Business View: Going Green? In Florida You Have a Choice

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The green dream lives on as savvy breed of Florida developers and builders create sustainable homes, communities

There are just a few communities around the nation loosely following principles once known in the construction industry as New Urbanism.

Pioneering developers and builders involved in Florida’s sustainable communities have stepped up, creating new green neighborhoods, villages, and towns, promising a lifestyle that will literally not cost the earth.

This philosophy, first extolled in the 1980s, advocated small settlements of a limited number of residences with a clear neighborhood “center” and an appropriate number of schools, parks, retail, and facilities.

Most recently communities certified Florida Green by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) have raised the bar for sustainability and resiliency. With over 17,600 certifications since being founded in 2000, FGBC is by far the largest certifier of green homes, residential communities, and local governments in the state.

Alys Beach, Babcock Ranch, Lakewood Ranch, and Green Key Village have all gone Florida Green. Unlike other national and international certifications, FGBC are only standards developed with Florida-specific criteria. They address Florida’s hot-humid climate, environment, unique topography, and natural disasters.

“The benefits of sustainable transportation, renewable energy, recycling, clean water, urban forests, and the like certainly help to make a more livable community and help to hold global climate change at bay,” noted FGBC President Jeremy Nelson.