Buildings have a substantial impact on the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. As the urbanization rate continues to rapidly increase, the operation and construction of new buildings can lead to a negative impact on the environment. According to the Census Bureau South Florida’s population rose 1.7% last year, while Miami-Dade’s grew even faster at 2.1%. With these numbers, the environmental impact of buildings is becoming increasingly important.
To combat this issue, we suggest more sustainable residential projects that consider certifications like LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), insisting developers and building operators are ground zero for creating more environmentally conscious communities. The U.S. Green Building Council reported that out of all LEED buildings certified during Q1 of this year only 36% of were residential properties.
Although this percentage is not unacceptable, the total LEED projects overtime is more telling. In Florida, there are 1,156 registered office and mixed-use projects, 972 retail projects, and 1,559 others (education, lodging, healthcare, etc.), compared to 175 registered residential projects.
Launched in 2000, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a green building program providing third-party verification of the features and effectiveness of green buildings, was created as a green building rating system for commercial projects.
“The residential LEED rating system is a specialized program that addresses the specific needs of residential projects to be efficient and sustainable,” said Yourable’s CEO Peter Checa. “Every LEED-certified home is resource-efficient and cost-effective. With Miami’s growing population this could be the solution we’ve been looking for to maintain the city.”
Applying many of the requirements for LEED Building Operations and Maintenance can result in drastic reductions in energy use, water consumption and heating, and cooling demands. In addition to increasing building value and safety while decreasing operating costs, LEED’s holistic approach can combat the rising global client building demands for green building activity.
Peter believes sustainable building planning could solve issues Miami is facing due to rapid growth and urbanization and chose to have his newest residential project located by the Parque de Los Ciervos nature reserve, Reserva Escondida, LEED-certified. The towers preserve the surrounding ecosystem and create harmonious living between residents and nature.
Homes represent a critical piece of the building industry. Not only are they the structures in which we spend the majority of our time, but they’re also a sizable and valuable segment of the industry as a whole. More sustainable like LEED-certified buildings could mean answers for Miami and other global centers.