Hats off to the Brickell Financial Centre for embracing the green-building movement that's gathering support in Florida. It's the state's first building to be pre-certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

The Brickell project—which will include office space, a hotel, luxury condos and a public plaza—incorporates green elements throughout the project:

- Glass with “low-emissivity” coating will allow light to filter through but block out solar heat.

- "Punch" windows will be set in 12 inches from the exterior to provide physical shading.

- A cooling system will circulate water through the building rather than inefficient refrigerant.

- Low-flow urinals and dual-flush valves (one for solid waste, another for liquid) will cut down on potable-water use.

- Rainwater from paved roofs and courtyards will be channeled into large cisterns to collect water for irrigation.

- Developers will avoid adhesives, sealants and paints with “volatile organic compounds,” that emit greenhouse gases.

- Builders will rely on materials with high percentages of recycled content and will try to obtain as many of them as possible within a 500-mile radius to reduce transportation costs.

The project's most significant element is the plaza, featuring two zones:

- A hardscape comprising masonry and other non-plant elements,

- A garden oasis divided by a curved wall of cascading water—the 30,000 square-foot space is envisioned as a place for performances, rotating art exhibits and just plain people-watching.

With all the new construction in Miami, I'm curious to know if any other condo buildings are environmentally friendly?

Important sites
Florida Green Building Coalition
Green Building links
Florida Green Communities
Greener Miami Blog
Miami-Dade Recycling Centers
Miami Recycling Map