Southwest Florida’s Babcock Ranch, with sustainability designed into the entire fabric of the community, has been certified a Platinum “Florida Green” community by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).
Developer Syd Kitson of Kitson & Partners was recognized during FGBC’s annual meeting on Nov. 15 in Orlando. Kitson has been planning Babcock Ranch for more than a decade.
With more than 18,200 certifications since 2000, FGBC is by far the largest certifier of land developments, green homes, high-rises and local governments in Florida. To date 97 land developments are either registered or certified “Florida Green.”
FGBC says in a statement that, unlike other certification programs, its standards are the only ones developed with Florida-specific criteria that addresses the state’s hot-humid climate, environment, topography and natural disasters.
Scoring 151 points, Babcock Ranch achieved Platinum, the highest certification level.
Babcock Ranch’s key design and development strategies support this initiative including solar energy, water efficiency, native plants and materials, sustainable local materials, tree preservation and relocation.
Adjacent to the 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve, 50 percent of the town’s footprint is set aside for green spaces. The town also has the one of the state’s largest photovoltaic solar energy generation fields, with 343,000 panels laid out along 350 acres, equaling 200 football fields.
Babcock Ranch features six builders, including Pulte, Lennar, Florida Lifestyle Homes, Homes by Towne, Fox Premier Builders and Stock Development. Lyons House/Arthur Rutenberg Homes and Solara Homes by Banroc will soon start to build to FGBC standards in the 17,788 acre-community just north of Fort Myers.
Babcock Ranch’s FGBC Green Team included architect Scott Merrill, Merrill Pastor & Colgan Architects, Vero Beach; FGBC Designated Professional Jennifer Languell, Trifecta Construction Solutions, Fort Myers; land planner William Waddill, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., Port Charlotte, and FGBC evaluator Chris Wrenn.