FGBC: Green building is part of Florida’s more sustainable future

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Special to Florida Construction News

April 22 (Wednesday) marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, when in 1970, 20 million Americans marched in the streets demanding environmental accountability from government and corporations.

On Earth Day, the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) reflected on its 20-year history of being the state’s leading certifier of green construction projects and local governments.

“During Earth Day celebrations across the state, FGBC members’ dedication, creativity and innovation, supported by technology and advanced via passionate grassroots engagement has made a difference in Florida,” FGBC executive director C.J. Davila said in a statement.

In 2000 the non-profit FGBC brought together industry professionals from the construction, government, academic and research communities to create green standards tailored specifically to building in Florida.

Since then FGBC has certified or registered more than 22,300 green projects.

And the number keeps climbing. One reason is FGBC has created green building standards allowing it to certify that construction meets and adheres to the industry’s best practices while guiding city and county governments in achieving attainable sustainability standards.

Unlike other national and international certifications, such as USGBC-LEED and Green Globes, FGBC are only standards developed with Florida-specific criteria. They address Florida’s hot-humid environment, distinctive topography, unique geology, resiliency, and natural disasters.

As a locally focused certification program FGBC offers numerous benefits to the builder, contractor, building owner, developer, homeowner, and Florida community that they live and work in.

FGBC’s five certifications provide pathways to build green homes, developments, local governments, high rises, and commercial buildings. The process, including low fees, is often more affordable than other certifications.

“FGBC’s standards are powerful because they complement one another,” Davila said. “Together, they can transform homes, buildings and communities into environmentally sustainable places.”

Beyond third party certifications, FGBC is also a resource for the construction industry and municipalities when considering going green. The FGBC mission is to lead and promote a state of sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education, information, grassroots outreach, and certification programs.

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