Friday, September 25, 2009

The Green Standard is the New Gold Standard

Green Development Standard
If you have chosen to reduce the burden on the environment and add value to your development project through a voluntary Florida green designation as administered by the Florida Green Building Coalition, Inc. FGBC’s purpose is to provide you with the tools and guidance necessary to help you please your customers, as well as reward and promote your efforts as a Florida friendly developer.
Why should you support a Green Development Designation?
Many property purchasers are desiring, and some insisting, that their community be earth friendly, affordable to operate, and pleasant to live in. FGBC’S Green Development Standard is a tool that will guide you and your design team through the process of selecting green features that benefit the environment while providing long-term value to the project. The standard has been developed so that it is achievable by everyone who is willing to make an effort; and yet stringent enough that it will be recognized as a statewide standard for the industry, as verified by an independent organization (FGBC). If your local municipality does not already provide incentives for developments meeting the standard, encourage them to do so.
Benefits of Achieving the Green Development Standard to...
The Municipality
The Developer
Property Purchasers
Preservation of green space
Gain valuable promotion and advertising
Reduce operating expenses
Less traffic congestion
Third-party environmental verification
Value of community amenities
Natural resource conservation, e.g., water, energy
Differentiate your development from the competition
Healthier living for employees and residents
Less water and air pollution than standard development
Potential local incentives
Pride in purchasing in a designated green community
Quicker application review process
Quicker application review process
Potential financing incentives

Show leadership in your community

How the Program Works
For each listed green feature incorporated into the development, points are awarded. Developments that acquire a minimum number of points qualify to receive the green development designation and will be able to take full advantage of the designation?s incentives. The Green Development Designation Standard Checklist and Application contain a list of the topics considered for earning points, while the Green Development Designation Standard Reference Guide explains each of the criteria in detail including benefits, associated environmental implications, how to earn points and examples. Anyone can suggest changes using the form available at www.FloridaGreenBuilding.org.
Certification Process
The developer should contact the Florida Green Building Coalition as early in the process as possible to apply for the green standard and be assigned a project evaluator. The project evaluator will interpret any questions regarding qualifying for the standard to the development team, and if desired, may be able to facilitate on-site training. The Green Development Application Form or Pre-Submittal Application will need to be completed along with an application fee. If a project is to be completed in phases, it is best to plan the project in its entirety and have the entire development certified at one time. The fee will cover the continued development of the program as well as cover expenses associated with verification and publicity of the designated development. This fee is for certifying the land development as green, referring to the horizontal development, not the vertical construction. Homes, commercial buildings and schools are evaluated under their own standards with their own processing fees. You can submit a pre-application form without having completed a full submittal. The development team is responsible for defining and describing, in paragraph form, which points, as described in the reference guide, are earned for the development. Submittals must include a site plan, any covenants and deed restrictions, and any material necessary for verifying points as described in the Reference Guide.
Modification Process
· Suggested revisions shall be submitted to the Florida Green Building Coalition, Inc. using the Modification Request Form available at the www.FloridaGreenBuilding.org web site.
· Applications shall be compiled and circulated to the Florida Green Building Coalition Green Development Committee, past applicants, and project evaluators for comments. The comment period shall be at least thirty days.
· Following the public comment period, each application and its public comments shall be reviewed by the Florida Green Building Coalition Green Development Committee, which will make written consensus recommendations to the Board of Directors for suggested revisions to the standard along with the original applications.
· The Board of Directors of the Florida Green Building Coalition, Inc. shall adopt, adopt with modification, or reject each application for change.
· Revision Cycle for the Green Development Designation Standard:
· Periodic review. At least triennially, the provisions set forth in these Green Development Standards shall be reviewed by the Standards Committee of the Florida Green Building Coalition, Inc. in collaboration with other stakeholders. At a minimum, this review shall include consideration and evaluation of changes in the law, technological innovations, and comments and requests received from interested parties.
· All applications for revision shall be disposed of on an annual cycle such that applications received prior to the last working day of June 15 are included in the application review cycle that concludes no later than September15.
· The Board shall approve any changes to the standard by the last day of October in any year in which it is to be revised.
· Any new standard shall be in placed on the web site (along with the current standard) no later than November 15.
· The effective date of any new Green Development Designation Standards shall be January 1. Only those proposals to change these Green Development Designation Standards that are received on or prior to June 15 shall be considered for the revisions to these Green Local Government Designation Standards that may become effective on January 1 of the following year

Monday, September 21, 2009

Conservation Efforts

I’d like to share with you some of the measures being taken by Parks and Facilities to conserve energy and water. The City of Pensacola has had an aggressive program in effect for several years and have realized significant savings by implementing these measures. Please keep in mind that generally speaking, funding is not available for these types of measures, conservation efforts are only implemented in conjunction with repair and renovation projects as funding is available.

1.Retrofit lighting systems to new energy efficient fluorescent and other lighting.
2.Installation of high efficiency non fluorocarbon air conditioning systems.
3.Robust inspection and preventive maintenance program for A/C systems efficiency.
4.Installation of timers and photo electric cells to control park and athletic field lighting.
5.Turn off hot water for hand washing in most City owned facilities.
6. Installation of highly efficient natural gas tankless hot water heaters in City facilities.
7. Installation of low water flow flush valves on toilets and urinals in City facilities.
8. Installation of drip and bubbler irrigation systems for shrubs and trees in landscaping.
9. Initiated a recycling program for City Hall and Field Services Center complex.

These are a few of the measures we have taken and are being implemented on an on going basis. I would like to hear from you with ideas to further our conservation efforts.