Miami Realtor® Achieves National Association of Realtors® Green Designation

Miami, FL December 12, 2016 – Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is pleased to announce that Melanie Dawn Molina Wood recently earned her NAR GREEN designation, the only green real estate professional designation recognized by the National Association of Realtors. She joins an elite group of just 16 Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate agents in Florida (and the only one in Miami-Dade County) to achieve this designation.

Molina Wood achieved this prestigious designation after completing topic-specific course work designed specifically for REALTORS®. The designation courses were created in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of industry experts from across the country; ensuring designees gain comprehensive knowledge of green homes and issues of resource-efficiency in relation to real estate and home owners.

Melanie Dawn Molina Wood, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

More specifically, Molina Wood was trained in understanding what makes a property green, helping clients evaluate the cost/benefits of resource-efficient features and practices, distinguishing between industry rating and classification systems, listing and marketing green homes and buildings, discussing the financial grants and incentives available to homeowners, and understanding how buyer and seller preferences may be inspired by resource-efficiency.

“By earning the designation, Melanie Dawn has made the commitment to provide the highest level of professional real estate service to her customers. Builder and consumer adoption of sustainability is rapidly growing and Melanie Dawn is uniquely positioned to guide her clients interested in a more sustainable home buying process,” said Dianne Regalado Kammerer, branch manager of the Brickell and Key Biscayne offices.

“Living green is about making healthy choices that are also easy on your wallet. NAR Green Designees have the necessary resources and relationships to effectively work with you to find your next home or assess your next green project.” said Marc Gould, Vice President of NAR’s Green Designation. NAR’s Green Designation was developed in response to growing consumer awareness of the benefits of resource-efficient homes and buildings. The designation helps consumers understand the positive impact of home performance and identify REALTORS® who can help them realize their green real estate and lifestyle goals.

Molina Wood is also an accredited LEED Green Associate and has her Eco-Broker certification. For more information about Melanie Dawn Molina Wood, please visit www.MelanieinMiami.com or e-mail MelanieinMiami@gmail.com.

Freedom in Nature: Waves Above the Horizon

Canopy at Eco-Couture Fashion Show at FIU in March
Canopy at Eco-Couture Fashion Show at FIU in March

There’s still time to RSVP for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Art Week reception this week.

Join USGBC Miami and a coalition of several other environmental organizations to preview the Freedom in Nature: Waves Above the Horizon installation as part of Freebee’s “FREEDOM” Experiment. This is the first free, collaborative, eco-installation at Art Basel Miami! Come engage in an interactive experience allowing visitors to not only see, hear, smell, and touch, but to actually take part in the masterpiece!Various community artists have found unique ways to pull elements from the waste stream and repurpose them with other materials, sound, and lighting to create an oceanic ambiance.

One of the installations is being created from hundreds of discarded plastic grocery bags. Teams of volunteers have worked for weeks to assemble the canopy called “Waves Above The Horizon.” The exhibit will be featured during the first of a five-day series by FREEDOM in Wynwood. Each day of the series will celebrate “interpretations of artistic expressions, aiming to define the meaning behind freedom.”

Here’s the FREEDOM full line-up:

Tuesday, December 2nd: LAUNCH OF FREEDOM VIP PREVIEW RECEPTION (Invitation Only)

Wednesday, December 3rd: FREEDOM IN NATURE (Free Event; RSVP Required)

Thursday, December 4th: FREEDOM TO BE DIFFERENT (25th ST. ENTRANCE)

Thursday, December 4th: FREEDOM TO HIP HOP (24th ST. ENTRANCE)

Friday, December 5th: LIBERTAD

Saturday, December 6th: ELECTRIC FREEDOM

Sunday, December 7th: SIMPLY FREEDOM

USGBC Waves_Flyer_sm

FREEDOM gallery with be open to the public with FREE admission from December 4 through December 7 during Miami’s Art Week.

The U.S. Green Building Council program for FREEDOM IN NATURE begins at 7:00 p.m. on December 3rd. Registration is at 6:00 p.m. (with a free drink before 7:00), and the reception begins at 8:00. RSVP FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING’S EVENT HERE

Come learn about ways you can make small changes that will create a big difference! Enjoy an evening of GreenWorking, beverages, light snacks, and good company and be one of the first to see this new and exciting exhibit before it opens to the public for Art Basel!

USGBC Inforgraphic: LEED in the World

USGBC LEED in the World infographic
LEED registered & certified projects in the world as of April 2013; courtesy USGBC

 

The U.S. Green Building Council has a new, easy to read, infographic called “LEED in the World”. It lists the number of registered and certified LEED projects internationally, along with the top 10 countries with green buildings.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized program “that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for the project. Learn more about LEED, the facts, and the LEED rating systems.”

According to the USGBC’s website, building to LEED standards can:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Conserve energy, water and other resources
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Qualify for money-saving incentives, like tax rebates and zoning allowances

Perhaps this is why, as the USGBC notes, the “numbers show the explosive growth of the green building movement beyond North America, demonstrating the growing global consensus about the worldwide imperative to green the built environment.”

New USGBC report: more than 4.3 million people live and work in LEED-certified buildings

chicago-green

The U.S. Green Building Council has released its  LEED in Motion: People and Progress report this month. Highlights from the report:

  • USGBC estimates that more than 4.3 million people live and work in LEED-certified buildings, with more than 6.2 million people experiencing a LEED-certified project each day.
  • USGBC estimates that there are 93,120 bedrooms in the 10,714 LEED-certified single-family homes and 1,236 LEED-certified multifamily buildings.
  • Global presence of LEED Professionals: Outside the U.S., Canada leads in LEED credentials held (6,361) followed by South Korea (874) and China (779).

LEED in Motion is a series of reports about the green building movement nationally and internationally, available exclusively to USGBC members, and “equipping readers with the numbers and insight they need to build a strong case for sustainability.”

2013 State of Our Schools Report from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC

U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL 2013 STATE OF OUR SCHOOLS

"2013 State of Our Schools" Report from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC Calls for Immediate Examination of America's School Facilities (via PR Newswire)

Download image Report includes foreword from former President Bill Clinton and highlights $271 billion deficit to bring school facilities up to working order WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today released…

An Evening at the Palms Hotel & Spa – USGBC Miami

This past Wednesday, I joined my fellow members of the US Green Building Council – Miami chapter – for “An Evening at the Palms Hotel & Spa”. Beginning the evening at the on-site Organic Chef’s Garden for a tour and tasting, we then convened in Queen Palm (one of nine meeting rooms available at the hotel) for the “Inspired by Nature” program. We ended with a tour of the hotel and spa.

The Palms, located at 3025 Collins Avenue on Miami Beach, was originally built in the 1960’s and purchased by Hans-Joachim and Ursula Krause in the early 1990’s, going through several name changes over the years. Still owned and operated by the Krause’s and their daughters, Nicola Meyer and Katja Janzon, the Palms underwent a 20 million dollar renovation in 2008 – 2009 that incorporated green features and a shift to green operational practices.

Their philosophy statement says, “Nature is what inspires everything we do at The Palms Hotel & Spa, from the décor to products & services offered to our core company values. Our commitment to preserving the environment and to care for the world we live is expressed in all elements of our guest experience, and beyond into the local community.” Tanja Morariu’s presentation illustrated how the philosophy is applied throughout the hotel.

Currently, 85% of the lighting has been retro-fitted to LED and they expect to have 95% completed by the end of 2013. They have also installed motion sensors for the lighting in administrative offices and other non-guest areas plus centralized lighting/heating efficiency controls. Next year, the east windows will be replaced with energy-saving engineered glass.

So far, one-third of their toilets are dual-flush and using grey water. The eco-friendly commodes have sinks on top of the tanks for hand washing. The used water then drains into the toilet tank for the next flush. The luxurious “rain” shower heads and faucets are low flow at 1.5 GPM. Guests also have the option to re-use their towels and linens during their stay, thereby conserving approximately 7 gallons of water plus electricity from extra laundering.

The hotel has recycling bins available throughout the hotel, including in all guests rooms, allowing for cardboard, plastic, paper and metal to be recycled. Batteries and light bulbs are kept out of the landfills; and the hotel allows employees to bring these types of items from home for proper disposal through the hotel.

The staff cafeteria uses no disposable items. When an employee is hired, they are given their own beverage bottle (which are also for sale in the gift shop). This initiative alone saves the hotel about $10,000 per year in addition to being great for the environment.

Hotel staff uses Green Seal cleaning supplies, no aerosol at all, and 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy ink when available. Even the pens provided in the meeting room were partly made of recycled cardboard. Dry cleaning and laundry services are all green certified as well.

Attesting to their commitment to community as well as the environment, the Palms donates “mildly used” soaps, shampoos, towels, linens and paper items to Camillus House and http://www.cleantheworld.org/
The Palms also maintains the stretch of beach in front of the hotel through the Adopt-A-Beach program sponsored by the City of Miami Beach and ECOMB (Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches), and participates in coastal clean-up projects throughout the year. http://ecomb.org/programs/litter-prevention/adopt-a-beach-program/

In 2011, the Palms Hotel & Spa won the Miami Chamber of Commerce Sustainable South Florida Award in the Green Practices Category. They have also been recognized as one of only 17 Miami Beach hotels to receive Florida’s Green Lodging Program designation and have achieved a 3-key rating through the Canadian-based International Green Key Eco-Rating Program. http://www.greenkeyglobal.com/default.asp

Tomorrow: The Palms Essensia Restaurant, Chef Julie Frans and her wonderful organic garden

Fairchild Garden’s Butterfly Conservatory And Science Village Seeks USGBC LEED Certification

Fairchild Garden's World Class Butterfly Conservatory And Science Village To Open On Saturday, December 1, 2012 (via PR Newswire)

Download image CORAL GABLES, Fla., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s state-of-the-art DiMare Science Village, covering more than 25,000 square feet and featuring The Clinton Family Conservatory featuring a splendid butterfly exhibit, the Glasshouse Cafe, Windows…

Miami Culinary Institute – great food, great fun and green!

Wednesday night’s monthly meeting of the US Green Building Council Miami branch combined virtually all of my passions – urban Miami, real estate, green building, sustainability & environmental consciousness, great food, and bubbly champagne. We met at the Miami Culinary Institute, located at 415 NE 2 AV in downtown Miami, for a short presentation by Chef John Richards, director of MCI. While we sipped our champagne, Chef John talked about the history and purpose of the Miami Culinary Institute.

MCI is part of Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus and was designed by Atkins North America. “A model of sustainability and urban stewardship, Miami Dade College’s eight-story Miami Culinary Institute has achieved LEED Gold certification. Atkins’ environmentally conscious approach to the building’s design included unique features such as rainwater harvesting, greywater harvesting from dishwashers, recycled solid composting for the institute’s vegetable gardens, low-consumption plumbing fixtures, and numerous recycled-content material selections—including high-end finishes.”

In addition to programs for degree-seeking MDC students and professional development courses for those in the industry, MCI also offers a wide variety of classes for anyone interested in improving their culinary skills, and that is what we did last night. Breaking into groups of four, each group prepared one course of the dinner that we ultimately enjoyed eating. With much laughter , my group learned how to prepare poached pear with champagne sabayon. Between separating the egg yolks with our hands and having a whisking race to finish the sauce, hilarity was the prime ingredient. (Did I mention we were sipping on champagne?)

With lessons and supervision provided by the ever-patient Chef Travis Jameson Starwalt, we also learned how MCI sources much of their food locally (within 350 miles), as well as minimizing, recycling and/or composting the waste. Many of the greens are grown in MCI’s on-site garden, while the delicious pork tenderloins came from Niman Ranch – described by Chef Travis as “a farm co-op that is raising and treating their animals with the utmost care and respect!”

The Miami Culinary Institute is also home to Tuyo, an award winning fusion restaurant on the top floor overlooking downtown Miami and the bay. Tuyo’ vision statement includes “embracing farm-to-table and sustainability practices that safeguard the health of the people and the planet.”

From the design of the structure to its on-going operation; from the Tuyo restaurant to the chefs teaching classes – the passion driving those involved with the Miami Culinary Institute was neatly expressed by Chef Travis when he told me, “It’s up to our generation to lead the charge in the war against commercialization and convenience.”

The Green Giant – Can a 10,000 Square Foot Home Be “Green”?

Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL - LEED Platinum
2020 Alton Road, Miami Beach – LEED Platinum

There is a green controversy brewing in Berkeley, California. Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp and an international philanthropist, wants  to build a 10,000-square-foot house complete with a 10-car garage. Under Berkeley’s current green point system the house would qualify for Berkeley’s “green” designation despite its size, and that has neighbors and local environmentalists upset.

According to the New York Times: Berkeley’s green point system was developed by a nonprofit group called Built It Green and adopted by the city government. Items on the checklist include: tightly seal the air barrier between the garage and living area; insulate hot water pipes; use Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood; use paint low in volatile organic compounds. About 70 local governments in California have ordinances based on the Build It Green checklist, according to Bruce Mast, an executive of the organization.
The article also correctly notes that the United States Green Building Council’s LEED program does reduce points for larger than average homes. Those points must then be regained with additional “green” features and building practices in order to achieve a LEED designation.

Lighthouse Point, FL - LEED Silver
Lighthouse Point, FL – LEED Silver
While virtually everyone agrees that smaller footprint homes are better for our environment, not everyone is going to give up their large luxury homes – nor do I think they should have to. Those who can afford to build a luxury home are also the people who can best afford to include cutting edge “green” materials and techniques, which will in turn benefit all green building at all price levels. We should continue to encourage this type of “green” investment with a sensible point system like the LEED program that addresses the size of the home as well as the sustainability of its design.

Neighbors Susan and Chuck Fadley were quoted in the article as saying that “green building begins with using ‘just enough’ and preserving what already exists. Clearly the idea of ‘just enough’ is not part of the design concept.”  And as an ideal, I agree. But in our idealism, we must not make this or any aspect of sustainable living seem so austere that its achievement feels like a punishment. A luxury home that is also a genuinely “green” home should be showcased because it allows the general public to see that “green building” doesn’t just mean living in a yurt anymore.

Melanie Dawn Molina Wood is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate LLC and a member of the US Green Building Council – South Florida Chapter. She is a designated Eco-Broker and holds her level one Green Leadership (GCREP-GL) certificate among many other certifications and awards.