Imagine a simple awards program that could transform the market and shape the conversation. Southface, through creative thinking and provocative collaboration, created such a program with the inaugural Fulcrum Awards. With a call for “Raising Consciousness, Tipping the Balance,” the Fulcrum Awards was 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.
Southface’s inaugural Fulcrum Awards ceremony was held Tuesday evening, March 15, during the organization’s annual Greenprints Conference at Georgia State University’s Student Center. The Fulcrum Awards program aims to alter the structure and criteria of typical awards programs. These awards are not just about trying to create a catchy hashtag (#BuildBetter) or a beautiful plaque, but rather they were a new process of creative thinking and engaged collaboration between Southface and numerous community organizations.
Southface convened a panel of six jurors—David Ellis, from Greater Home Builders Association; Jane Hayse from Atlanta Regional Commission; Tim Keane from the City of Atlanta; Nathaniel Smith, from the Partnership for Southern Equity; Shane Totten, from Southface; and Flor Velarde from Invest Atlanta. All the jurors demonstrated a deep knowledge of, and commitment to, the vision statement as well.
Out of the 23 submissions that were received, the jury selected four that they felt best embodied the Southface vision statement.
Iberville Offsites—Kronberg Wall Architects
This inspired revitalization project eliminates neighborhood blight, reinvigorates local culture and improves the quality and efficiency of housing stock while actively avoiding resident displacement. By rehabilitating 46 single- and two-family homes and offering them as affordable housing, communities long dealing with blighted areas and crumbling infrastructure are seeing neighborhood assets flourish and residents remain in place with higher quality housing stock. The remodeled homes now follow urban design principles and pertinent regulatory codes, while also incorporating elements of sustainable design for energy efficiency.
Stanton Oaks—The Woda Group and Parallel Housing
This impressive affordable housing development was a collaboration between developers, the Peoplestown Revitalization Corporation and various community organizations that rehabilitated Boynton Village. The new Stanton Oaks allows the tenants, seniors and families alike, to live comfortably in more energy-efficient homes. As an additional bonus, the tenants have created a Stanton Oaks Association to convey their pride in their new homes and to represent their interests going forward.
WaterHub at Emory University—Sustainable Water
This impressive facility is an on-site, campus-wide water reclamation system that utilizes an eco-engineered treatment process to recycle nearly two-thirds of campus wastewater for heating, cooling, irrigation and toilet flushing. Since its inception in May 2015, nearly 40 million gallons of wastewater has been reclaimed and it will reduce Emory’s draw of potable water by up to 40 percent of the campus’ total water footprint, helping to create a more resilient campus in a region prone to drought. Additionally, the WaterHub has built-in lab space and hosts tours, facilitating research and community education about the benefits of sustainable water management.
Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District—Atlanta Regional Commission
This team is the water planning agency for the metro Atlanta region, serving 15 counties, 92 municipalities and five million people by coordinating with 55 water utilities. The Metro Water District helps guide intergovernmental coordination for stormwater management, wastewater treatment, and water supply and conservation issues. Thanks to their aggressive water management strategies, residents have pledged water savings of over two billion gallons since 2011 and projections for regional water demand in 2050 have fallen by 25 percent since 2009.
Markets transform when organizations redefine what is considered possible. The winners of the inaugural Fulcrum Awards are truly representative of the people and projects laying the foundation for a regenerative future. Southface values the leadership of design, construction, planning and advocacy professionals that serves as the fulcrum from which a future of vibrant homes, workplaces and communities can be leveraged.
Special thanks to Superior Essex for sponsoring the inaugural awards program.