Introduction

This website was developed to aid in the design and construction of a ‘green home’ in the state of Florida. The information provided is only a brief introduction to the soon to be released publication for the from the Powell Center for Construction and Environment at the University of Florida. You will be able to order this and other informative publications at the Powell Center for Construction and Environment Bookstore.

Florida Facts on the Environment

The concept of “green” architectural design takes into account the structure’s response to the environment. Ideally, structures will impose a minimal impact on their surroundings (the people, communities, and social character as well as the natural and built environment). The concept of “green” design incorporates passive and active systems to achieve a harmonious building design that will result in the least amount of impact on the natural environment.

Population

With Florida’s rapidly growing population and rapidly diminishing resources environmental conservation is becoming both popular and necessary. Between 1970 and 1990, the population of Florida grew from 6.8 million to 12.9 million, an increase of 90.5%. Florida’s population is projected to grow by an additional 7.2 million by 2015.

Overview of Florida’s Climate Conditions

Miami Orlando Tallahassee Jacksonville Pensacola
Annual Average
76
72
67
69
68
January High (3pm)
75
72
63
64
60
January Low (7am)
59
49
40
42
41
July High (3pm)
89
92
91
92
90
July Low (7am)
76
73
72
73
74
Humidity % – average
73
74
75
76
74
Ave. Direction
ESE
S
N
N/A
N/A
Ave. Speed (MPH)
9.3
8.5
6.3
7.9
9.7
Rainfall (in.)
57.55
47.82
64.59
51.31
61.81
Heating Degree Days
199
656
1,652
1,434
1,617
Cooling Degree Days
4,095
3,401
2,492
2,551
2,636
Comfortable Days (%)
21.2
12.6
10.1
N/A
N/A

Natural Environment

Almost 9% of Florida’s 3,500 native plant species are unique to Florida. Since the mid-1880s, at least 34 species of native plants and animals are believed to have become extinct. Florida has the 2nd most named species on the Endangered Species List – 118 animal species and 482 plant species.