Sustainable Development

Southface knows that sound policy can enable a just transition to more equitable sustainable development, and is working to influence data-driven, community and stakeholder informed, innovative approaches to a more resilient, low-carbon future.

Codes and Zoning

By partnering with state and local governments and other nonprofits to engage the community and key stakeholders, Southface is a powerful advocate for the adoption of sustainable development practices. The focus of our work includes high-performance building codes and zoning, as well as development practices that support accessible, healthy and resource-efficient buildings and communities. Initiatives include the City of Decatur High Performance Building Ordinance, the Tiny House Feasibility Study and active participation in the Georgia State Codes Advisory Committee.

In 2019, Southface was chosen by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to provide statewide training and other resources to code officials, contractors and trade groups for the rollout of Georgia’s energy and construction code updates, which took effect on January 1, 2020.

Green Affordable Housing

Southface has long worked in the affordable housing space. We believe focusing on the preservation and creation of healthy, comfortable and efficient affordable housing is critical to sustainable and resilient communities. This means achieving total affordability and high quality of life for those who are striving to maintain both, in the face of rampant development and the adverse impacts of climate change. Within this work, Southface participates in the TransFormation Alliance (TFA) and EEFA, while also engaging with housing finance authorities across the Southeast to advance high-performance green building standards in the region. In addition, Southface partnered with the Virginia Center for Housing Research to publish The Impact of Green Affordable Housing.

Resource Efficiency

Southface has long been involved in initiatives that encourage large-scale adoption of resource-efficient practices – from our core partner role in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) to our part in authoring the “Water Audit Guidance for Commercial Buildings,” the first US comprehensive guide to water efficiency measures for commercial buildings.

Southface also helped make history in another partnership with the City of Atlanta – the City Energy Project (CEP), a national initiative to cut energy waste in large buildings and make American cities healthier and more prosperous through energy efficiency. To help building owners through the benchmarking and auditing process, Southface partnered with the City of Atlanta on the centerpiece of the CEP, the Atlanta Commercial Benchmarking Energy Efficiency Ordinance (CBEEO).

 

Climate-Related Initiatives

Southface works at the state and local level to support climate resilience and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future. Our work includes participation in the Georgia Climate Project and the Georgia Climate Research Roadmap, as well as engagement in Drawdown Georgia. Southface is also a local partner of the City of Atlanta in the American Cities Climate Challenge, an unprecedented opportunity for 25 ambitious cities to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents.

 

 

Resources

Atlanta CREW One Sheet

In the City of Atlanta, one inch of rainfall can generate as much as 640 million gallons of stormwater runoff, water that damages homes, businesses and the environment.

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Guide

Water Audit Guidance for Commercial Buildings

This document is an initial attempt to develop water audit guidance based on a multi-year process drawing upon input from a working group of industry experts. Building water audits offer clear benefits to facility managers and owners, municipalities encouraging greater …

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Report

Resilient Southeast: Exploring Opportunities for Solar + Storage in Atlanta, GA

Resilient Southeast – Atlanta is one in a series of reports that explores the obstacles and opportunities for solar PV and battery storage (solar + storage) to strengthen the resilience of communities throughout the Southeast.

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