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October 9, 2015

Cover Story - Green Building

Going Green

Water-supply woes, energy costs and environmental concerns are pushing green building practices into the mainstream in Florida.

Cynthia Barnett | 2/1/2007

From COMMERCIAL ... The Navy Federal Credit Union call center in Pensacola is one of 10 LEED-certified green buildings statewide. The company paid particular attention to air quality and lighting -- sensors automatically control shades and lights so the same amount of light falls on work surfaces no matter the time of day. [ Photo: Maguire Photographic ]

Green Building

What: Building practices that conserve energy and resources, involving building materials, landscaping, appliances, lighting, plumbing and approaches to site selection, heating and cooling.

Why: Buildings are the biggest drain on energy and natural resources. Using solar power, trees to the east and west to shade houses, energy-efficient appliances, landscaping with drought-tolerant plants and rainwater to flush toilets can help save natural resources and money. Green buildings also can be healthier for the people who work or live in them.

... TO CIVIC: The Dunedin Community Center features a single-ply white roof, which doesn't hold as much heat as a black roof. Its builder, Josh Bomstein of Creative Contractors in Clearwater, says not all owners want to go through the green-certification process, but they are demanding energy-efficient buildings.
[ Photo: Maguire Photographic ]

How: The U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program (usgbc.org) is the national standard for commercial structures. The Florida Green Building Coalition (floridagreenbuilding.org) also offers green-building designations, including one for homes, which are not yet covered by LEED. Audubon International's sustainable development program (auduboninternational.org) is considered the most rigorous for community developments. Developers win certification by racking up minimum numbers of points in key categories, including energy, water, site selection and design, health and materials.

Tags: Around Florida, Energy & Utilities, Environment, Housing/Construction

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