| Another Green Milestone as Solar-Powered City Takes Shape in Florida |
By Eugene Gilligan
Commercial Property News
April 10, 2009
Just days after news that the Empire State Building would undergo an
environmentally sustainable retrofit, green development has reached
another milestone, with the unveiling of a plan to develop the world's
first solar-powered city.
Real estate developer Kitson & Partners has announced an agreement with
electric utility Florida Power & Light to build a solarvoltaic power plant
at Babcock Ranch, Fla., which will provide all of the power to a
17,000-acre mixed-use development (pictured). The developer said that the
the project, dubbed Babcock Ranch, will consume less power than the
proposed Florida Power & Light facility, which will allow it to become the
first city on earth to be powered by zero-emission solar energy.
“This is a game changer,” said Syd Kitson, chairman & CEO of Kitson &
Partners. He said his company has increasingly been focused on building
green, “long before it was cool.”
Babcock Ranch will include an integrated “smart grid” that will allow
residents and businesses to monitor and control their energy consumption.
All commercial buildings and homes in the new city will be certified as
energy efficient, the developer says, and constructed according to Florida
Green Building Council Standards. Over half of its 17,000 acres will be
permanently protected as greenways and open space, and the city is
adjacent to the 73,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve.
Babcock Ranch will take 15 to 20 years to build out, and will ultimately
include 6 million square feet of retail, commercial, office, civic and
light industrial space. The entire city will be wireless-Internet enabled,
and an ultra-high-capacity digital pipeline will support the use of
current and emerging technologies.
The development will cost in the $2 billion range, which does not include
the cost of the buildings. That cost could have been higher, Kitson said.
“It would be much more expensive to do a retrofit,” he said. “We are
starting with a clean piece of paper.” Babcock Ranch will include 19,500
homes, which will include both multi-family and single-family inventory.
and will be sold at a wide range of price points.
Groundbreaking on the FPL solar facility is targeted for late 2009, with
construction to begin city center scheduled for mid-2010, and construction
for the first residential and commercial buildings targeted to begin in
lat 2010. “People think this is going to be like The Jetsons,” Kitson
said. “We want to be responsible to the environment, but also make it a
great place to live.”
April 24, 2009
As the business world continues to realize the benefits of integrating
green building practices, Citi’s newly completed data center in Frankfurt,
Germany, has earned a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building
Council, marking the first time a data center property has received the
Council's highest rating.
April 23, 2009
The green movement continues. Following on the heels of new environmental
sustainability programs at the Empire State Building and Sears Tower, the
National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins and the Sports & Exhibition
Authority picked Earth Day to announce their goal of working toward LEED
Gold Certification at the new $321 million Consol Energy Center, which is
slated to be the first NHL arean to receive the Gold stamp from the U.S.
Green Building Council.