Every Development Review Committee meeting is attended by a Sustainability Division representative whose responsibility it is to advocate for green features in new buildings, including recycling, Florida-friendly landscaping, pollution prevention measures and more.
FGBC's Consumer Help page is particularly useful for homeowner's consider green upgrades or renovations.
Without imposing requirements, Fort Lauderdale neighbors have embraced sustainable building. There are over 60 buildings in Fort Lauderdale which are registered or certified with U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program, including our own Executive Airport Aviation Equipment and Service Facility which opened in 2011 with LEED Gold certification. The City was also named “Most Outstanding Green Government” by the South Florida Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and has been certified as a “Florida Green Local Government” by the Florida Green Building Coalition.
Why is green building important?
Our buildings are responsible for consuming vast amounts of valuable resources, as well as producing harmful emissions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in the United States, buildings account for:
- 68 percent of electricity consumption
- 39 percent of energy use
- 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions
- 12 percent of water consumption
What is green building?
Sustainable development balances investment value with a pleasant living, working or relaxation environment, while minimizing a development's negative impact on the earth. “Green building" fits within the concept of sustainable development, as it supports sustainability through construction practices that conserve energy and water resources, preserve open spaces, and reduce waste produced by the structure at any point in its life cycle. A building’s life cycle includes the siting, design, construction, operation or use, maintenance, renovation and ultimately deconstruction.
“Green buildings” are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment by:
- Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
- Reducing waste, pollution, emissions and environmental degradation
- Protecting occupant health and increasing productivity by improving indoor air quality, connecting the occupant with daylight, and providing natural spaces to enjoy
- integrating well within the community by increasing density, connecting to other places, inviting pedestrians and cyclists, and following sustainable design guidelines
What are we doing to encourage green building?
The City supports sustainable building primarily through the implementation of the South Florida Building Code which was recently updated to strengthen efficiency requirements. We also encourage the use of LEED and other green building standards and certification programs, whether to apply for recognition or simply to follow the guidelines. Finally, we offer a variety of Green Building Tips to help you make decisions about new construction, renovation, home repairs and maintenance.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission is to protect human health and the environment. The City of Fort Lauderdale sits within EPA’s Region 4. The EPA sets the standards that we enforce through our own regulations and those of the State of Florida related to such things as air quality, water quality, and environmental clean-up. This page on Green Building provides information on all six major green building standards, the history of green building in the United States, further rationale for the approach, and a catalog of green building publications.
FGBC is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Florida corporation dedicated to improving the built environment. Their mission is "to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs." FGBC was conceived and founded in the belief that green building programs will be most successful if there are clear and meaningful principles on which "green" qualification and marketing are based. The City of Fort Lauderdale has been certified as a “Florida Green Local Government” by the FGBC. Fort Lauderdale was not only certified but also received the highest score in the state to date. The designation is awarded to governments that demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship and implement effective sustainable initiatives to strengthen their community.
The U.S. Green Building Council is made up of a diverse group of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, teachers and students, lawmakers and citizens that share the same vision of a sustainable built environment for all within the next generation. The Council is most widely known for its LEED green building certification program for buildings, homes and communities.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project. Certification guidelines are helpful to achieve the benefits of green building even if certification itself is not attained.