Florida GBC adds Water Star certification
Almost every facet of life in Florida is closely associated with water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average Floridian uses 133 gallons of water each day.
Slightly less than half is used inside the home. The rest is used outdoors, primarily for landscape irrigation.
As the state's population grows and the demand for drinking water increases, the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), which developed and administers the "Florida Green" green building, has added the Water Star program, according to a press release.
The Florida Water Star program is a voluntary water conservation certification program for new residential and commercial construction and existing home renovation.
Florida building community recognized that the state must build on its water conservation initiatives and expand the use of reclaimed water to extend groundwater supplies. In many areas, utilities will need to develop alternative sources of water to bolster traditional drinking water sources.
The increasing demand on the state's water resources necessitated that sustainable building be a cornerstone of Florida's future.
Land developments requiring green home certification are key drivers for advancing sustainability among the building industry. And the builders embracing this trend are capturing a large portion of the new home sales market across the state.
That participation has helped FGBC reach a new milestone of more than 14,000 "Florida Green" certified projects.
Water conserving strategies inside the building and out in the landscape play a primary role in green building and are a main category in the certification process. Approaches include low-flow plumbing fixtures, greywater reuse, rainwater harvesting, reclaimed water reuse, proper plant selection for landscapes and properly installed irrigation systems.
The Florida Water Star program is a voluntary water conservation certification program for new residential and commercial construction and existing home renovation that works in partnership with comprehensive green building certification.
The program encourages water efficiency in appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscapes, as well as water quality benefits from best management practices in landscapes. Based on estimates, an average Florida Water Star homeowner can save up to 20 percent of water use annually.
Agricultural water users will need to upgrade to more efficient irrigation systems and implement best management practices. Golf courses must reduce the amount of acreage irrigated, install irrigation systems that reduce the volume of water used, and install soil moisture and rain sensors, the organization said.
Builders will need to incorporate green building programs such as FGBC Florida Green and Florida Water Star into their construction process. The advantages of green building are abundant: less impact on our natural resources, healthier indoor environments, increased worker productivity, reduced operating costs, and increased market value.
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