The First Defines The Future
More than 25 years ago, Florida House was the first green building open to the public in the United States. Since then we have been advancing an ethos for sustainable practices on behalf of energy and water conservation, recycling and landscape design. In 2021, Florida House Institute became a subsidiary of Southface Institute, a leading innovator in sustainability work for research, advocacy, workforce development training and nonprofit grants. Today, this new partnership anchors our work with communities along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and the two organizations are now Southface Sarasota— your voice for a sustainable Florida.
In collaboration with the City of Sarasota, Southface Sarasota works to support the development of the city’s green building, clean energy and energy efficiency policy. Leveraging our building science, sustainable development and planning expertise, we are helping the city shape its goals with an eye toward building a more resilient community, especially for underserved families and businesses.
Our grounds help provide a platform to share current sustainable design practices with the public through a variety of dynamic classes and workshops. We work closely with Suncoast Technical College trade students and local K-12 students.
Southface has long worked in the indoor air quality space. Within this work, Southface Sarasota is teaming up with the Sarasota Housing Authority and the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation to develop a plan for renovations that can both reduce energy and water use—and utility bills– while also improving residents’ health.
In collaboration with other sustainability leaders, initiatives and coalitions, Southface Sarasota works to address watershed restoration, increase community resilience, advance energy equity, and support green building and infrastructure plans.
Southface’s GoodUse program helps nonprofits reduce their costs through regrants to support energy and water efficiency projects. With the money saved on their utility bills, they can direct more funds to their mission-critical work. Two Sarasota nonprofits—the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County and All Faiths food bank—are among those participating in the program.
Leveraging our GoodUse program to complement and enhance the Partners for Green Places program, we will help support nonprofits in building capacity by reducing their energy and water use.
We cultivate relationships with universities in our community, including:
University of South Florida
New College of Florida
We aim to build the green workforce in Sarasota through our trainings, ongoing educational programming, and partnerships with local businesses to ensure a pipeline of highly-skilled talent.
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tours available from 10-12 on Fridays.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program recently revealed that 61-74% of pollutant loading into Sarasota Bay is from stormwater. These pollutants exacerbate harmful red tide algal blooms and seagrass losses. HOA members are invited to a series of special tours of the Florida House and gardens to learn how stormwater can be managed and retained on your property and in your community.
HOA Tours are only available on these days:
2021: October 15, November 12, December 10 from 10-11am
2022: January 14, February 11, March 11, April 15 from 10-11am