Financial Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Green Building

The new statewide energy code went into effect at the beginning of this year, making it easier to receive financial incentives for a high-performing home. Amelia Godfrey, program manager of EarthCraft, shares the incentives available for homes that are built or renovated to meet the minimum standard. While there are several ways to build a high-performance home, many can be accompanied by low additional costs.

Tags: EarthCraft, Energy Code, Energy Efficiency

Georgia’s Mass Timber and the Triple Bottom Line

Climate Change
Green Building

In the weeks before COVID-19 disrupted daily life, the Georgia General Assembly was considering two bills which Southface believes may be able to accelerate the transition to a regenerative economy. House Bill 1015 (HB 1015) could update Georgia’s carbon sequestration registry to include building products that sequester carbon. (Did you even know Georgia already has a carbon sequestration registry? Me neither.). House Bill 7773 (HB 777) could instruct the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to investigate amending the state’s building …

Tags: Carbon Sequestration, Mass Timber

San Francisco’s Future Low-Carbon Community

Communities

A 29-acre industrial site is being redeveloped in San Francisco to serve as a sustainable community. The Potrero Power Station Mixed-Use Project will reduce carbon levels by focusing on walkability and efficient transportation, emphasizing open spaces and requiring all buildings to be LEED Gold-certified or better. This project will be a model for how future cities can create a complete community.

Tags: Urbanism

How Utility Companies Should Communicate With Anxious Consumers

COVID-19 is changing the way energy is used at home. The significant increase in usage is causing higher bills and more anxious consumers. It is important now, more than ever, for utility companies to provide clear communication with their customers. The best practices in this article demonstrate how energy providers can create positive consumer engagement in these uncertain times.

Tags: COVID-19, Utilities

World Environment Day

Events

World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues affecting our planet. This year’s theme is biodiversity, which reminds us that we are intimately connected to all species on this planet. The coronavirus pandemic encourages us to appreciate all the ways that we are dependent on nature and our environment. Here are some ways you can participate this year!

Tags: COVID-19, Conservation

Southface Stands in Solidarity Against Racism

Press Room

I am heartbroken by the recent tragic deaths of George Floyd and, closer to home, Ahmaud Arbery, losses that add to incalculable others and underscore a structure of racism in America. As we stand alongside those making their voices heard through leadership and peaceful protests, I feel the gravity of the work to help create equity and equality across our communities more powerfully than ever. The importance of striving for a regenerative future that gives back more than it uses, …

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Global Emissions Have Plunged, but Will They Continue To?

Climate Change

Government shutdowns and economic inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused sharp declines in greenhouse gases. Over 1 billion tons of carbon emissions have already been reduced, and it is projected we will see an overall annual decrease between 4-7%. Although these reductions are remarkable, scientists warn that more structural changes to the energy system need to be made for long-term success.

Tags: COVID-19, Carbon Footprint, Energy Efficiency

Emotional Well-Being and the Built Environment

We spend nearly 90% of our time indoors, making it important to understand the emotional benefits of our everyday spaces. Incorporating biophilic design into our buildings engages our senses and allows us to be more mindfully present. Some ways to more successfully support our overall well-being in the built environment include integrating diverse space types, fostering a sensory experience and celebrating the passage of time.

Tags: Biophilia, Interior Design

Renewable Energy Surpasses Coal

Renewable Energy

In April, for the first time, renewable energy from solar, wind and hydropower generated more electricity than coal every day for the entire month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In comparison, renewables beat coal only 38 days in all of 2019. This shift is tied to many reasons, including the economic slowdown from COVID-19.

Tags: COVID-19, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Energy

How Will the Way We Interact With the Built Environment Change?

The threat of COVID-19 poses many new questions and uncertainties about what the future might look like, and the field of engineering and the built environment are no exception. Read this article on how engineers can adapt design approaches to protect the most vulnerable and shape design process to be more resilient in the future.

Tags: COVID-19