Why the Built Environment Matters

Joey enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee while not at work. He has played for the past 6 years at both the college and club level, competing across the US.

Joey enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee while not at work. He has played for the past 6 years at both the college and club level, competing across the US.

As a graduating college senior, I thought a lot about what I wanted my life to look like and how I wanted to spend my time. I knew I wanted to be in a service-oriented position that worked for a positive impact on the environment and society. I knew that I wanted my lifestyle to reflect my values and principles—commitment to environmental stewardship, social justice, self-sufficiency, and finding joy as often as possible.

I imagined living within a walkable distance to my work, recreation, and food. I imagined spending my time with close friends and digging my fingernails into my local community—knowing its ins and outs and falling in love with it. I imagined learning about growing food, and experimenting with my own plants and gardens. In all that imagination, though, I never thought of the power of the built environment in having and enjoying such a lifestyle. Southface has shown me in just a few short months that the buildings in which we live, work, and play have profound impacts on our comfort and happiness. Our work creates the places that people can fall in love with. I am proud to support an organization that recognizes that power and leverages it on behalf of people and our planet.

While we build energy efficient affordable housing, help multi-family developments achieve environmentally responsible standards, and train building professionals in green building techniques, we contribute to a world that equally prioritizes an advanced marketplace, preserving the environment, and creating joyful places for people. I am proud to work at a place that acts on these values.

I love coming to work because I take pride in and find joy in our buildings. Sitting in our atrium, in semi-conditioned space with passive solar heating/cooling is, simply, fun. Our green roof is my favorite place for a relaxing, beautiful lunch in Atlanta. I didn’t count on how happy the built environment could make me. Much of that joy comes from the understanding that these buildings are a model of a more sustainable, joyful built environment—I have Southface to thank for that.

 

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