What are the new targets for house air leakage?
This worksheet calculates the total envelope UA of a building based on user inputs. The calculator provides a final estimate of a proposed building’s performance compared to the prescriptive U-factors of the 2020 Georgia Residential Energy Code (and based on …
Continue reading “UA Trade Off Tool”
The purpose of this three-part paper is to determine whether and how the PAYS® system for tariffed on-bill investment could make on-site solar systems available to low- and moderate-income customers and renters.
In order to improve the climate resilience of local residents, Fulton County Government and Southface Institute are partnering to establish a community resilience hub at one of the County’s community-serving facilities.
The LIFT Solar Everywhere research project has developed a three-part research report to determine whether and how the PAYS® system for tariffed on-bill investment could make on-site solar systems available to low- and moderate-income (LMI) customers. The PAYS system is …
Continue reading “LIFT Solar Customer Experience Benchmarking Analysis”
Esta guía tiene por objeto ayudar a explicar la parte residencial del Código de energía de Alabama 2020 y no necesariamente incluye todos los aspectos y detalles.
This guide is intended to help explain the residential portion of the 2020 Alabama Energy Code and does not necessarily include all aspects and details.
As of January 1, 2020, Georgia’s new energy code is the 2015 IECC + 2020 GA Supplements and Amendments, which supersedes the 2009 IECC (with 2011 GA Supplements and Amendments).
Climate change is playing a bigger role in determining where and how we live, and is limiting access to and availability of affordable healthy housing, healthy food choices, transportation choices and social networks, which is forcing displacement of individuals and …
Continue reading “Climate Change and Displacement in U.S. Communities”
This document guides the reader through resources about on-bill financing, tariffed on-bill programs and the Pay as You Save® PAYS system. An understanding of these resources is necessary for the design and implementation of a successful tariffed on-bill program.
Fill out envelope summary and the mechanical summary.
The INTERNATIONAL ENERGY CONSERVATION CODE, 2015 Edition, published by the International Code Council, when used in conjunction with these Georgia State Supplements and Amendments and any other Georgia State Amendments, shall constitute the official Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code.
Presentation on best practices to control commercial lighting.
This guide is intended to help explain the lighting controls portion of the energy code and does not necessarily include all aspects and details. This guide attempts to compile all relevant information and key practices related to each component.
This guide is intended to help explain the residential portion of the 2020 Georgia Energy Code and does not necessarily include all aspects and details.
This guide is intended to help explain the commercial envelope portion of the energy code and does not necessarily include all aspects and details. This guide is organized by building component and attempts to compile all relevant information and key …
Continue reading “Guide to Georgia Commercial Building Envelope Requirements”
The simplified approach is an optional path for buildings that meet these criteria: building is two stories or fewer in height, gross floor area is less than 25,000 sq. ft., each HVAC system in the building must comply with all …
Continue reading “Building Code Training: Commercial Mechanical – ASHRAE 90.1 Simplified Approach”
This guide is intended to help explain the commercial portion of the energy code and does not necessarily include all aspects and details. This guide is organized by building component and attempts to compile all relevant information and key practices …
Continue reading “Simplified Mechanical Approach Quick Guide”
Georgia has amended the IECC 2015 code but left ASHRAE 90.1 2013 as-is and only ASHRAE recognizes semi-heated spaces.
This presentation was created to help students understand Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code air barrier requirements and learn thermal boundary requirements of the Georgia energy code.
Understand the major differences between IECC 2015 and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 in commercial buildings. Apply design and construction strategies in building projects to comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013 / IECC 2015. Appreciate COMcheck software and its application in helping show compliance with …
Continue reading “Commercial Energy Code Building Envelope Difference Between IECC 2015 and ASHRAE 90.1 – 2013”
Southface Institute’s Sustainability Services are designed to help organizations steamline every aspect of their resource use, operations and sustainability strategy.
The EarthCraft family of programs is developed and maintained in close partnership with builders and industry leaders to create better buildings, better communities and better living.
Southface Institute’s Technical Services offer a wide variety of consulting to help your organization cut costs and foster optimal building performance. Our world-class team of engineers, project managers and technicians can assist your team in the design, building, certification and …
Continue reading “Southface Technical Services Consulting Multifamily Buildings”
Many Georgia families struggle with high energy bills in 2018. The Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) served 140,795 families in need of assistance with their energy bills.
As part of the National Association of Home Builders Research Centers Partnership for High Performance Homes, Southface Institute completed a post-renovation analysis of the Fort Benning, Georgia Indianhead townhomes renovation project.
Heavy summer rainfall is common in the hot and humid subtropical climate of the Southeast. What happens to all that water? Until communities flood or their water sources become contaminated, most of us don’t think about it. In fact, excess …
Continue reading “Five Low Impact Solutions for Managing Stormwater in an Urban Environment”
This guide is intended to help explain the residential portion of the 2020 Georgia Energy Code and does not necessarily include all aspects and details. This guide is organized by building component and attempts to compile all relevant information and …
Continue reading “Georgia 2020 Residential Energy Code Field Guide”
2015 IECC (2019 Georgia Energy Code)
Esta guía tiene por objeto ayudar a explicar la parte comercial del código de energía y no incluye necesariamente todos los aspectos y detalles. Esta guía está organizada por componente de construcción e intenta recopilar toda la información relevante y …
Continue reading “2020 Guía de Campo Comerical”
Esta guía tiene por objeto ayudar a explicar la parte residencial del Código de energía de Georgia 2020 y no necesariamente incluye todos los aspectos y detalles. Esta guía está organizada por componente de construcción e intenta recopilar toda la …
Continue reading “2020 Guía de Campo Residential 2020”
Continue reading “Georgia 2020 Commercial Energy Code Field Guide”
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.
Understand the scope, application and methods of demonstrating compliance with IECC 2015 and ASHRAE 90.1‐2013 in 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 …
Continue reading “Water Audit Guidance for Commercial Buildings”
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.
A continuous air barrier shall be installed in the building envelope.
When assessing a commercial building, combustion equipment will often be encountered. Buildings are systems and how combustion appliances interact with the building is an important consideration that every commercial auditor should understand.
Created using industry procedures*, this combustion appliance assessment tool is intended to help an assessor: perform calculations and testing associated with combustion equipment, and determine the relative safeness of the installed combustion equipment with respect to the building occupants’ breathing …
Continue reading “Southface Small Commercial Combustion Assessment Workbook – Blank”
A guide to understanding a systems approach to building better homes and giving customers what they want. Knowledge of building science can help you improve building performance and meet homebuyers’ needs in terms of the comfort, durability and energy efficiency …
Continue reading “Building Science 101”
Weighted Average Calculator: U Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).
Buildings are tight and getting tighter thanks to better energy code implementation and the extensive use of sheet‐good materials and more careful attention to sealing penetrations during construction.
Learning objectives include: Understand Georgia Energy Code air barrier & insulation requirements, identify house air sealing key points, learn thermal boundary requirements of the Georgia Energy Code, recognize common insulation challenges, understand HVAC and water heating provisions, and know how …
Continue reading “GA 2020 Residential Energy Code”
This Guide answers important questions about radon and lung cancer risk. It also answers questions about testing and fixing for anyone buying or selling a home.
The Home Energy Project Checklist will help you decide which energy conservation measures to adopt. The Energy Conservation Measures are projects such as insulating and sealing air leaks. These projects are appropriate for many do-it-yourselfers.
Key Changes in the 2018 International Building Code for Georgia.
A Vision for a 100% Clean Energy Future
Commercial buildings are the single largest consumer of energy within the city of Atlanta, and as a result, the largest source of polluting emissions.
We identified 40 important research that, if answered, could lay the groundwork for effective, science-based climate action in Georgia.
In 2015, Southface launched its Solar for Georgia’s Underserved Markets initiative. Through this initiative Southface seeks to facilitate the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on nonprofits and communities of faith (collectively referred to herein as “nonprofits”), municipalities, and multifamily …
Continue reading “Solar for Georgia Nonprofits”
This primer aims to present a comprehensive and informational overview of the electricity sector in Georgia from how electricity is generated in the state, to how electricity is sold and who regulates the production and sale of electricity. This primer …
Continue reading “Georgia Electricity System Primer – May 2018 Draft”
Resilience is shaped by context. How we adapt to physical and social vulnerabilities is a function of our location, resources, and relationships.
Building on the significant success already achieved by the City of Atlanta, the Green Infrastructure Strategic Action Plan promotes and supports the implementation of green infrastructure (GI) throughout the City by all City departments, our partners and the private sector.
Southface Institute and the Southern Environmental Law Center are pleased to present “The Water-Energy Nexus in Georgia: A Detailed Examination of Consumptive Water Use in the Power Sector.” Our goals in commissioning this analysis were to clarify the scale and …
Continue reading “The Water-Energy Nexus”
The Living Building at Georgia Tech will meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), an initiative of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). The LBC is the most environmentally-beneficial and efficient standard in the building industry.
A research project in the State of Georgia identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in April 2015 and continued through November 2015.
The purpose of the West LaFayette Transformation Plan is to help the community capitalize on investments in housing.
Upgrading hot water system efficiency can produce both energy and water savings, leading to financial savings for business owners.
The commercial building sector accounts for 17 percent of public water use (excluding irrigation), and the cost of water varies greatly by location.
Creating a tight building envelope is critically important to reducing air leakage and cutting energy consumption in a commercial building.
Many college campuses are billed for utilities based on a small number of meters shared by multiple buildings. As a result, utility tracking systems provide aggregate usage measurements, instead of providing building-level data.
Nonprofits are good targets for efficiency programs as typically they are under pressure to reduce expenses, and they often occupy inefficient buildings that needlessly waste energy, water and other resources.
The workbook consists of 5 pages that walk the user through the assessment process as described below. When used on a tablet or laptop computer, the workbook will auto-populate the shaded fields based on user inputs in the non-shaded fields.
The Recreation Center Efficiency Solutions Package aims to support municipalities nationwide with selecting efficiency improvements to reduce energy and water use at existing recreation centers by at least 20%.
Up to 33 percent of a small commercial building’s energy use is consumed by the appliances that occupants use daily.
The human element is perhaps the most significant contributor to energy consumption in small commercial buildings.
Lighting accounts for 10 percent of energy consumption in small commercial buildings on average.
Ensuring your equipment is operating as efficiently as possible is critical to reducing your building’s energy consumption and cutting operational costs while maintaining occupant comfort.
The Fire Station Efficiency Solutions Package aims to assist municipalities nationwide reduce carbon footprints, lower utility bills, and increase resiliency by selecting improvements that will reduce energy and water use in existing buildings by at least 20%.
The Chatsworth project supports the Boys and Girls Club commitment to providing vibrant, healthy spaces for children to play and learn in an environmentally responsible building.
College campuses spend nearly two billion dollars every year on utility costs, a figure that is forecasted to rise as energy and water costs become increasingly volatile in the future
The envelope is determined by the physical, thermal and moisture boundary in a building.
A small commercial building could be viewed as a type of organism. It consists of multiple isolated systems, each of which play a role in its overall health.
Atlanta International School Early Learning Center (AIS-ELC) is a 17,231 square foot, two-story pre-school that was certified in the EarthCraft Light Commercial (ECLC) green building certification program. The school partnered with Southface to analyze building design and performance through the …
Continue reading “Atlanta International School”
A Friend’s House is a 25,285 square foot lodging facility in McDonough, GA that implemented several energy conservation measures in 2014 through the GoodUse program (formerly Grants to Green). A Friend’s House partnered with Southface to analyze building performance before …
Continue reading “A Friend’s House”
Greenstone on Fifth Community Building at Blue Ridge Apartments in Charlottesville, Virginia is a 3,531 square foot, two-story commercial building that was certified in the EarthCraft Light Commercial (ECLC) green building program in 2014.
The following workbook is intended to support assessors with data collection, analysis, and some of the calculations performed when conducting water assessments on small commercial buildings (≤50,000 s.f.).
2012 IECC Residential Energy Code – Duct & Envelope Testing Results*
Alabama Residential Energy Code Duct and Envelope Testing Results*
The following workbook is intended to support assessors with data collection, analysis and some of the calculations (lighting and plumbing related to potable water fixtures) performed when conducting energy and water assessments on small commercial buildings.
Intended to be used as a supplement to The Energy Conservatory and Camroden Associate’s Blower Door Applications Guide: Beyond Single Family Residential, the toolkit contains a field guide, data collection forms, test sheet, sign template, and report template, and was …
Continue reading “Multiple Fan Blower Door Toolkit Appendix”
Southface’s multi‐year study of small commercial buildings’ energy and water consumption includes a study of building air leakage testing. Learn the details of how the testing was performed, how the results were normalized and how the various buildings stacked up.
The following workbook is intended to support assessors with the evaluation of Georgia Power utility bills.
Use data collection forms to capture basic description of building (e.g., type of occupancy, number of stories, wall, roof and foundation assembly type, orientation, etc.)
Equipment needed checklist, roles and responsibilities for testing and step-by-step testing procedures.
Fill out the primary components of your home’s exterior shell, mechanical and the results of the Duct Tightness Test.
The 2009 IECC was adopted by reference by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (with 2011 Georgia-specific amendments) and is effective January 1, 2011.
Choose a contractor to fix a radon problem just as carefully as you would choose someone to do other home repairs. Be sure to choose a contractor certified by the National Environmental Health Association or the National Radon Safety Board.
Air barrier and insulation inspection
Language contained in this document is intended to serve as a general template and should be copied, pasted and edited for each specific project. Providing clear expectations of what should be installed and how it will be inspected and verified …
Continue reading “Energy and Water Efficiency Project Implementation Verification Checklist”
Inspection sheet for South Carolina Residential Energy Code, duct and envelope testing.
Energy codes directly benefit Mississippi home builders by helping ensure quality installation of energy features, thus reducing customer complaints and call backs, and delivering a house with lower utility bills, improved indoor air quality, and a higher comfort level.
Energy codes benefit home buyers by requiring contractors to provide a standard level of quality. This quality will be assured by the inspection and testing process required for each new home. Increasing the energy efficiency of homes does not have …
Continue reading “Mississippi Energy Codes for Home Buyers Factsheet”
Mississippi consumers, design and construction professionals, utility companies, economy, public health, and environment will all benefit from adoption of a statewide building energy code.
Information for residential building industry professionals
EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool helps you measure and track the energy and water use, waste and materials, and greenhouse gas emissions of your buildings, all in a secure online environment.
Tiny houses can address the changing needs of households in Atlanta, Georgia, by providing a more affordable and efficient housing stock while simultaneously making the region more competitive in attracting talent and an increasingly mobile workforce.
The process and scope developed in this guide is based on ASHRAE’s “Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits, Second Edition”. It is strongly recommended that all users read the ASHRAE guide prior to using this resource.
A step‐by‐step guide to completing an energy and water benchmarking in Portfolio Manager®
Southface has found the following list of resources useful when conducting combustion appliance assessments.
Test Company performed a blower door test for Client Name at the Property Name located at Property Address, on BD Test Date.
The following workbook is intended to support accessors with data collection, analysis, and some of the calculations (lighting and plumbing related to potable water fixtures) performed when conducting energy and water assessments on small commercial buildings.
This toolkit was developed by Southface through the Advanced Commercial Buildings Initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Protect the occupants in the home you’re building against the threat of radon gas.
The toolkit was developed by Southface through the Advanced Commercial Buildings Initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The toolkit is intended to be used by industry professionals to assess combustion appliances in small commercial buildings with respect …
Continue reading “Southface Small Commercial Combustion Appliance Toolkit Introduction”
The Savannah Housing Department is leading sustainable and affordable housing development in Georgia. It partnered with Southface Energy Institute, a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Partnership for Home Innovation Building America research team, to seek cost-effective solutions for …
Continue reading “Efficient Solutions for New Homes: Savannah Gardens”
The impact of green building certification programs on the cost and energy performance multifamily affordable housing has long been misunderstood due to a lack of data and analysis, particularly in the Southeast United States.
R401.1 Scope. This chapter applies to residential buildings.
The purpose of this report is to document the design process, computational energy modeling, construction, envelope performance metrics, and long term monitoring results of three high-performance homes in three different Southeastern Climate Zones (CZ).
Atlanta made a community-based decision in 2005 to advance the Atlanta BeltLine, originating as a Master’s thesis, in the largest, most comprehensive and most “sustainable” redevelopment project in the city’s history.
Making homes and businesses more efficient is a great way to cut energy consumption and reduce our impact on the environment.
Georgia spends billions a year to import energy. About $30 billion leaves Georgia annually to pay for petroleum, natural gas, and coal. The clean energy industry offers Georgia the opportunity to keep a larger portion of money spent on energy …
Continue reading “Georgia Clean Energy Census 2014”
The Commercial Energy Code Field Guide is intended for use by code officials when inspecting commercial construction projects for compliance with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2007.
The need to achieve high-performance buildings has promoted design changes that incorporate efficient use of energy and resources. One of these changes, the design, installation and the testing of the building air barrier has driven a dramatic increase in the …
Continue reading “Blower Door Applications Guide – Beyond Single-Family Residential”
Southface and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) facilitated a four-day transit-oriented development (TOD) charrette in October 2013, focused on the redevelopment of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station parking lots.
Air leakage can increase heating and cooling costs over 30% and contribute to comfort, health and safety problems. Finding hidden air leakage sites, called bypasses, can be difficult without the use of a blower door.
The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires new homes and major renovations to have a pressure test of the building envelope and duct systems that are located outside of the thermal envelope.
As part of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with TaC Studios, an Atlanta-based architecture firm specializing in residential and light commercial design, on the construction of a new test home in Atlanta …
Continue reading “TaC Studios New Construction Test House”
With the support of the DOE Building America (BA) Program, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders to build a new construction test house (NCTH). The Serenbe community is located 32 miles southeast of Atlanta, Georgia, in mixed humid climate zone …
Continue reading “Serenbe Nest Cottages”
Modern high-performance homes feature airtight building envelopes with high levels of thermal resistance that control the flows of heat, air, and moisture into and out of the home. Homes built before current building codes may have high levels of air …
Continue reading “Measure Guideline: Wall Air Sealing and Insulation Methods in Existing Homes”
The Greenprint Midtown sustainability action plan was created to spur actions that further enhanced Midtown’s development as one of the nation’s most livable, innovative, economically successful and sustainable communities.
Among other efforts to save energy for Georgians, energy efficiency is considered one of the easiest and most effective strategies available to decision-makers, consumers and industry.
Most people do not think of buildings as machines. But buildings are machines with structural, electrical, and mechanical systems that must work in concert to make them habitable. And like machines that we buy from stores, buildings must go through …
Continue reading “Benefits from Effective Energy Code Implementation in the City of Atlanta”
Alabama is adopting the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) including the energy chapter (Chapter 11) as the state residential energy code. This field guide includes a detailed walkthrough of the requirements of the code and applicable state amendments.
The Georgia residential energy code consists of Chapter 4 of the 2009 IECC with the 2011 Georgia supplements and amendments. It sets minimum insulation levels for ceilings, walls and floors.
Southface developed the Williamson Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) which seeks to achieve energy savings by investing in cost-effective and low impact technologies.
In February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) assisted states with building energy efficiency efforts. To receive these funds, Governor Haley Barbour certified to DOE that Mississippi would implement energy codes of equal or greater stringency than the …
Continue reading “Mississippi Residential Energy Code Field Guide IECC 2009”
The Residential Energy Code Field Guide is intended for use by code officials when inspecting residential construction projects.
Chattahoochee Hill Country is a rural community 30 miles southeast of Atlanta.
On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. This law extends, but alters, the tax credits for energy efficiency available in 2011.
The International Energy Conservation Code, 2009 Edition, published by the International Code Council, when used in conjunction with these Georgia State Supplements and Amendments, shall constitute the official Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code.
This guide provides renovators and retrofit contractors an overview of considerations when including wall air sealing and insulation in an energy retrofit project. It also outlines the potential project risks, various materials for insulating, possible field inspections needed, installation procedures, …
Continue reading “Insulation and Air Sealing Retrofit Measures”
The economic recession, climate change concerns and rising electricity costs have motivated many states to embrace energy efficiency as a way to create new local jobs, lower energy bills, and promote environmental sustainability.
The 2006 report of the Governor’s Energy Policy Council states: “The Council recommends as its highest priority that Georgia should aggressively pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.”
You have tested your home for radon, but now what? This booklet is for people who have tested their home for radon and confirmed that they have elevated radon levels — 4 pCi/L or higher.
2009 IREC Residential Energy Code – Duct and Envelope Testing Results*
An excerpt from the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.
The Southeast faces immense challenges in meeting the water and energy needs of a growing population. Efforts to ensure an adequate supply of one resource must recognize impacts on the other.
Abundant efficiency opportunities in the Southeast can help meet regional energy needs. Efficiency investments can lead to economic and environmental benefits across several sectors by reducing demand for electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuels.
Southeast states seeking solutions to current and future energy challenges have a major opportunity to use existing technology to harness local renewable energy resources.
Policymakers in the United States are facing significant energy challenges. Increasing demand for energy combined with concerns about energy security, fossil fuel price volatility, and the effects of global warming have many policymakers looking for ways to develop a cleaner, …
Continue reading “Energy by the Numbers”
The guide to protecting yourself and your family from radon.You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.
Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Therefore, many people face greater risks to their …
Continue reading “Indoor Air Quality in the Home”
The Lampkin Street development of 12 modest cottages on little more than a half-acre infill site creates market solutions for diverse housing in gentrifying neighborhoods.
When properly used in home construction, energy features save money, improve indoor air quality, enhance comfort, prevent moisture problems,
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. Your customers rely on you to construct a high quality, safe home. By using a handful of simple building practices and common building materials, you can effectively lower the …
Continue reading “Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Radon-Resistant Homes”
Sprawling growth in the Southeast is degrading the region’s air quality, water resources, open space, natural systems, and general quality of life. It costs everyone more for sprawl development than for compact, sustainable development.
When building in an area with the potential for elevated radon levels, architects and engineers should use a combination of radon prevention construction techniques.