In the Know: Identifying tips and practices for a more sustainable future

St. Petersburg, FL codifies requirement that city facilities be designed and constructed sustainably

St. Petersburg, FL – On January 17, 2019 the St. Petersburg City Council passed an ordinance (Ordinance 359-H) which codifies current city policies related to the sustainable design, construction, and operation of city buildings and infrastructure. The ordinance builds on Mayor Kriseman’s Executive Order 2017-01, which committed the city to applying LEED and Envision certification programs to city-owned facilities and infrastructure.

"This ordinance is backing up this executive order with teeth," said Council member Darden Rice. "The green building piece of this is really the linchpin for how the city goes green."

The ordinance requires that any city-owned building larger than 5,000 square feet and any city-funded civil infrastructure project contracted at more than $2 million be designed and contructed to achieve LEED Gold certification and Envision Gold verification, respectively. It requires that contracts with the City for design and construction of buildings and civil infrastructure include a LEED or Envision facilitator and administrator responsible for submitting the project for review and certification. The ordinance also requires that city projects incorporate the latest best available, regional science related to sea level rise and other climate change effects.

The ordinance includes a provision allowing the mayor to waive the requirement if a project cannot comply "due to infeasibility, hardship, or if there exists an inconsistency between meeting a state or federal legal requirement." Another provision allows the mayor to approve a request that a project be designed and constructed to achieve an alternative sustainable development certification – defined as "any accredited certification system designed to rate green building criteria, including, but not limited to WELL Communities, WELL Buildings, Living Building Challenge, Florida Green Building Coalition, and Green Globes."

"I think it's an extraordinary first step for the city," Rice said. "We are going beyond lip service for the environment. This is putting into our ordinances, thou shalt build green projects."


For additional information:
Sharon Wright, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP
Sustainability Director, Mayor's Office

For resources and tools related to sustainability, visit the Center for Sustainability (C4S)and C4S Toolkit.