Training the Next Generation of Green Building Professionals

Over the past two years, Georgia’s construction industry has seen a 5.5 percent annual increase. As demand for green building grows in Atlanta and statewide, Southface teamed up with a west Atlanta high school to cultivate the next generation of green building professionals and prepare them for a successful, rewarding career in a growing market.

Students learn about HVAC and combustion safety at Southface's SWEET Center

In conjunction with Ashview Heights’ Booker T. Washington High School, Southface offered a Quick Start Training for High Performance Construction program to juniors and seniors. Opened in 1924, Washington High was Georgia’s first public secondary school for African Americans and counts among its alumni Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nine Washington High students participated in Quick Start, where they received hands-on training sessions at both their school and Southface’s Southeast Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Training (SWEET) Center. The school’s counselor Dr. Erica Clark recruited the students, who had no previous experience in building science.

Meeting weekly, the students were taught the basics of combustion safety and HVAC system efficiency, and learned how to properly conduct air and duct sealing. With summer just around the corner, Quick Start prepared the group for competitive summer internship and employment opportunities.

Students apply mastic to a duct system model. Duct sealing can improve a building's energy efficiency and overall performance.

While Southface regularly offers education and training on green and high performance buildings, the Quick Start program is the organization’s first multi-part curriculum specifically designed for high schoolers. “We are very excited by this partnership with Booker T. Washington High School, and we look forward to the opportunity to bring high performance construction training to students next year in additional locations,” said Southface’s Senior Director of Regenerative Places & Spaces, Robert Reed. Through Quick Start, Southface hopes students will learn to see houses as a system and seek out job opportunities in construction, air sealing and insulation, mechanicals, and weatherization.


For more information about Southface’s building science courses and education opportunities, visit

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