Happy Earth Day: A look at South Florida’s greener projects

Clockwise from left: Hilton Garden Inn, Brickell City Centre's climate ribbon, AquaMar and Centro
Clockwise from left: Hilton Garden Inn, Brickell City Centre's climate ribbon, AquaMar and Centro

It’s not easy being green.

As LEED certification and green-oriented development become more prevalent, a number of projects are showcasing their eco-friendly features. Here’s a look at some of them, by neighborhood:


Swire Properties, developer of the $1.05 billion mixed-use project, spent $700,000 to move 50 mature oak and strangler fig trees from its development site to Museum Park. The Hong Kong-based firm moved the last tree on Friday. Watch some of the trees being transported via river below:

Swire has also touted Brickell City Centre’s climate ribbon, a twisting strip of steel and glass that’s meant to block rain and focus breezes through the retail areas, replacing air conditioning.


The former U.S. Immigration Naturalization Service building on Biscayne Boulevard Development is being converted to a mixed-use hotel, apartment and retail project. The Triton Center, at 7880 Biscayne Boulevard, will convert the 12-story building into a 139-key Hilton Garden Inn hotel, 324-unit apartment building and 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Florida Fullview Immigration Building LLC is the developer behind the project, which will also include 576 parking spaces. The project, designed by Stantec, is applying for LEED Silver certification. Construction is scheduled to start June 2016 with an estimated completion date of 2017, according to a spokesperson.

Downtown Miami

Centro, at 96 Northeast Second Avenue, is aiming for silver Florida Green Building Certification (FGBC). The transit-oriented, 352-unit residential project by Newgard Development Group does not include parking, but has a “Parkspot” hub for a car-share program. It also features bike storage and recycled materials in the building’s corridor carpeting. More than 25 percent of the construction materials are sourced “regionally,” the developer said.

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One Flagler, a newly converted office condo tower at 14 Northeast First Avenue, incorporated LED lighting, a low water consumption system, green-certified cleaning products and HVAC units and retrofitted windows with UV filters. The 15-story office building was built in 1952.

Design District

The Palm Court, part of phase two of Dacra’s Design District, received LEED Gold for Core + Shell certification last May. SB Architects said the team also managed construction waste, used recycled, locally-sourced and sustainable materials, optimized energy performance and utilized systems to reduce water use. Nearly every roof in the development is planted as a green roof, providing not only thermal cooling, but a rooftop landscape design mimicking past hurricane patterns over Miami, viewable from the airline flight path that runs directly above the site, according to SB Architects.

In addition, the project provides 50 percent more open space than required by the zoning codes, maximizes access to alternative transportation with proximity to bus lines, and locates 100 percent of parking spaces under cover.

The Design District as a whole has already achieved LEED for Neighborhood Development designation.

Fort Lauderdale

AquaMar Las Olas offers future residents electric car spaces, water efficient plumbing, Energystar cool roofing and green guard thermal insulation. The 20-unit waterfront project developed by Ocean Land Investments is aiming for National Green Building Standard bronze certification.

Last year, Vu New River, a newly completed apartment tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale, scored LEED Silver certification. The 18-story building features low-emitting materials for the apartments’ interiors, an HVAC system and a recycling program. Thirty-five percent of the tower’s electricity comes from renewable energy.

Pompano Beach

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority topped off construction of its operations center in Pompano Beach in February. The LEED Silver project will serve as the transportation authority’s new headquarters when it’s completed this summer. The 75,000-square-foot building includes a 500-car parking garage. Gulf Building is the general contractor.

It’s part of a bigger $40 million project that includes a LEED Silver-certified Tri-Rail station and crossover bridge. The solar panel-powered project will feature native vegetation requiring less frequent watering, LED lighting, new bicycle lockers, dedicated alternative fuel-source parking and carpool parking.

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