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Green buildings use environmentally-superior building materials, employ mechanical systems and technology that are energy-efficient and conserve water, are designed to reuse stormwater on site, and avoid impacts on local natural habitat.
County Buildings Go Green
On October 18, 2005, the Board of County Commissioners approved Resolution #R-1200-05, which established the incorporation of sustainable development building measures into the design, construction, renovation and maintenance of County-owned, County-financed and County-operated buildings.
Ordinance 07-65, which was approved by the Board on May 8, 2007, amended the Code of Miami-Dade County to establish a Sustainable Buildings Program for Miami-Dade County facilities. In this legislation, the County established a program to promote the green design, construction and operation of buildings that are developed, constructed and managed by the County.
The primary mechanism for determining compliance with the program is the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The Sustainable Buildings Program requires new construction projects to obtain LEED silver certification and remodeling/renovation projects to obtain basic LEED certification.
Currently, Miami-Dade County has 30 green building projects in planning, design or under construction, including the Children’s Courthouse. The Internal Services Department's Trade Shop became the first silver LEED-certified County facility.
Further improvements to the way the County builds will be made through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). The Sustainable Capital Improvement Procedures & Guidelines were created so that the County's capital improvement process maximizes energy conservation and the use of renewable energy for new construction and renovations.
Green Permits & Product Approvals
On a community-wide level, the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources includes an expedited review process for commercial, industrial and residential "green" building-certified projects. In addition, RER offers the Green Sustainable Attributes program designed to provide a vehicle to verify and confirm the Green Attributes for products and or systems which have a Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance (NOA).
Through the EECBG program, Miami-Dade County evaluated existing county/state zoning and building codes, as well as the permitting processes, and offered suggested changes to remove energy-efficient and climate change obstacles to land use and development in the Code Diagnosis Report and Priority Recommendations .
To encourage energy-efficient and environmentally friendly construction, Miami-Dade County is offering a Green Building Expedited Plan Review program.
Miami-Dade County Development Plans
The County's Sustainability Plan, GreenPrint, has been developed to integrate with existing County Plans, such as the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) and the Parks and Open Space Master Plan. These plans play a large part in protecting the County's resources.
The CDMP expresses the County’s general objectives and policies addressing where and how it intends development or conservation of land and natural resources will occur during the next 10 to 20 years, and the delivery of County services to accomplish the Plan’s objectives. It provides for "sustainable development" - allowing for land capacity to meet projected needs, preservation of wetlands and agricultural areas and protection of (drinkable) water well fields.
The vision of the Park, Recreation and Open Space Department's Master Plan is to be able to travel on foot, skates or bike through a safe pathway of connecting parks and green spaces from northern Miami-Dade County to its southernmost tip. The plan does more than connect parks to form a greenway. It connects neighborhoods to libraries and schools to provide safer, more peaceful travel paths as alternatives to our congested roadways. Waterways or “blueways” allow residents to travel the County by boat or canoe.
Go Solar Florida
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Miami-Dade County and other Florida municipalities a 2.5-year, $1.575 million grant to make it easier for residents to obtain grid-tied solar installations.
Green Stimulus Work
Twelve projects being funded with federal grant dollars are currently underway in Miami-Dade County.
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