Southface Releases Guides to Updated 2020 Energy Code

Best practices from building science experts serve as roadmap to higher building standards


For Immediate Release

ATLANTA, GA—August 20, 2019—Southface Institute released Georgia 2020 Energy Code Field Guides for both residential and commercial buildings, providing vital guidance for the dramatically updated code. Developed in partnership with the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), these resources will be used on jobsites by inspectors and subcontractors to support implementation of Georgia’s 2020 Residential and Commercial Building Energy Codes, which are set to go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Georgia’s 2020 Building Energy Code represents the first major update to the code in nine years and will significantly improve energy efficiency and overall building performance in both residential and commercial construction. On the residential side, industry professionals will need to be aware of more stringent requirements involving insulation and fenestration, air leakage in the thermal envelope, duct testing and lighting equipment, as well as new compliance alternatives, such as the Energy Rating Index (ERI). For commercial buildings, there are significant changes to mechanical requirements, lighting controls, insulation values, HVAC performance, heated water supply piping and more.

The field guides provide a straightforward, practical tool for verifying compliance in every building component from top to bottom. “A field guide definitely helps an inspector verify code compliance, but there’s more,” explained Mike Barcik, Southface Technical Principal for Education. “The detailed guidance and rich graphics illustrate best practices—such as key air-sealing points—so builders and subcontractors can reduce callbacks and be confident that they are delivering a code-compliant building,” he said.

Earlier this year, Southface was chosen by GEFA to provide statewide training and other resources to code officials, contractors and trade groups for the rollout of the new energy code. According to Kelly Cutts, State Energy Program Manager at GEFA, “The field guides are two of the important resources created using GEFA’s State Energy Program fund provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. The field guides serve as a tool that industry professionals will rely on for years to come.”

The Georgia 2020 Residential Energy Code Field Guide and the Georgia 2020 Commercial Energy Code Field Guide are available in both English and Spanish on, along with related resources and upcoming training dates.

 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 Georgia Environmental Finance Authority

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority’s (GEFA) financing programs, which enable the protection of Georgia’s energy, land and water resources, impact millions of Georgians daily. In fiscal year 2018, GEFA provided more than $260 million to 76 infrastructure projects in communities across Georgia.


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

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Tags: Energy Code

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