Atlanta’s Iconic Fox Theatre and Southface Institute Team Up to Make the Historic Arts Venue Even More Sustainable

90-year-old building to improve resource performance with Southface's BIT Building program

For Immediate Release

The Fox Theatre’s landmark marquee has 5000 lightbulbs that were replaced with lower-energy LEDs in 2014, resulting in significant energy and utilities savings. The theatre is now seeking additional sustainability measures through Southface’s BIT Building program. Photo courtesy of the Fox Theatre.

ATLANTA, GA – July 25, 2019 – July 1, Southface Institute and Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre launched a partnership once again to further strengthen the Atlanta arts venue’s commitment to sustainability, save on its operating costs and make the theater an example of resource-efficiency for older buildings. By implementing Southface’s BIT Building program, which guides building managers and operators of any building type (except single family) through 16 BIT Practices, the Fox Theatre’s operations team will identity and implement changes to make the building even higher performing.

“In addition to being a hub of artistic expression, we have also fostered a history of commitment to sustainability and building efficiency in our previous work with Southface,” said Scott Christopher, Director of Operations for the Fox. “In 2011, we joined the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, in 2012, the Midtown Greenprints program, and in 2014, Southface worked for us through Grants to Green. When we heard about BIT Building, we were excited to see how much higher we can push the bar,” he said.

BIT Building’s Best Practices include actions like improving water and energy use, improving indoor air quality and reducing waste through data tracking and auditing. As a participant of BIT Building, the Fox Theatre will be supported by a team of experts, and it will join the ranks of other participants who have implemented the practices, such as the Chicago Housing Authority, Google offices in four countries, Atlanta’s own Blue Heron Nature Preserve and Atlanta Community ToolBank.

Making the Fox Theatre Even Better

“BIT Building is a perfect fit for our beloved fabulous Fox Theatre,” said Shane Totten, Director of Education and Research at Southface. “The theater’s operations team has facility expertise and is passionate about making progress. BIT Building will give them a sound framework, with tools to holistically improve the building’s performance.”

There is a lot more activity at a theater than what is seen on stage, and BIT will help the Fox function at its most efficient, whether on low-use weekdays or busy weekends. At the initial BIT Building meeting, the team began defining possible solutions to help the building work smarter and healthier, such as tweaking the automatic flush functions in the bathrooms to reduce water waste and ionizing water, rather than treating it with harsh chemicals.

The Fox’s past experience with efficiency upgrades, like LED lightbulbs in the iconic 5000-bulb marquee or a replacement chiller in the basement, resulted in a 15% drop in electricity usage and 9% drop in electric bills between 2009 and 2013.

About BIT Building

With only 12% of U.S. buildings operationally eligible for sustainability certifications such as LEED or Energy Star, BIT Building gives facility operators and managers the opportunity to implement performance improvements to their buildings no matter the year of construction or condition. BIT advisors guide the organization through the best practices, and the organization itself decides which practices to implement first. For more information on BIT Building, visit

About Southface Institute

Southface Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is a leader in sustainable advocacy, building, planning and operations across the U.S. With a mission to create a healthy and equitably built environment for all, Southface’s consulting services, workforce development, research and policy practices are supporting better homes, workplaces and communities. Experts in the fields of resource efficiency, building tech and organizational sustainability since 1978, Southface is committed to building a regenerative economy to meet tomorrow’s needs today.

About The Fox Theatre

The historic Fox Theatre, opened in 1929, is one of Atlanta’s premiere venues for live entertainment. The Fox’s 4,665 seat theatre hosts more than 150 performances a year, ranging from Broadway to rock to comedy to movies, as well as private events. Since 2008, the Fox Theatre Institute has pledged $1 million financial assistance, consultation and mentoring to help other historic theaters in Georgia and the region preserve and update their structures in a way that considers environmental and economic impact.


For more information, please contact Emily Proctor, Senior Communications Manager, Southface Institute, at

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