This article originally appeared in the SaportaReport Thought Leaders section in November, 2016.
The EarthCraft Awards returned this year with a fresh take on what makes an EarthCraft project great. Developed in 1999 by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (Greater Atlanta HBA) and Southface, EarthCraft is the Southeast’s standard for green building – pairing building science with regional know-how. EarthCraft promotes energy efficient, healthy, comfortable and durable new construction and renovation. The EarthCraft Awards program provides Greater Atlanta HBA and Southface a chance to recognize projects that exceed standard program requirements and shines a light on program partners who continue to make strides in advancing innovation in the green building industry.
Climbing out of the recent recession, green building certification programs, like EarthCraft, have struggled to regain momentum. Today, as the industry rebounds, builders and developers are seeing the value of EarthCraft certification as a marketing edge over the competition. In addition, municipalities are realizing the value of green building standards and third-party verification in creating healthier, more resilient building stock. For example, in 2015 the City of Decatur passed high performance building standards that require all new and major renovation projects in both residential and commercial sectors to be built to green building certification standards, including EarthCraft, the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Standard, LEED or Green Globes. Since the ordinance passed less than a year ago, 16 single family homes have registered with five certified so far.
Southface has seen an uptick in attendance of our EarthCraft House Builder course, a pre-requisite for building certified EarthCraft projects. Seeing attendance and demand for this class spike from this year to last signals added interest in and commitment to the EarthCraft program. Southface is pushing the market to realize and take advantage of that momentum by reintroducing the EarthCraft Awards. Robert Reed, Southface Director of Residential Community Services stated, “The return of the EarthCraft Awards recognizes the surge in the industry to pre-recession levels. We felt it was important to commend the strong example that these projects and this brand represent in the world of high performance buildings.”
The 2016 EarthCraft Awards were presented on October 21 at Southface’s Eco Office.
High Performance Awards celebrate outstanding EarthCraft projects that achieved the highest level of performance in their respective programs.
Design Awards celebrate success in the field of high performance design. These projects combine efficiency, appeal and functionality in exceptional design schemes.
Southface would like to thank all of its hardworking EarthCraft builders, developers, partners and technical advisors. Congratulations to all of the award winners on impressive work.