Southface Institute: Blog

A Boys & Girls Club in Sarasota Partners with Southface’s GoodUse Grant Program To Reduce Environmental Impact and Costs

Green Building

When Covid-19 restricted in-person activities across the country, the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club site in Sarasota, Florida had to temporarily close its doors as it prepared for the protocols it needed to implement to keep its staff and club members safe going forward. Harvey, 7, loves technology and dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer. Aware of the growing need for services, especially among essential workers and high-risk families, the club quickly reopened two weeks later to serve the …

Tags: Boys and Girls Clubs, Gooduse

All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota Becomes More Resource-Efficient and Improves Indoor Air Quality During COVID-19

Building Health

All Faiths Food Bank has been relieving hunger in the Sarasota, Florida, community since 1989, and like other social service providers across the country, demand surged in 2020 as Covid-19 spread across the country. In fact, 49% of All Faith’s clients were new last year. In order to keep up with need, the food bank took a number of measures including increasing shifts, created pre-packaged ‘no touch’ boxes, started a drive-thru model, held mass distributions in key locations and partnered …

Tags: COVID-19, Gooduse

Public Policy: Catalyzing the Regenerative Economy

Regenerative Design

Part 2 of a three-part series on the Regenerative Economy. Click here to read Part 1 on Regenerative Design and Part 3 on examples of a Regenerative Economy. As the American population increased over the last 150 years, the cost of the “take-make-use-dispose” nature of the linear economy was not fully understood or appreciated. The economy generally thrived; the middle class grew as prosperity abounded for many. Yet, the evidence surrounded us – growing landfills, polluted ecosystems, economic disparity, and …

Tags: Green Infrastructure, Regenerative economy, Zero Waste

Southface Launches Qual-ee™


ATLANTA, GA—February 17, 2021—Southface Institute announces the launch of Qual-ee, a credential management software for energy raters. This new, cloud-based offering will simplify Home Energy Rating System (HERS) credential management for both the Southface Energy Rated Homes (SERH) Providership and HERS Raters alike. Qual-ee was created to fulfill the need HERS Raters in the SERH Providership have to access information about their Home Energy Rater certification in real time. Active HERS Raters are required under the Residential Energy Services Network …


Coming Together to Restore and Protect Coastal Waters From Stormwater Pollution


Managing stormwater on coastal cities like Sarasota, Florida, is essential to preventing pollution and harmful impacts that runoff can have on coastal waters. Rainwater must be intercepted and purified by engineered or ecological systems to avoid transporting nutrients that would contaminate beachfronts, impair fishing and foster red tide. Experts at January’s Sustainability in Action Roundtable spoke about ways cities like Sarasota can and are addressing the problem from the source, whether from city streets, agricultural stockyards, transportation, suburban developments and …

Tags: Green Infrastructure, Red Tide, pollution

Big Data Brings Efficiency to Electric Georgia Fleets

Green Technology

With more people driving electric cars, there is a need for current, publicly available national data that provides insight on charging, driving patterns, and vehicle performance. However, for many city fleets, it can be expensive to manage a telematics program. Read the following article by our partner, Clean Cities-Georgia (CC-GA), and learn about an ongoing project that helps electric fleet operators understand how vehicles perform and report accurate cost savings associated with the zero-emission transition. Read more at

Tags: Electric Vehicle

City of Chamblee Adopts Sustainability Plan


Atlanta, GA—February 4, 2021—Southface Institute joins planning consultant TSW today in congratulating the City of Chamblee, Georgia, on adopting the Chamblee Sustainability Plan. The city anticipates this plan will help it achieve Platinum status within the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Green Communities Program. This designation would place Chamblee in the top five percent of sustainable municipalities in the region and in the company of high-achieving Georgia cities like Decatur and Norcross. The Sustainability Plan was developed jointly by Southface and lead …

Tags: Urbanism

19 Nonprofits to Receive GoodUse Grants for Sustainability Upgrades


ATLANTA, GA —January 27, 2021— Southface Institute is pleased to announce 19 new nonprofit partners selected for GoodUse, a grant program which guides nonprofits through resource efficiency upgrades to reduce environmental impact and save money that can be reinvested into core programming. With these upgrades, the organizations can save energy and water, improve indoor air quality, install modernized and efficient technology, reduce carbon emissions and lower utility costs. To date, GoodUse has served 161 communities in 27 states, helped save …

Tags: Gooduse

Paris Is Calling! Sustainability Organizations Ready as US Rejoins the Agreement

Green Building
Regenerative Design

As the United States recommits to the Paris Agreement, many cities, businesses and organizations that have never slowed down on climate action are gearing up to strengthen and multiply their efforts to create a healthy and resilient future for everyone. One such organization is Atlanta-based Southface Institute, leading the way toward a sustainable, equitable and healthy built environment for over 40 years. Shane Totten, Southface’s Director of Strategy and Impact, shares his thoughts about the importance of this step for the sustainability community and gives a glimpse into the nonprofit’s vision for a regenerative economy that …

Tags: Living Building Challenge, Paris Agreement, Regenerative economy

The Role of the Building Envelope in Controlling Disease

Building Health

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving innovation in ventilation practices to reduce the spread of aerosols in homes and workplaces. As building owners seek solutions, building science experts are emphasizing the role of air barriers and other components of the building envelope. The following article explores how current building envelope methods perform in mitigating disease transmission. Read more at

Tags: Building Science, COVID-19