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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 2018 Progress
1. Provide incentive programs for increasing efficiency in new and existing buildings Medium A BCC workshop was held to review the SELF program with the potential for budget funding for a SELF location in Orange County. Discussions continue and will include other regional partners.
2. Promote existing energy assessment services and rebate programs offered by utility providers Medium Links to rebate programs can be found on the Orange County Solar webpage. EPD continues to support USGBC and the Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance (CFEEA) with the Battle of the Buildings challenges.
3. Promote water conservation through smart irrigation and other technologies and methods.

*new strategy as of November 2017
Medium Continued a Smart Irrigation Study beyond the original project timeline (5 years) to determine the operational longevity of the smart devices and the longer term water savings of those devices. A second report will be issued in the 2019 with those results.
4. Adopt an energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinance for commercial buildings Medium Orange County has benchmarked County buildings that fall within the City of Orlando's Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy ordinance and has begun to report data to the City. No progress has been made on a County ordinance.
5. Develop incentives for green building Medium Supported USGBC's effort to bring EPA's Better Buildings Challenge to the area. Building and Environmental Protection Divisions worked to implement a storm drain inlet marking requirement for new developments.
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 Last Reported Current Assessment Target 2020
Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of community building stock (kWh/sq.ft.) 2010
Data not available until 2019
25% reduction
Renewable Energy Capacity (MW)(measuring only solar) 2010
Commercial = 1.20 
Residential = 0.27 (OUC data only)
Commercial = 2.15
Residential = 3.59
(OUC data only)
Commercial = 2.42
Residential = 5.10
(OUC data only)
10% increase
Renewable Energy Capacity in Orange County buildings (MW)(measuring only solar) 2011
20% increase
Energy generated from Landfill Gas Reutilization System (kwh/yr) 2015
Increase annually
Water Use Per Capita (gal/day/capita) 2010
Good Progress 20% reduction
by 2040
Community Gardens in neighborhoods 2011
23 community gardens
52 OCPS gardens
21 Head Start Center gardens
Increase annually
Number of Affordable Housing Units produced/funded through OC/HCD N/A N/A FY17
500 units annually
Percentage of Affordable Housing Units produced/funded through OC/HCD located within areas of access & opportunity N/A N/A FY17
5% of units
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.