users multiple communication and control tools from anywhere on the planet via an Internet connection.

Homes will be certified by the Florida Green Building Coalition. Stellar Homes Group will include in all new homes an array of green features as standard beyond the solar panels. Features include: Three times the required insulation on the exterior block walls; passive solar day lighting through positioning of windows and doors to maximize natural light; hybrid water heaters that deliver hot water 70 percent  more efficiently; LED Lighting; low-flow shower heads, toilet and sink faucets; Zero VOC paints, sealants and adhesives; and flooring that meets GREENGUARD Gold Certified criteria.

In addition the homes will be electric car-ready, have organic vegetable gardens and will feature upgraded, drought-resistant landscaping.

“Creating beautiful homes in an environmentally sustainable way can be done well by incorporating green practices and knowledge from the start of the building process. It’s our mission to present a healthier home and lifestyle for today’s families, and we have certainly raised the bar,” added Stellar Homes Group Managing Partner Larry Baum.

About Stellar Homes Group
Founded in 2009, South-Florida-based developer Stellar Homes Group has delivered more than 2,000 homes and is committed to building residences that offer stellar quality, contemporary designs and sustainability. Stellar Homes Group specializes in the acquisition, development and value enhancement of residential and mixed-use properties. The company has developed in some of the most desirable coastal, urban and suburban locations in South Florida and is proudly dedicated to maintaining Florida Green standards and following green building practices to minimize the impact to the environment while reducing energy and water costs for residents.  For more information about Stellar Homes Group visit

New Members:

FGBC Welcomes New Members & Certifying Agents

Manny Suarez
Oldcastle, Inc.
Winter Springs

Victoria Williams
VBA Design, Inc.
Panama City

Ana Puszkin-Chevlin
City of Delray Beach
Delray 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:

July 14, 2016
FGBC Certifying Agent Annual Verification Class

Tampa, FL

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)