Diaz plan calls for green certification for new buildings
By Risa Polansky
If you're going to build big in Miami, build green or don't build at all, Mayor Manny Diaz says.
New buildings of about 50,000 square feet or more would be required to be Leadership in Energy Efficient Design-certified if the city commission approves the mayor's proposal in May when they review the first phase of Miami 21, the city's blueprint for growth.
"There may be some initial "Oh my God, what is this?" Mr. Diaz said. "But I think we'll get over it quickly."
The response of builders has been "so-far so-good," he said. "I think they're all realizing that this is the wave of the future."
Developers would be offered density incentives to build green, Mayor Diaz said, which could help soften the blow of higher associated costs.
Through research in developing Holly Realty's Miami Green, a 120,000-square-foot LEED-certified office condo at 3150 SW 38th Ave., "we found the extra cost is actually negligible," said sales broker Bert Checa.
To develop within the lowest LEED standards would require a 2% increase in construction costs, Mr. Checa said.
To meet the medium-grade, or silver, standards Miami plans to require, a developer may see a 4% increase, 10% to meet the highest LEED requirements, he said.
LEED projects are designed to cost less in operation and maintenance, Mr. Diaz said.
According to Mr. Checa, the state is considering offering incentives for green buildings.
About $1 billion in green projects are "on the table, on the way to build-out" in Miami, Mr. Diaz said. He said he will take several green-related resolutions to the commission April 12 — including one calling for a two- to four-person office to coordinate the city's greening efforts.