Why should we build green? Well, green buildings not only have a lower impact on the environment and your wallet, but they also keep occupants healthier and happier. Sarasota County sees building green as one of the many important pieces toward creating a more sustainable community.
Healthy building, healthy you
Green buildings are resource efficient and cut operational costs. In addition, they benefit their occupants with improved indoor air and environment quality. We spend about 90% of our time indoors. It makes sense that many may experience health issues caused by their indoor environments. The material, lighting, ventilation, and many other choices we make for our indoor spaces affect us. Green buildings promote health and comfort. Occupants of green buildings report improvements in productivity, happiness, health, and well-being. Improving indoor air quality, for example, can reduce absenteeism and work hours affected by illness such as respiratory allergies.
The nature connection
Some architects and builders take green building to the next level. Biophilic design, for example, is the practice of connecting people and nature within our built environments and communities. It’s inherent that nature has many benefits for human health and well-being. It reduces stress, improves focus, creativity, and more. Humans are biologically drawn to nature. However, we spend most of our time in built environments that are void of elements of our natural environment. Biophilic design, on the other hand, incorporates features such as indoor-outdoor connections, natural ventilation and materials, extensive natural lighting, views of outdoor landscapes, interior designs that mimic shapes and forms found in nature, and more. The result? Beautiful buildings that enhance our well-being, productivity, and happiness.
There are many green building rating and certification systems in the U.S. and worldwide. Here are a few popular ones:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
- Florida Green Building Coalition
- National Green Building Standard
- Living Building Challenge
- Green Globes
- Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)
Sarasota County green buildings
Sarasota County currently has 16 green buildings that have achieved LEED certification from the USGBC, and one building that has achieved a Green Globes Certification from the Green Building Institute. For a full list of Sarasota County’s green buildings and policies, visit our Green Building webpage.
Sheriff Tom Knight Support Services Facility received the latest green building certification. It was awarded two Green Globes by the Green Building Institute and has a 132-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system for onsite power generation.
Is your home a green building?
Some developers bring sustainability to a community-wide level. For example, if you live in Lakewood Ranch and your home was built in 2005 or beyond, it may be a green building. Since 2005, the homes are built with energy efficient and environmentally responsible building products.
You can see if your home is a certified green home by searching in the certification and rating systems listed above.
Here are ways you can learn more about green building and how to stay connected with us.
- Check out these related recorded webinars on our YouTube channel:
- Sarasota County Green Building
- Subscribe to our quarterly sustainability e-newsletter
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
- Contact us at SustainableSarasota@scgov.net