FGBC ‘Florida Green’ High Rise Opens to Help Homeless Women, Children

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MIAMI – A new, state-of-the-art 104,529 square foot homeless shelter for women and children in Miami has been certified ‘Florida Green’ by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC).

“The designation demonstrates exemplary leadership by the board of directors, Constance Collins, Katy Roth, and staff members who provided the framework and support to move forward with the certification process,” noted FGBC Executive Director C.J. Davila.

Lotus House is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children.

Their new facility, Lotus Village, is a prototype for the future, in which shelter and services for those in need are fully integrated with the urban fabric of the surrounding Overtown neighborhood. In addition to offering increased capacity with efficient design and land utilization, Lotus Village includes a holistic neighborhood health clinic and children’s wellness center.

Lotus House achieved 166 of the 105 required points, earning the FGBC Gold-level designation.

“This is a shelter, but so much more than a shelter for women and children in need in our community to heal, to reclaim their lives, and build a foundation for a brighter future,” said Collins, President and Executive Director of Lotus Village.

The new Lotus Village will accommodate nearly 500 women and children at any given time, essentially doubling the organization’s community impact. Millions of dollars from organizations and donors made this dream into a reality.

Roth, now on Lotus House staff, was the FGBC designated professional. Behar Font & Partners P.A. of Coral Gables, Fla. were the architects. Civic Construction, Inc. of Miami was the contractor.

Engineering was done by Vital Engineering and RPJ Inc. of Miami. Witkin Hults of Hollywood, Fla. completed the landscape design. Florida Green evaluator was Dr. Jennifer Languell.

“One of the first things we said when we built this new village is we want to be sure to put children first,” said Collins. “We know homelessness can be inter-generational.”

Lotus House provides enriched supportive services and programming, including child and family therapy, individual counseling, yoga and meditation, medical and dental services, arts and activities, education and employment services, a healing hands salon, and a working classroom kitchen serving three nutritious meals daily to help guests become who they are truly meant to be.

Some of the building’s features include:
• Urban garden
• Trauma-informed interior design
• Low VOC paints and adhesives
• Light paint colors for energy efficiency
• 80 percent of the plants and trees are local drought tolerant
• Site is located close to public transportation access
• Low flow faucets and toilets
• All residential units have line of site view to exterior
• All units and common areas are ADA compliant
• Hurricane Impact Resistant Opening
• One-of-a-kind pest control room

Over 35 high-rise projects are currently certified under the Florida Green Certification Program. The intent of the FGBC Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building Standard is to encourage owners of high-rise residential projects to adopt green and sustainable strategies during the design and construction of their projects and to receive recognition for their efforts.

For more information about Lotus House, visit lotushouse.org.

Going Green? In Florida you have a choice. For more information contact the Florida Green Building Coalition at info@floridagreenbuilding.org, visit www.floridagreenbuilding.org call (407) 777-4919.

The Florida Green Building Coalition is the leading certifier of green projects in Florida. To date it has over 18,000 residential, commercial, high-rise, land developments, local governments participating in its certification programs. FGBC certification programs are the only standards developed with climate specific criteria to address issues caused by Florida’s hot-humid environment and natural disasters. The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Florida corporation founded in 2000 dedicated to improving the built environment. Its mission is “to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs.” For more information about the FGBC “Florida Green” certification programs visit www.floridagreenbuilding.org.