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Green by Committee Making Your Condo More Eco-Friendly

 Green truly is the new black in South Florida. As more and more condos and HOAs  look to save money as expenses rise, more and more boards and unit owners are  exploring ways to incorporate “greening” into their building community.  

 Green homes are expected to grow between 29 percent to 38 percent of the  residential construction market by the year 2016, which is equal to $87 billion  to $114 billion of that market, according to a 2012 McGraw Hill Construction  study.  

 According to the U.S. Green Building Council, whose Leadership in Energy and  Environmental Design program is the gold standard, the residential market—from multi- to single-family, from market rate to affordable housing, is reaping  the benefits of using green building techniques. Since the launch of LEED for  Homes in 2008, more than 30,000 homes have received LEED for Homes  certification and nearly 93,000 are registered for certification. Over half of  all LEED-certified homes are in the affordable housing category, the USGBC  says.  

 And cities and towns are getting on board, too. There are 44 certified and 58  registered Florida Green Building Coalition Local Government-designated cities  and counties in the Sunshine State, according to Suzanne B. Cook, the FGBC  executive director.  

 As of the fall 2012, 201 homes in Florida are LEED-certified. Cook says more and  more communities are trending towards green alternatives. She says there is  interest in green, “mainly because of the cost reductions that green building offers, whether it is  with water conservation or energy conservation. Those are the two big issues  that people relate to green building, although green building has a much  broader range than just energy and water. It’s about the health issues. Maybe a homeowner could specify low VOC paint or that  type of thing.”  

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