August/September Business View Magazine

222 223 FLORIDA GREEN BUILDING COALITION Most recently communities certified Florida Green by the Florida Green Build- ing 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 KeyVillage 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 transpor- tation, 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. ALYS BEACH Using the traditional town as the model, Alys Beach, located along Scenic Highway 30A in Northwest Florida, is a healthymix of homes and buildings and a well-con- nected street networkmaking travel by foot and bicycle the preferred way to get around. All homes are required to be third-party certified as green homes by the Florida Green Building Coalition.Alys Beach was the first community in the state to do so. One of Alys Beach’s most visible features is the palette of white roofs and walls—an adap- tation to the local environment that reflects much of the sun’s heat and helps keep the town cooler Cool roofs and walls hint at more green features inside homes,where a host of measures like spray foam insulation, long-lasting materials, and efficient appliances help to conserve water and energy, and increase durability. Parks and streetside landscapes are plentiful, fea- turing mostly native plants that are adapted to local conditions, reducing the need for water, fertilizer, and pesticides.These and other community-wide environmental features are aesthetically pleasing and create a sense of community. BABCOCK RANCH Located along the Charlotte County-Lee County line east of State Road 31,most of Babcock Ranch will remain a nature preserve, forever. Green infrastructure has been the overriding theme in all planning decisions for the sustainable community. Natural surface-water flows are essen- tial because they help restore natural habitats and provide natural irrigation. Florida Power and Light’s Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center will supply the community and the region with 74.5-megawatts of clean, renewable power.The 443-acre solar power plant will make Babcock Ranch the world’s first new town where solar energy production exceeds the total energy consumption from day one. Because of its emphasis on environmental stew- ardship and renewable energy, Babcock Ranch builders adhere to Florida Green Building Coalition green-building standards.Homes have raised foun- dations for natural cooling, high-performance win- dows and insulation, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and energy saving lighting. A truly green home meets certain standards for energy efficiency, healthy air quality, use of local,