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Energy Conservation in Public Buildings

Eligibility 
Construction
Schools
State Government
Savings Category 
Photovoltaics
Solar Water Heat
Program Info
State 
Florida
Program Type 
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Provider 
Department of Management Services

The Florida Energy Conservation and Sustainable Buildings Act requires the use of energy-efficient equipment and design, and solar energy devices for heating and cooling state buildings where life-cycle cost analysis determines that solar-energy systems will be cost-effective over the life of the building. Florida law also requires that all new educational facilities include passive solar design. Florida mandates that schools with hot water demands exceeding 1,000 gallons per day must include a solar water heating system that provides at least 65% of hot water needs whenever economically feasible.

In June 2008, Florida enacted legislation (HB 7135) mandating that buildings constructed and financed by the state must comply with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes rating system, the Florida Green Building Coalition standards, or a nationally recognized, high-performance green building rating system. To achieve this mandate, the Department of Management Services was directed to adopt the LEED standards for New Construction (LEED-NC) for all new buildings, and to strive for Platinum certification. The Department of Management Services must also renovate all existing buildings they own and operate on behalf of client agencies to earn certification under LEED for Existing Buildings (EB). The state generally may not enter into new leasing agreements for office space that does not meet Energy Star building standards. The bill also requires agencies to perform a life-cycle cost analysis for all their buildings, to develop the Florida Climate Friendly Preferred Products List (from which agencies must choose appliances), and to contract meeting and conference space with "Green Lodging" designated facilities.

Executive Order 07-126, signed in July 2007, established requirements and goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions across all state agencies and departments under the direction of the governor, and to increase the energy efficiency of state buildings. The greenhouse gas emissions reduction target includes a 10% reduction from 2007 levels by 2012, a 25% reduction by 2017, and a 40% reduction by 2025.

In 2010, Florida Statute § 255.2575 declared that all county, municipal, school district, water management district, state university, community college, and Florida state court buildings shall be constructed to comply with a sustainable building rating system or a national model green building code. This statute is applicable to all architectural plans which are commenced after July 1, 2008.

Florida Statute § 255.2575 also defines workforce training program through the St. Petersburg College, and other Florida community colleges. This curriculum is intended to ensure that green building rating system certifying agents (accredited professionals who possess a knowledge and understanding of green building processes, practices, and principles) are available to carry out Statute 255.2575 building requirements.