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Sustainability and Built Environment

How the built environment interacts with and shapes our land, air and water directly affects the health of our residents and the quality of life in our communities. Components of a sustainably built environment include energy conservation, structural stability, architectural and civil engineering aesthetics, urban design and property operation and maintenance. Build codes, design standards, planned developments and educated owners, builders and inspectors are necessary for keeping the character of our built environment safe, healthy and thriving for future generations of Orange County.

Solar Tree Installation at the Orange County Convention Center
Progress on our goals & strategies

Goal 16: Energy And Water Are Used Efficiently

Strategy Time Frame Strategy Progress Information for 2017 Progress
1. Provide incentive programs for increasing efficiency in new and existing buildings Medium Sustainable Development Awards were given covering the topic of energy and water efficiency. Energy efficiency training and information about regional funding programs were provided to neighborhood groups within the County.
2. Promote existing energy assessment services and rebate programs offered by utility providers Medium Supported the "Central Florida Battle of the Buildings" challenge, which provides training in energy and water efficiency to building managers along with training college students to assist with benchmarking. Partnered with FL-SUN to form a solar co-op in which residents received energy education.
3. Promote water conservation through smart irrigation and other technologies and methods.

*new strategy as of November 2017
Medium A recent study on Smart Irrigation Technology produced valuable results including water savings, good turf quality, high satisfaction, and the benefits of education. (see details in Water Research Foundation Report #4227 at
4. Adopt an energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinance for commercial buildings Medium Participated in stakeholder outreach and roundtables for the City of Orlando's Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy ordinance. Orange County is benchmarking County buildings that fall within the ordinance.
5. Develop incentives for green building Medium Buildings labeled 'green' by USGBC receive expedited permitting reviews. The Central Florida Workplace Challenge rewarded businesses that had green operations.
Table legend: Short time frame: 0 to 2 years, Medium time frame: 2 to 5 years, Long time frame: 5 years or more.

Goal 17: Our Renewable Energy Supplies Are Affordable And Secure

Goal 18: Our Neighborhoods Are Transit-Ready And Walkable

Goal 19: Infill And Redevelopment Are Encouraged

Goal 20: Workforce Housing Is Affordable And Readily Available

Our Target Measurements
Built Environment Indicators Baseline 1st Report 2nd Report Current Target 2020
Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of community building stock (kWh/sq.ft.) 2010
25% reduction
Renewable Energy Capacity (MW) 2010
Commercial = 1.20 
Residential = 0.27 (OUC data only)
Commercial = 2.05 
Residential = 0.69
(OUC data only)
Commercial = 2.10
Residential = 1.54
(OUC data only)
Commercial = 2.15 
Residential = 3.59
(OUC data only)
10% increase
Renewable Energy Capacity in Orange County buildings (MW) 2011
20% increase
Water Use Per Capita (gal/day/capita) 2010

*new data source being established
25% reduction
Community Gardens in neighborhoods 2011
Not Set
Want to get involved?

Our built environment includes many different elements of building design, efficiency, aesthetics and stability along with land use and planning, affordable housing and local food production. Bringing together so many aspects within our communities will help us ensure a safe, connected and thriving place for all residents.

Ready for Solar?
Solar panels on a roof

Orange County recently sponsored a solar co-op for residents interested in using solar energy for their homes. The main goal of the co-op was connecting homeowners and solar installers to make the process easy to understand and affordable. Members can save as much as 20% of the cost of a solar system. Join the Florida solar conversation and see if you are Ready for Solar too!

Green your Neighborhood!
Close up of plants growing in soil

Having a community garden is a great way to forge relationships in your neighborhood, reduce crime, raise property values, promote stewardship and encourage healthy eating. Start a garden in your community by seeking the guidance of the many Master Gardeners at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Orange County.

Ed Thralls (407)254-9200


Tour The Ecomap
Several maps are on display on easels

Being ‘green’ in Orange County is easy and fun. EcoMap can help you find electric car charging stations, ‘green’ dining restaurants, ‘green’ lodging hotels, local harvest farms and Green PLACE properties.

Utilize our Parks and Recreation Centers!
Children playing basketball

There are many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise in Orange County. Visit one of the many Orange County Parks and Recreation Centers. You’ll find trails, activities and teams for all ages.