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.

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Perceived Value of Green Claims

What do consumers really value when it comes to home improvement products? In a study conducted for Underwriters Laboratory-Environments division (UL), consumers were asked to select any green claim or certification that would persuade them to pay 10% more.

What’s Become of the Recession’s Zombie Developments

Empty lots can cause wildfires and flooding contamination, and can bring down the property values of nearby homes. They can also cost local governments money that they don't necessarily have, since the municipalities may have to provide public safety to far-flung suburban areas, without the benefit of the property taxes that had been expected.

It's unclear just how to 'fix' these zombie subdivisions. While some will be completed as the economy recovers, others may lie dormant for a long time. That’s especially true now that many young people and boomers want to live in walkable, urban environments, rather than subdivisions where they have to drive to everything.

But if roads have been paved or a developer has installed infrastructure improvements, it’s very hard to just revert the space back to farmland. Local governments who try to stop building–even if there is little demand–can be sued for preventing development where it had once been approved. [More]

Sea Level Rise Mapping Tool
Available to Local Governments

A few Florida counties are testing a computer mapping tool that details the vulnerability of their roads to rising sea levels. The University of Florida GeoPlan Center has developed the Florida Sea Level Scenario Sketch Planning Tool with funding from the Florida Department of Transportation Office of Policy Planning.

The mapping tool, which visualizes areas of transportation infrastructure that may be vulnerable to rising seas and inland flooding from 2020 through 2100, is intended for local governments to use as they make long-term plans for their infrastructure needs. The tool visualizes various sea level scenarios at future time periods in an effort to inform transportation planners and highlight infrastructure for potential avoidance, minimization, or mitigation.

Hillsborough and Broward counties are testing the mapping tool through a Federal Highway Administration climate resilience pilot project. Broward County also is testing the tool for three other South Florida counties that have also signed a compact to address climate change adaptation strategies. [More]

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

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 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:

Awards
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

What’s Happening

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Events


October 6-8, 2014
CREF 2014

Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum
Miami, FL
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FGBC Education


December 5, 2014
FGBC Certifying Agent
Annual Verification Course

Orlando, FL
[Register]

Abacoa Tower

Project Spotlight


Homecrete Homes
Adopts FGBC Certification

Westcliffe Estates, FL

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