Green Building Explained
Green building practices encompass the entire building process from site development to building materials, operation and long-term building maintenance.
- Have less impact on our natural resources than buildings that don’t follow green building practices. Natural resources include trees, plants, water and energy sources.
- Are built using materials that are sustainable, recyclable and durable.
- Conserve water inside and outside the building, helping to reduce costs. Water-saving practices inside the building include using appliances that conserve water, low-flow faucets and toilets. Water-saving practices outside the building include reducing the amount of water used in the yard for landscaping by using Florida-friendly landscaping practices and Florida native plants.
- Conserve energy inside and outside the building to cool and light the building, heat water, and run appliances. Conserving and reducing energy use in a building can save the building owner money. In 2015, about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed in residential and commercial building. - US Energy Information Administration.
- Ensure that the indoor air quality is healthier for the people who live or work in the building. The paints, sealants, carpeting and furniture do not off-gas, or release, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
- Should reduce maintenance costs and address disaster mitigation.
It is also important to ensure that everyone who works or lives in the building understands what measures have been put in place to make the building green and what they need to do to ensure the building is operating to its fullest potential.
Green Homes and Residential Properties
Homebuyers and homeowners
If the home you own or planning to buy isn’t certified green through one of the credited green building certifications, you may want to retrofit the home to green standards. By following simple guidelines, such as the Florida Green Building Coalition’s home retrofit guidelines, you can reduce the operational costs of your home while making your home more sustainable or green.
Learn about building green or retrofitting your home green on the Florida Green Building Coalition website.
Green Commercial Buildings
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial buildings waste 30 percent of the energy they use.
Check the EPA website for tips on how to reduce energy. Some of the tips are easy to implement in your business.
The Building Owners and Managers Association International has information on voluntary measures building owners and managers can take to reduce a building's energy use. The site also provides information on water conservation, bench marking, and more.
Volusia County's green buildings
Volusia County Government built the Deltona Regional Library/Lyonia Environmental Center expansion to green building standards. The building expansion, completed in October 2009, received LEED Silver Certification, verifying that the expansion is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to work!
The green areas include the library’s general collection area, children’s and teenagers’ sections, community classrooms and meeting rooms, the Lyonia Environmental Center and Deltona Amphitheater.
The expansion features high-grade insulation and an energy-efficient automated heating and air-conditioning system. Paints, adhesives, carpet, flooring and other products are low in volatile organic compounds to improve indoor air quality.
Other green features include:
- Revolving doors at the entrances that reduce loss of heating and air-conditioning
- Energy-efficient bulbs and motion sensors that turn off lights when rooms are unoccupied
- Pervious concrete in the amphitheater to promote natural recharge of the aquifer
- Florida-friendly landscaping that uses native plants and Bahia grass
- A Votran bus stop at the front door
Since reopening, the building’s energy costs have dropped 22 percent.
Lyonia Environmental Center, part of the library complex, promotes environmental stewardship and offers a unique insight into Volusia County’s fragile ecosystems through hands-on displays and educational programs.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
Volusia County Government opened the new Emergency Operations and Sheriff’s Communications Center in March 2013. The 43,000-square-foot facility serves as the county’s consolidated public dispatch center and provides a central location for disaster response officials to make strategic decisions during emergencies such as hurricanes, civil unrest, wildfires and mass casualty incidents.
The building was designed to withstand 180 mph winds and an EF3 tornado – all while being built to LEED® standards. The combination of efficient design, sustainable building practices and advanced technology has resulted in the ability for the new facility to be operated more efficiently, using less electricity and water and lowering the county’s carbon footprint.
The building is powered by state-of-the-art energy systems that ensure continuous power and significant energy cost savings. The heating, cooling, power and fire protection systems have automated controls that can be monitored and adjusted off site over the internet. Heating, ventilation and cooling are provided by central air-handling units with single-duct variable air-volume terminal units. The air-handling units use chilled water for cooling and provide 140 tons of cooling capacity.
The building is served by a partial thermal energy storage system using glycol-chilled water to make ice. The system consists of two 90-ton air-cooled chillers and four ice storage tanks. A pumping skid includes glycol pumps for each chiller and two secondary pumps.
Thermal energy storage contributes to significant energy cost savings. During off-peak hours, one chiller makes ice while the other serves the building’s cooling demands. During on-peak hours when electricity is more expensive, only one chiller is required to run while melting the ice in the storage tanks to meet the cooling needs during the day. This allows the county to meet a 140-ton building cooling demand while running one 90-ton chiller. This equates to lower kilowatt demand charges and a sizable rebate from the utility company.
The facility uses only low-volatile organic compound (VOC) materials. LEED® defines VOC as a carbon-containing compound, such as gasoline or acetone, which vaporizes at a relatively low temperature. In the air, VOCs can react with other gases to form photochemical oxidants that can be harmful to human health. Since 1987, when the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection designated indoor air pollution as a top environmental risk to public health, assessing and managing indoor pollutants have become a priority for new construction under LEED® standards. The use of low-VOC materials is an important step in improving the indoor air quality of a facility.
Choose to stay at a green lodging facility to support hotels that conserve energy and water, practice waste reduction through recycling, reduce indoor air pollution, and educate staff and guests about the facility's green practices.
Volusia County supports and promotes the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Audubon International Green Lodging Programs. Green Volusia works with these programs to recognize properties in Volusia County that are designated as green lodgings. The following properties are currently designated as green lodgings:
- Blue Spring State Park cabins, Orange City
- Hontoon Island State Park cabins, DeLand
- Daytona SeaBreeze, Daytona Beach Shores
- The Shores Resort & Spa, Daytona Beach Shores
- Best Western Aku Tiki Inn, Daytona Beach Shores
- Hilton Daytona Beach Resort at Oceanwalk Village, Daytona Beach
- Plaza Resort and Spa, Daytona Beach,
- Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center, Daytona Beach
- Residence Inn by Marriott, Daytona Beach Speedway/Airport, Daytona Beach
- Courtyard by Marriott, Daytona Beach Speedway/Airport, Daytona Beach
- The Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach
The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida's natural resources. The program's environmental guidelines allow the hospitality industry to evaluate its operations, set goals and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance.