Green Building in Florida started back in 1998 when a group of environmental and building individuals decided there was a healthier, technologically ad-vanced and better way to build homes. They meet for several months, deciding to form what is now the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC). Most of the standards that were established by this newly formed coalition in 1998 are still being used today for the FGBC Green Standards.
In the beginning it was difficult to change an industry unaccustomed to change. Builders and tradesmen were used to doing things the " old" way and new ideas about energy conservation, environmentally friendly landscaping, new technologies and homes that would save money from the day they were built seemed a bit farfetched. But, over time the ideas proved to be based on solid evidence. As natural resources became increasingly more expensive the idea of saving money not only for the builder, but for potential homeowners has become a marketing niche that builders pride themselves on.
Today a certified Green Home, saves natural resources, saves energy resulting in lower utility bills and is healthier to live in than homes built a mere 10 years ago. The cost of buildinga certified Green Home has dropped dramatically over the past 7 years. When we first started down the road of Green Certification it would cost between 10 to 25% more to build a green home, today a builder applying the proper techniques and building materials can obtain a green certification for 0-1%! Suppliers of building products have changed their manufacturing processes to comply with environmentally friendly initiatives providing the builder with products he is familiar with using, allowing builders to gain points as part of the Green Certification checklist without having to change products. This simple step helped to change an industry almost overnight.
If you look at Manatee and Sarasota Counties they are two of the Greenest counties in the entire state of Florida. The only problem is that as the builders have become aware of the cost benefits of building green the general public hasn' t been kept informed at the same pace. So, today we have some of the most environmentally conscious homes in the country being built right here in our own backyard, but nobody knows it's happening.
For those in the community that are aware of the number of builders in the area that are building certified green homes it is a point of pride that should be announced, marketed, and shouted loudly. It is truly a quiet revolution that has taken place.
The list of Green projects in Manatee and Sarasota is impressive. But, what make it even more amazing are the projects themselves. From University Town Center, a Benderson Development using a new urbanism design to MyGreenBuildings winning the Grand Aurora Award for the first Green Renovation project! Vision Home Builders building the Technology House and exceeding energy efficiency levels achieving a Grand Aurora, Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch became the first Green Lodging in Sarasota County, and Kanaya Condominiums looking to become the first FGBC Certified Green Highrise! But the list of builders is what gives Manatee and Sarasota Counties an impressive environmental edge above other counties in Florida, nationally as well.
The first two builders to publicly announce that they would build all homes according to FGBC Residential Standards:
Lee Wetherington Homes dedicated to building ALL homes FGBC Green Certified John Cannon Homes dedicated to building ALL homes FGBC Green Certified.
Green Home Builders and Developments in Sarasota and Manatee Counties:
Bay Street VillageBenderson Development Ð University Town Center D&B Homes, Inc. David Weekly Homes, Inc. Certified Green Design Team, Inc. Eslinger Homes, Inc. Gibraltar Homes, Inc. Hannah Bartoletta Homes, Inc. John Cannon Homes, Inc. Lakewood Ranch La Maison Homes, Inc. Laurel Park Ventures, Inc. Lee Wetherington Homes, Inc. Marc Rutenberg Homes, Inc. Masterpiece Custom Homes, Inc. Mercedes Homes, Inc. Mission Unity, Inc. Neal Communities, Inc. NuLine Building Systems, Inc. Oakhurst Enterprises, LLC. Rampart Homes, Inc. Ross Built, LLC. Sam Rodgers, Inc. Stratland Homes, Inc. Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children Tivoli Homes, Inc. Triangle Construction, Inc.- Laughlin's Luxury Lifestyles Vision Homes, Inc. W Brothers Development Corporation