Benefits of Florida-Friendly for Building and Development
Florida-Friendly communities and landscapes are designed to be functional, cost-efficient, visually pleasing, environmentally friendly, and easily maintainable. These characteristics improve marketability and help to create healthy vibrant communities for Florida residents to enjoy.
Today, more and more people are searching for cost-effective yet curb-appealing ways to lower their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment. According to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 72 percent of the next generation of home buyers indicated that water-efficient home features are essential or desirable.
FFL yards often have increased curb appeal, which can lead to higher home values. In addition to requiring less water, fertilizer, pesticides, and usually less maintenance, FFL landscapes offer many other benefits.
- Lower water bills from reduced water use.
- Conservation of natural resources and preservation of habitat for plants and wildlife, such as fish, birds, and waterfowl.
- Decreased energy use (and air pollution associated with its generation) because less pumping and treatment of water is required.
- Reduced home or office heating and cooling costs through the careful placement of shade trees and shrubs.
- Reduced runoff of stormwater and irrigation water that carries topsoil, fertilizers, and pesticides into lakes, rivers, and streams.
- Fewer yard trimmings to be managed or landfilled.
- Reduced landscaping labor and maintenance costs.
- Extended life for water resource infrastructure (e.g., reservoirs, treatment plants, groundwater aquifers), thus reduced taxpayer costs.
The principles for designing and maintaining a Florida-Friendly landscape can be used to fit the aesthetics of any community. Through proper plant selection and placement, communities can design Florida-Friendly landscapes that have a natural feel to them, ones that have a more manicured look, or anywhere in between. This means landscapes can be designed to match the look and functionality desired by the community.
People are naturally drawn to green spaces. Utilizing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ in a community will increase the health of the landscape. This in turn has the potential to improve community morale and increase citizens' time spent outdoors, which has been proven to have positive impacts on mental and physical health.
Implementing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices in your community can be financially beneficial for community residents. The first principle of the program is Right Plant, Right Place. This simple concept can go a long way. When a landscape is designed using plants that are naturally suited to local conditions (e.g., shade, rainfall, soil type) they will require less maintenance once established. This can result in reduced expenses on staff time, irrigation, and purchases such as fertilizer and pesticides. Additional Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices such as irrigating efficiently, fertilizing appropriately, and using mulch can add to the cost savings. Building and developing communities that implement Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can be a significant selling point and increase buyer demand when the public is well informed.
The use of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can have positive environmental impacts on a community. Following the program’s 9 principles can help a community conserve water, reduce chemical inputs, and reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater. Selecting proper plants can attract wildlife and create healthy urban ecosystems.