Miramar is finding new and innovative ways to become a green city. The green movement is a popular and timely trend as Florida and other parts of the country are feeling the effects of climate change. Looking at renewable energy sources and reducing the total energy demand are some of the economical ways to respond to the calls for green initiatives. Of the several ways to make a city more environmentally friendly, one example is pursuing LEED certified buildings. LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design. There are four levels of certifications: certified is the range of 40-49 points, silver is 50-59 points, gold is 60-79, and platinum is 80+ points. The U.S. Green Building Council has compiled a credit list, which allows project managers to be able to see what features would contribute to LEED building credits. This credit list makes it so that contractors and builders have the flexibility to decide how they want to apply energy credit to their individual building.
There is a misconception that in order to receive LEED points, you must be building a new residential or commercial building, and that it not entirely true. While designing and creating a new building using the points guide will increase the building’s score, you are also able to receive LEED points for projects involving neighborhood development and the maintenance of existing buildings. For example, when the Miramar Police Station got renovated in 2016 it followed the LEED building maintenance guidelines. The Police Station wanted to do its part in supporting a transition towards greener buildings. The maintenance improvements were also a way to achieve their other goal of reduced annual operating costs. The Police Station is not alone in this regard, Liberty Property has also decided to promote green buildings and has several buildings that have reached the high level of gold rating including Liberty Center. The Liberty Center development at Monarch Lakes is strategically located near the Miramar Parkway to afford easy access to major expressways. Liberty is committed to sustainable building practices to lower tenant operating costs, increase employee comfort as well as benefit the environment.
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The beauty in working towards a high LEED score, is that not only will it have an environmental impact but it also will have a positive economic impact. Since the building will become more efficient with its energy and water usage, the total amount of waste generated will shrink, leading to a reduced operating cost. For a further look at how Miramar is progressing in regards to green and efficient building, look no further than the Miramar Development Building One LEED scorecard. The scorecard shows total and individual scores in all seven of the categories that are valued in the LEED certification process. Some graded categories include; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy, resources, innovation. Each category has a subset of targets and objectives. Through completing this objectives, building will earn LEED points. It is important to note that not all of the categories are weighted evenly, such as innovation which is only out of 6 points, whereas maxing out the energy efficiency section can get you 35 points. The wide variety of categories is intended to make homeowners, builders and contractors think not just about the design of the building but the impact that the building has on its surroundings. An example of this is how a sustainable site gets points for locations that provide access to alternative transportation ie. buses, bikes or even trains. In order for Miramar to continue becoming a green city, everyone has to chip in, do your part and help keep this green movement going.