Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Laurel, FL, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Laurel, FL, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
Flagler County’s kindergarteners enrolled in public schools have the highest rate of exemption from immunization on religious grounds in Florida–5.5 percent, according to a new report by the Florida Department of Health. The statewide average is 3 percent. Flagler’s seventh graders have the third highest rate of religious exemptions, after Sarasota and Gilchrist counties.Flagler County’s position improves relative to other counties when temporary or permanent medical exemptions are added in: while that combined...
Flagler County’s kindergarteners enrolled in public schools have the highest rate of exemption from immunization on religious grounds in Florida–5.5 percent, according to a new report by the Florida Department of Health. The statewide average is 3 percent. Flagler’s seventh graders have the third highest rate of religious exemptions, after Sarasota and Gilchrist counties.
Flagler County’s position improves relative to other counties when temporary or permanent medical exemptions are added in: while that combined rate of non-immunization rises to 7.6 percent of public school kindergarteners, 27 counties have an even higher rate.
Flagler County kindergarteners’ rate of immunization, 92.4 percent, is below the 95 percent goal of public health officials.
The rate of non-immunization for religious reasons in Flagler County’s private schools is much higher: 10.8 percent of kindergarteners, but several counties exceed Flagler in that regard.
Flagler County’s lower numbers worried public health officials before Covid: in 2019, when the country was experiencing an unusual measles outbreak, the county’s children had the second-highest rate of non-vaccination for in the state, and a religious exemption rate almost three times the state average. But vaccination rates have now fallen statewide.
It now appears that disinformation about Covid vaccines, which played a large role in keeping the Covid-immunization rate below 70 percent, is infecting trust in other vaccines. That trust is being undermined even by the Florida Department of Health.
Florida’s surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, a vaccine sceptic, has been militantly opposing covid vaccinations for children and adults younger than 39, on dubious evidence. His department issued the latest directive against vaccination on Friday, claiming the risks of the covid vaccine “likely outweigh the benefits at this point in the pandemic.” (“I’m sorry, but this guy is an embarrassment to the medical profession,” a prominent Flagler County physician reacted in an email to fellow-doctors and others. “A political stooge masquerading as a doctor/scientist.”)
The latest vaccination rates among children reflect a more than 10-year low for Florida’s kindergarten and seventh-grade students completing all doses of required immunizations, according to the state Department of Health report.
About 91.7 percent of kindergarten students in public and private schools statewide completed the immunizations required to enter school during the 2021-2022 year, the September report showed. That rate of completion is the lowest since the 2010-2011 school year, when 91.3 percent of students completed all doses of the required vaccines.
Similarly, 94.3 percent of seventh-grade students completed their shots for the last school year, which was the lowest rate since the 2009-2010 academic year. That year, 93.4 percent of seventh-grade students completed all doses.
The covid vaccines are not required to attend schools. The required shots are designed to protect against diseases including tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza B, hepatitis B and polio.
“Those are historically all diseases … that have caused, in the past, significant mortality and morbidity in children when these diseases were prevalent and we weren’t vaccinating,” Dr. Kathleen Ryan, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at the University of Florida College of Medicine, told The News Service of Florida in an interview.
Because the organisms that cause those diseases “don’t go away” even when most people are vaccinated against them, they can begin to resurface if people are vulnerable to them. As an example, tetanus lives in the soil in people’s backyard, Ryan noted.
“If the immunization rates fall in any one of those areas, we start to see those diseases creep back in,” said Ryan, a clinical associate professor who is co-chief of the college’s Department of Pediatrics.
Most of Florida’s county school districts did not meet a health department goal of 95 percent of kindergarten students receiving all doses of all vaccines required for school entry, according to the data.
Eighteen of Florida’s 67 county districts, or 27 percent, met or surpassed the 95 percent “coverage goal.”
In nine districts, fewer than 90 percent of kindergarten students completed their shots. Those districts were in Duval, Escambia, Gadsden, Indian River, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam and Sarasota counties.
For seventh-grade students, 49 of the 67 county districts met or exceeded the 95 percent goal, including Flagler, but barely.
Ryan said that a 95 percent threshold is a common benchmark used by public health officials to reach a high immunization rate.
“If you hit this threshold, of like 95 percent, then you can keep it at bay and you don’t see breakthrough disease. If it trickles down to even 90 percent, you’ll see some breakthrough. This happens everywhere in the world that you see, say, lower immunization rates for measles. The minute that immunization rate starts to drop, you start to see breakthrough cases,” she said.
School immunization rates have been dropping nationwide, Ryan said. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a “call to action” on the issue.
According to the CDC, vaccination coverage among kindergarteners nationwide dropped more than one percent during the 2020-2021 school year.
National and state health officials have advised that the Covid-19 pandemic is at least in part to blame for the backward slide in student immunization rates.
The pandemic “negatively impacted” Florida’s kindergarten and seventh-grade vaccination and exemption rates, the state Department of Health reported as part of the data–but in a footnote, without additional explanation.
According to a Sept. 2 memo that corresponded to the report, just shy of 7,000 kindergarten and seventh grade students who enrolled in virtual school programs for the 2021-2022 school year were carved out of the reporting requirement.
“Because these students are exempt from the school-entry and attendance immunization requirement, they are excluded from this report,” said the memo from state epidemiologist Carina Blackmore, which was sent to county health department officers.
The pandemic brought about other shifts and changes in schools. Statewide school enrollment also decreased 1.7 percent between the 2019-2020 school year and last school year, the memo said.
Regardless of how heavily the pandemic contributed to the vaccination decline, Ryan said pediatricians are “very concerned” whenever a decrease in immunization rates happens.
“This particular drop is a big drop. We’re at our lowest rate in 10 years, so that’s a concern. If we don’t turn that around, or it continues to drop, then we’re concerned that we’ll see these illnesses return,” Ryan said.
–FlaglerLive and News Service of Florida
Chef and restauranteur Michael Beltran has debuted his latest restaurant, Brasserie Laurel a French-focused spot in the newly built Miami Worldcenter Caoba residential tower in Downtown Miami.It’s the latest project for his team at Ariete Hospitality Group, whose rapidly growing restaurant portfolio includes Ariete, ...
Chef and restauranteur Michael Beltran has debuted his latest restaurant, Brasserie Laurel a French-focused spot in the newly built Miami Worldcenter Caoba residential tower in Downtown Miami.
It’s the latest project for his team at Ariete Hospitality Group, whose rapidly growing restaurant portfolio includes Ariete, Nave, Chug’s, and the Taurus in Coconut Grove, alongside the Scapegoat in Miami Beach, and most recently, the Gibson Room on Coral Way.
“We see Laurel as Ariete’s younger sister,” said Beltran. “It’s a new approach to French brasserie food. Think Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, La Tour d’Argent in Paris.”
French classics fill the menu at Laurel with dishes like escargot, frog legs, foie gras, venison tartare, beef Wellington, chicory salad, turbot in tomato beurre blanc, and Maine lobster with veal sweetbreads, created by executive chef Ashley Moncada, formerly chef de cuisine at Ariete.
The cocktail program by the restaurant’s beverage director Tom Lasher-Walker offers updated takes on cocktail favorites like the Beneath the Sheets, made with aged rum and pineapple, and a late 19th-century cocktail known as the Corpse Reviver Royal with gin, bubbles, and absinthe. Speaking of absinthe, it’s in ample supply at Laurel, with an absinthe fountain found behind the bar. A large menu of French and Old World style wines and champagnes round out the menu.
Housed inside the splashy Miami Worldcenter, the restaurant space itself keeps with the French theme with dark wood, gold, and deep blue throughout. Also debuting at Miami Worldcenter over the coming months, adjacent to Laurel, will be two other Ariete Hospitality restaurants, Chug’s Express and El Vecino. The ‘ventanita’ from Chug’s Express will serve Chug’s Diner favorites such as croquetas, pastelitos, and coffee. Meanwhile, El Vecino will be a high-end cigar bar serving a full liquor menu and light fare such as mussels, an assortment of meat and cheese, a grúyere burger, foie torchon, and a selection of snacks.
Laurel Brasserie is now open at 698 NE 1st Avenue, Suite G-170 in Downtown Miami. It is open Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight. For more information, visit here.
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698 Northeast 1st Avenue, , FL 33132 (305) 330-9048 Visit Website
Here is a Lexington list and guide of the best weekend events around Central Kentucky on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you are bored and need things to do from live music concerts including country, kid-friendly events like the Harlem Globetrotters and theatre plays.Students from The Spotlight Playhouse’s Acting School in Berea will perform “Toy Camp” on Jan. 13 and 14 at 6:30 p.m. and Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6-16. 214 Richmond Rd N, Berea. ...
Here is a Lexington list and guide of the best weekend events around Central Kentucky on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you are bored and need things to do from live music concerts including country, kid-friendly events like the Harlem Globetrotters and theatre plays.
Students from The Spotlight Playhouse’s Acting School in Berea will perform “Toy Camp” on Jan. 13 and 14 at 6:30 p.m. and Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6-16. 214 Richmond Rd N, Berea. TheSpotlightPlayhouse.com.
Enjoy a musical theatre presentation of Disney’s “Winnie The Pooh” at the Lexington Opera House on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets start at $30. 401 W Short St. LexingtonOperaHouse.com.
Singer-songwriters Josh Morningstar and Stephen Scott will perform at The Pit House at Thatcher Barbecue Company in Slade on Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12.97. 918 Natural Bridge Rd, Slade. Eventbrite.com.
The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will again return to Rupp Arena on Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. for an afternoon of high-flying and theatrical basketball. Tickets for the game against the Washington Generals start at $25.50. 430 W Vine St. RuppArena.com.
Learn a tasty new skill that’ll last a lifetime during an artisanal croissant making class at Laura Lou Pâtisserie on Jan. 14 and 15 from 4-6 p.m. Tickets are $125. 812 Euclid Ave. LauraLouPastry.com.
Rock group Chico Fellini will pay homage to the iconic music of David Bowie during a tribute concert at The Burl on Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. 375 Thompson Rd. TheBurlKy.com.
Bluegrass band Saddle Geese will perform with country artist Abby Hamilton at Al’s Bar on Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. 801 N Limestone. Instagram.com.
Country artists Rye Davis and Brad Hardin will perform at Austin City Saloon on Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10. 2350 Codell Dr. TicketStripe.com.
Suit up and join Captain America and Spiderman for a superhero-sized breakfast at The Kentucky Castle’s Grand Ballroom on Jan. 15 at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $60. 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles. TheKentuckyCastle.com.
“After King 23”, a documentary film exploring where America is after Dr. King’s dream, will be presented at the Lyric Theatre on Jan. 15 at 3 and 5:30 p.m. The event is free to attend. 300 E Third St. LexingtonLyric.com.
Matt Wickstrom is a freelancer covering food, music and more. You can follow him on Instagram at @WickstromWrites .
In the ever-changing downtown Miami, more retailers and restaurants are coming in 2023 and the additions will fill most of the city’s largest real estate development, Miami Worldcenter.Eight stores and restaurants are slated to open at the Worldcenter, the 27-acre, $4 billion residential and commercial project across ...
In the ever-changing downtown Miami, more retailers and restaurants are coming in 2023 and the additions will fill most of the city’s largest real estate development, Miami Worldcenter.
Eight stores and restaurants are slated to open at the Worldcenter, the 27-acre, $4 billion residential and commercial project across from the FTX Arena where the Miami Heat plays basketball games.
Nitin Motwani, managing partner of Miami Worldcenter Associates, told the Miami Herald there are 15 tenants, enabling the property to reach 75% occupancy for the development’s 300,000 square feet of retail space. Also, there are several high-rises containing about 5,000 apartments and condos, and 600 hotel rooms.
In addition to Brasserie Laurel and Sephora that opened last year, these eight tenants are opening during 2023: cigar and cocktail lounge El Vecino; bowling alley Bowlero; electric carmaker Lucid Motors; family-run Posman Books; athleisure wear Lululemon; lingerie company Savage X Fenty; sunglasses shop Ray-Ban; and swimwear store Luli Fama.
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Started in early 2016, Miami Worldcenter is the country’s second-largest urban development after New York’s Hudson Yards 28-acre project.
It’s an anchor development that’s helping to transform the city’s center and draw people downtown to live and work.
“There is so much activity,” Motwani said, regarding why tenants want to sign on and set up shop at Worldcenter. “It means more traffic.”
More lease negotiations are in the works, he said, which should enable the commercial portion of the development to be fully leased by late this year with that final group of retailers and restaurants opening in 2024.
Downtown Miami has an average asking rent for commercial space of $37.31 per square foot, including utilities, according to Colliers’ Miami-Dade County fourth quarter 2022 retail report. Motwani said tenants at Miami Worldcenter pay “much more than that,” but declined to disclose an exact amount or price range for the rents.
Retailers and restaurants are willing to pay a premium given the amount of foot traffic anticipated to come to the Worldcenter and the surrounding area downtown in the coming years.
“We are continuing to look at entertainment, retail and food and beverage [options],” Motwani said. “I would tell you that we have multiple options on each and every space.”
Other major developments are changing downtown Miami, too. Billionaire real estate owner Moishe Mana is redeveloping Flagler Street, food hall Julia & Henry’s is in the works, and a new jewelry center opened last year.
Curious about who is coming to Miami Worldcenter? Here are the tenants that opened last year, or signed leases to open this year or in 2024:
? French restaurant Brasserie Laurel, opened in 2022
? Cosmetic supply store Sephora, opened in 2022
? Cigar and cocktail lounge El Vecino, coming in 2023
? Bowling alley Bowlero, coming in 2023
? Electric carmaker Lucid Motors, coming in 2023
? Family-run Posman Books, coming in 2023
? Athleisure wear Lululemon, coming in 2023
? Lingerie company Savage X Fenty, coming in 2023
? Sunglasses shop Ray-Ban, coming in 2023
? Swimwear store Luli Fama, coming in 2023
? Sports & Social sports bar, coming in 2024
? Casual dining spot Earls Kitchen + Bar, coming in 2024
? Gym Club Studio, coming in 2024
This story was originally published January 9, 2023 5:30 AM.
Residents in thousands of future southwest Ocala homes will find themselves with hundreds of dollars in annual utilities savings and a lower water footprint on the Floridan aquifer system by tens of thousands of gallons each year.In a unique initiative, water provider Bay Laurel Center Community Development District has established a re...
Residents in thousands of future southwest Ocala homes will find themselves with hundreds of dollars in annual utilities savings and a lower water footprint on the Floridan aquifer system by tens of thousands of gallons each year.
In a unique initiative, water provider Bay Laurel Center Community Development District has established a requirement that all new homes within its district must meet Florida Water Star (FWS) certification standards. This will apply to all future homes developed in On Top of the World (OTOW), Calesa Township and Stone Creek, which will be required to have water-saving appliances and irrigation practices.
At build out, the combined water savings are expected to be over 1.2 billion gallons a year.
Bay Laurel Center CDD and the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) have partnered on this and other initiatives to lessen the impact of Florida’s continued growth and development on its ecosystems and water resources.
“The intent of all of this obviously is to reduce groundwater withdrawals to protect our natural resources,” the company’s utility director, Bryan Schmalz, said at a new home in OTOW’s Weybourne Landing last week. “We have to begin developing homes that are water conscientious now.”
Schmalz noted nearby Rainbow Springs in Dunnellon, which falls under the water management district's jurisdiction, and Silver Springs in northeast Ocala. Both are iconic Marion County features and some of the largest first-magnitude spring groups in the state.
“As we continue to withdraw water, everybody in the state of Florida continues to withdraw water, the impact to the springs can be extremely damaging,” he said. “What we have to do is make sure we're protecting our natural resources and also protecting our springs.”
Bay Laurel Center CDD encompasses approximately 20 square miles, including developer Colen Built’s OTOW and Calesa Township, and PulteGroup’s Del Webb Stone Creek.
At build out in 25 to 30 years, around 26,000 new homes between the three developments will have achieved FWS certification. Each will save around 48,000 gallons of water annually compared to a traditional home.
"The big thing with that 1.2 billion gallons reduction in water, a huge benefit of this is it's really offsetting the need to develop further alternative water supplies like drilling deeper into the aquifer or aquifer recharge projects,” Robin Grantham, FWS coordinator for the district, said, noting alternative supplies would raise utility bills.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District, which spans 16 counties including west Marion County, allows Bay Laurel Center CDD to withdraw up to 150 gallons of water per person per day for indoor and outdoor use.
While the water conservation initiatives are aimed to comply with permitting requirements and be better stewards of the environment, homeowners of FWS homes will also see annual savings of around $530.
The Florida Water Star program was established in 2006 by the St. John’s River Water Management District, which spans 18 counties in east Florida, including east Marion County.
OTOW has been voluntarily constructing some FWS homes since then, though it partnered with the Southwest Florida Water Management District in 2017 for FWS certifications and has been making most homes to comply with the water-saving initiative over the past five years.
Around 700 of more than 7,000 OTOW homes have achieved FWS Silver certification so far. As of June 1, Bay Laurel Center CDD requires all new homes to be certified before transferring water service to the resident. There are over 8,000 FWS-certified homes across the state currently, which will continue to rise not only with initiatives in other counties but with the 26,000 in the Bay Laurel district.
For a home to meet FWS Silver requirements, indoor and outdoor standards must both be met. (There are additional requirements for a Gold Tier.)
Inside, dishwashers and clothes washing machines must be Energy Star appliances. Bathroom faucets must use no more than 1.5 gallons per minute, and shower heads must use no more than 2 gallons per minute, both 0.5-gallon reductions from state code.
The maximum use for toilets is 1.28 gallons per flush, compared to state requirements of 1.6.
“Also what we look for are the water supply lines, that they need to be reinforced and that's because nationally the number one indoor flood insurance complaint is broken water supply lines,” Grantham said.
Outdoors, each sprinkler head must have a check valve, which prevents water from leaking when the system is turned off, and pressure regulation. Plants must be at least 2.5 feet from the house and landscape beds micro-irrigated, meaning water drips directly on each plant. Plants must also be suited to the environment and not invasive exotic species.
“That’s the biggest problem we see is most of our water is utilized for irrigation,” Schmalz said. “The indoor is actually minimal. A little over 82% of our water is utilized for irrigation.”
One of the FWS requirements aimed to combat that is that no more than 60% of the yard can use high-volume irrigation.
“That remaining 40% of the landscape area, what they've chosen to do here is have unirrigated bahia turf in the backyards,” Grantham said, or they can have a micro-irrigated plant bed extended to the backyard rather than a grass that needs heavy irrigation.
Bay Laurel Center CDD has also gone above and beyond FWS standards to require new residential landscape and irrigation systems designed so no more than 6,000 gallons a month are used for irrigation. Previously, around 12,500 gallons were used for irrigation each month.
The utilities provider additionally requires rotary head sprinklers, which are 30% more efficient than traditional sprinkler heads.
Many of the homes in the three neighborhoods also have optional water conservation measures, such as smart irrigation controllers that adjust to weather conditions and flow meters that monitor irrigation.
The communities also practice what they preach in terms of unirrigated grasses, drip irrigation for plant beds and plant species suited for Florida.
“All of our common areas are (unirrigated) bahia grass. We don’t use zoysia grass or St. Augustine, anything irrigated in our common areas,” said Phillip Hisey, director of landscape operations for Parkway Maintenance & Management at On Top of the World.
Grantham says 10 municipalities in Polk County have written Florida Water Star into building code, meaning the cities will not grant a certification of occupancy without the FWS certification.
“This is truly unique that Bay Laurel is taking this incentive regarding the transfer of water services,” she said. “There's not another water utility provider in Florida that has taken that much of an initiative to really try to reduce the water use in new construction.”
The district and Bay Laurel had partnered for a Cooperative Funding Initiative project in 2018 that covered builder costs for FWS certification on 75 homes to educate builders on the program and its benefits.
The district is also a partner by way of training third-party inspectors to document that standards are met, providing marketing materials for the communities and educating homeowners on the certification.
Now, the improved appliance and irrigation system costs will be the responsibility of the builders, but there are longer term benefits.
“One of the reasons why Florida Water Star new construction is so important is because once a home is already constructed, the legacy homes, it's much more expensive to retrofit an existing home to these efficiency standards versus just constructing with those standards,” Grantham said.
For the legacy homes that do not require certification, Bay Laurel has other incentive programs and services to conserve water, many of which the District partners on.
They include incentives to change out toilets, replace shower heads and upgrade irrigation controllers. Bay Laurel also does free water irrigation audits and has a turf grass reduction program where homeowners receive money to reduce the amount of grass on their property in favor of lower maintenance shrubs.
Grantham and Schmalz say it’s also important for homeowners to keep the FWS measures in place when it's time to replace sprinkler heads, for example, or other features, and that the FWS certification program is a win for all parties.
“The benefits of the Florida Water Star-certified home cross many lines,” Grantham said. “It’s beneficial for Bay Laurel utilities because they're able to meet or hopefully this can assist them in meeting their permitting quantities that they need. It's beneficial to the builder as well because it is a selling feature, and then it's also beneficial to that home buyer as far as their utility savings, and definitely it's beneficial to our water supply resources.”