Fulcrum Follow-up: Iberville Offsites

Last year, in preparation for our annual Greenprints Conference, the leadership team at Southface considered a provocative notion: what if a simple awards program could transform the market and shape the conversation? Through creative thinking and collaboration, we created such a program and debuted the Fulcrum Awards in March. With a call for “Raising Consciousness, Tipping the Balance,” the Fulcrum Awards were designed to recognize people, programs, buildings, movements, organizations and more that demonstrate excellence in pursing Southface’s vision: a regenerative economy, responsible resources use and social equity through a healthy built environment for all. Learn more about the Southface Fulcrum Awards on the Greenprints website, and apply today for the 2017 awards!

As we approach the call for nominations for the second annual Fulcrum Awards program, we checked in with inaugural winners. Jurors for the program were: Jane Hayse, retired Director of Center for Livable Communities, Atlanta Regional Commission; Tim Keane, Commissioner of Planning and Community Development, City of Atlanta; Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer/CEO, Partnership for Southern Equity; Flor Velarde, Compliance Officer, Invest Atlanta; and Shane Totten, Director, Commercial Sustainability Services, Southface.

This piece celebrates 2016 winner Kronberg Wall Architects for their Iberville Offsites project, a revitalization effort for 46 historic and affordable housing units in the neighborhoods of Treme, Seventh Ward and Central City in New Orleans, LA. The jury unanimously felt that the planning and execution of the project were in line with the four criteria and particularly praised the care taken to avoid community displacement. Additionally, the project demonstrates exemplary capacity to revitalize communities through adaptive reuse—both in the amount of energy the buildings save and in the preservation of cultural history and its significance. Completing the project was an accomplishment in itself. This was Kronberg Wall Architects’ third project of this general type, but the first one where every house was historic and under the purview of the National Park Service. Working through the coordination of each individual house with its own set of requirements took a significant amount of time and coordination in order to balance preservation requirements with strict energy efficiency mandates.

The impact to the New Orleans neighborhoods is immense. Blighted units are now energy efficient affordable homes for local residents. When Eric Kronberg was asked about what he learned from this experience, he touched on an issue that affects Atlanta as well – affordability. “If we value [affordability] as a city, collective investment is required. There is not nearly enough funding at the federal level to address local needs,” expressed Kronberg.

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