Miami Beach goes for LEED Gold

City launches LEED requirements for new construction

Miami Beach LEEd

Future LEED design for Miami Beach Convention Center

Celebrated for its iconic art deco style, the City of Miami Beach gets set to launch a new trend in South Florida architecture – LEED certified construction. The city takes the boldest stride yet in South Florida’s municipal LEED programs. They now require all new construction over 7,000 square feet (both public and private) be certified at the LEED Gold-level.

New projects without any certification must pay a fine equaling 5 percent of construction costs. Lower levels of LEED certification will get discounted fees, with Silver requiring 3 percent, and Certified 2.5 percent fees. City officials say any fines collected will fund public sustainability programs, like reintroducing mangroves to fight against rising sea levels.

By far the most ambitious yet, Miami Beach aiming for LEED Gold proves just part of the growing South Florida municipal movement towards LEED. Many other cities have taken different strategies in encouraging the LEED boom.

Seeding for the Future

Many cities run a voluntary LEED program, offering incentives for certified projects. Fort Lauderdale has become a model municipality for the volunteer approach. The city has 60 buildings LEED Registered or Certified. Jupiter also boosted its LEED construction with its Green Building Program, providing incentives such as zoning regulation waivers.

LEEDing by Example

Some counties chose to inspire by example, requiring all public projects up for new construction or major renovations to receive LEED certification. The School District of Palm Beach County calls for LEED Silver certification for all new District buildings. Miami-Dade County also requires all new county-owned and operated buildings to be LEED Silver.

Setting the Standard

Miami Beach joins the pack of cities across the country with LEED requirements for both public and private construction projects. The City of Miami also joined the movement, requiring LEED Silver ratings for new construction 50,000 square feet or more. Delray Beach’s Central Business District requires a minimum LEED Silver certification for projects of the same size.