The seven Regions that now make up the USGBC Florida Chapter have long been committed to removing market barriers to a clean, green economy; to educating the public, the business community and our elected officials about green buildings and sustainability, and to accelerating the uptake of green-building practice and maintaining issue awareness.
Over the past decade, our volunteers' advocacy efforts have been impressive and successes laudable. We have worked to strategically enact real and meaningful change through local codes. We have advocated the use of LEED in more of our local communities. We have encouraged the construction of more green schools, and the collection of key building performance data. We have opened dialogue regarding cities' determination of equivalency in ratings systems. We have collaborated to green the Multiple Listing Service. We have met with local elected officials in their offices throughout the Sunshine State to advance local green-building policies, and we have descended on Tallahassee to educate and advocate during legislative sessions. We have worked to advance the positions of the USGBC before trade associations, other nonprofit organizations and the general public.
We have several things going for us, most notably:
- Fact-supported beliefs and truthfulness about the benefits of green buildings -- i.e., high-performance buildings deliver measurable and significant environmental and fiscal benefits, create quality jobs, and pay dividends and reap rewards for investors and occupants.
- A passionate, educated group of volunteers and professionals who care about the communities in which they live.
That's a combination that's tough to beat, regardless of detractors and self-interest groups.
These successes continue today:
- Infographic statistics on green building in Florida
- There are 70+ green building policies or ordinances in the State of Florida.
- In 2015, USGBC Florida Regions and Branches completed more than 50+ Green Apple Day of Service projects.
- We are working with the City of Miami and City of Delray Beach to clarify what they mean by equivalent green building rating systems.
- Educated the public about solar Amendments 4 and 1.
- USGBC Florida is helping build a coalition and public outreach through earned media including op-eds, letters
to the editor and articles about of the City of Orlando Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES) ordinance.
- USGBC Florida wrote a letter of support for Miami-Dade County’s application to the Clean Energy Project.
- Helped delay decision on cutting net metering rate for small solar rooftop systems in Northeast Florida until after Amendment 1 decision in November.
- USGBC South Florida Green Schools Committee is working on a white paper and toolkit to empower parents to ask for green features in their schools especially during major renovations.
- City of Coral Gables -- At a recent Commission Meeting, the City of Coral Gables passed a new Green Building Ordinance that requires all new City buildings; buildings being constructed on City of Coral Gables property; and all buildings over 20,000 square feet not owned by the City of Coral Gables to be built to the latest applicable version of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or equivalent. The City wishes to promote and encourage new development utilizing sustainable design and construction best practices and recognizes the positive environmental impacts of energy- and water-efficient building designs, construction, operation and maintenance methods and materials. This Ordinance aligns with a number of other environmental initiatives that have been implemented within the City aimed at creating a more sustainable and resilient community. This ordinance was passed with the professional help of a USGBC Florida member.
- City of Miami Beach -- On February 10, 2016, the City Commission adopted the Sustainability and Resiliency ordinance which requires LEED Gold certification or Living Building Challenge certification for new constructions over 7,000 square feet or ground floor additions to existing structures that encompass over 10,000 square feet of additional floor area.
To learn more about USGBC Florida's local advocacy efforts, visit Regions on this website and click on the locality of your choice.