Sustainable, Green, Florida

Coming to a City Near You: An Ambitious Green Future

The call to commit to sustainable building and renewable energy sources has been prevalent for decades. In recent years, much sought-after progress is starting to breakthrough. As clean energy sources become more reliable, abundant, and more affordable, the call for change has given way to action. Locally and nationwide, private businesses, energy providers, municipalities, and state governments have all made pledges and taken meaningful steps to protect the environment and access more resilient local energy sources.

Here in Tampa Bay, it has been the municipalities that have led the charge in sustainability and resiliency. In 2016, the City of St. Petersburg became the first city in Florida to sign on to the Sierra Club’s Ready For 100 Campaign. Since then, the City of Largo, the City of Dunedin, and the City of Safety Harbor have also committed. They have joined 173 cities and eight states in committing to 100% clean energy within a specific year.

The phrase clean energy conjures an image of rooftop solar panels and sprawling wind farms. While energy generation is a part of sustainability, another core part is energy reduction. New and preexisting buildings can drastically reduce energy use in various ways, including new energy-efficient lighting systems and appliances, improved insulation, and efficient energy recovery HVAC systems. Architectural design that can reduce a building’s carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions) include expanded green space, buildings that can capture and use natural light efficiently, reflective colors that dissipate heat, and design that reduces exposed asphalt.

To meet their commitment to clean energy, the City of Largo, working with ASD|SKY and Biltmore Construction, is moving forward with design and construction of their new sustainable City Hall. Several environmentally friendly features are under consideration to maximize environmental sustainability and long-term energy savings including a rooftop solar array, geothermal cooling system, daylight harvesting sensors to maximize daylight usage, rainwater harvesting for irrigation and water features, and sustainable materials sourced close to the site.

Ambitious projects that champion sustainable communities like the new Largo City Hall are becoming more frequent. Many states and municipalities are setting more ambitious timelines to reach 100% renewable energy as formally daunting goals look more achievable. As of today, according to the Sierra Club, many cities, including Aspen, Colorado, Burlington, Vermont, Georgetown, Texas, and Greensburg, Kansas, have already reached the goal of using 100% sustainable energy sources, and many more are well on the way. As the paths to 100% clean energy continue to become more accessible, we can expect Florida cities to join their ranks in the coming years.

Largo, city hall, Biltmore

Biltmore Awarded Largo New City Hall Project

Biltmore Construction will be working with the City of Largo to construct their ambitious new city hall project. We are honored to have been selected and are excited to continue our successful relationship. This keystone project includes a new state-of-the-art city hall, up to 25,000 GSF of retail space, and a 370 space parking garage. This new mixed-use facility will also provide community space to host special events. The new complex will act as a catalyst for the future downtown Largo development. Designs and construction will feature extensive sustainable components ensuring an efficient, environmentally conscious city hall that will serve the City for years to come.

Foundations Underway for Plantation Key Courthouse

Biltmore is now laying the foundations of Monroe County’s new Plantation Key Judicial Courthouse and Detention Facility. The completed 48,000 square foot facility will be an efficient consolidation of several government offices. The finished complex will include the 16th Judicial Circuit of Florida, State Attorney’s Office, Monroe County Clerk of Court’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and Public Works Office.

The two-story courthouse includes three courtrooms, judges chambers, and Clerk of the Court’s civil and criminal offices. The construction also includes a new on site parking garage. The new on-site detention facility will cover 11,000 square feet and include a 57-person bunk room. In addition, the building features improved electronic security control and devices, Control Room, and Officer’s Bunk Room.

Built on an active site adjacent to the old courthouse facility all buildings will feature improved security and technology. Another key improvement is the facility will be hardened to withstand sustained winds over 150 MPH. The sitework also includes new paving, improved drainage, and full landscaping. Anticipated completion is Spring of 2022.

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FIU, EOC, Biltmore

Work Begins on the FIU Emergency Management Center

Biltmore Construction has recently begun construction on Florida International University’s new Public Safety and Emergency Management Center. The expansion will address two key concerns for the University: 1) Providing dedicated space for safety and security personnel 2) Create an updated emergency operations center.

The project involves the conversion of the second floor of an active parking garage to provide an expanded emergency operations center built to withstand Catagory-5 storms. The complex will also include service operations, equipment storage, offices, conference rooms and break rooms.

Biltmore will also be renovating the adjacent space to include a locker room, sleeping space, laundry service space, showers, food storage and offices that will be used by essential FIU personnel during emergency events. This ensures all necessary departments can remain in operation during any emergency.

The project will adhere to all University conservation strategies and will be LEED certified. Anticipated completion is Spring of 2021.

Plantation Key School under construction

Biltmore Construction is constructing a 21st century learning K-8 school in Plantation Key for the Monroe County School Board.

This new K-8 replacement school will provide a State-of-the-Art 21st Century Learning Environment for the community. The 102,000 GSF, 660 student facility is a two-story, cast-in-place structure housing classrooms, administration, gymnasium, media center, and cafetorium on an occupied 11-acre coastal site, featuring the latest in flexible learning spaces, technology, and security. The facility is hardened to withstand Cat-V windloads.

Construction is phased to allow use of the existing structures for continued school operations during construction. The existing school buildings will be demolished once the new school construction is complete to allow for redevelopment of the site.

Site work includes new parking facilities, utility relocations and tie-ins, new ball fields, new basketball and tennis courts, new Physical Education/Gynasium structure, three new playgrounds and a tiered-seating outdoor performance amphitheater.

The project is seeking Green Certification and all energy saving strategies are being considered to include energy management systems, possible geothermal cooling systems, and alternative energy sources.