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Florida moving in the right direction with LEED certified buildings

December 21, 2012

It has taken a while for South Florida to catch up with the worldwide green building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified trend. Since its inception in 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council has strived to move construction technology forward and improve efficiency in buildings for a more sustainable and healthy environment. Despite this, Florida didn’t get its first LEED certified building until 2009.

It has taken a while for South Florida to catch up with the worldwide green building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified trend. Since its inception in 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council has strived to move construction technology forward and improve efficiency in buildings for a more sustainable and healthy environment. Despite this, Florida didn’t get its first LEED certified building until 2009.

However, in the last three years LEED certified green buildings have begun to emerge, with 60+ buildings achieving LEED certification in 2012. Among some of the notables are 1450 Brickell tower, 600 Brickell tower – which was the first building to achieve the Platinum LEED certification in Florida, – and the Florida Institute for Neuroscience, among others. The recent real estate crash could be to blame for the slow adoption of the new technologies, but many other factors come into play as well. To achieve LEED certification, buildings have to implement technologies that are not commonly used and make construction more expensive, but companies have realized that the long term benefits outweigh the initial cost (Greg Kats). Furthermore, as LEED building technologies become more widely available, it is expected that implementation can become a less costly endeavour and become an industry standard across the board.

These are the baby steps that Florida and many other states and countries are taking to make for a more sustainable and healthy world, as the USGBC strives for the Architecture 2030 challenge, which aims to reduce building’s fossil fuel energy consumption to 0% by 2030.

For more information on the Architecture 2030 challenge click here.

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