Eco-friendly projects are sprouting up all over Florida now, partly because the early examples of green building have showed that it really does save money over time. Plus, government edicts are promoting a green future in a state historically noted for its love of concrete and cavalier attitude toward the environment.

In July, Governor Charlie Crist—acknowledging that Florida, with its 1,350 miles of coastline, has the most to lose from rising seas of any state—issued several executive orders with mandates for energy conservation, including one which calls for all state-owned buildings to be LEED certified and new buildings to strive for LEED certification at the highest level. Crist has also directed the state’s department of community affairs to convene the Florida Building Commission to revise the Florida Energy Code for property construction, which is part of the state’s building regulations. The 2007 code, which is about to be adopted, will take affect in late 2008. But the Governor wants to increase the energy performance of new construction by at least 15% beyond those standards.

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