The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge Celebrates Top Performers
Kelly Herman, Coordinator, Commercial Sustainability Services
In partnership with the City of Atlanta, Central Atlanta Progress, Southface, Midtown Alliance and Livable Buckhead, the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) is a public/private initiative to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent by 2020 across the Atlanta area. Led by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience, the program supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s goals to create jobs and make buildings more energy efficient.
The challenge proves that aggressive sustainability goals can be made and achieved. Since the program’s inception in 2011, buildings participating in the program have saved 1,327.3 million gallons of water, 3.21 trillion British thermal units (BTU) of energy and over 25 million dollars. Money saved from efficient and sustainable practices frees up business capital which can be used for more productive purposes such as creating and sustaining jobs, increasing incomes, investing in new technology and adding to Atlanta’s gross regional product. Beyond the financial benefits of the program, there are improvements being made to our natural environment. Reducing demand for energy and water reduces electricity generation, which can help improve air quality and support health. ABBC initiatives have improved Atlanta’s air quality by 83 percent and has moved Atlanta from the ninth most polluted U.S. city in 2000 to the fifty-second in 2016.
The ABBC annual recognition event had over 200 attendees and was held on July 12, 2017 at Tishman Speyer’s Three Alliance Center in Buckhead, a 30-story office building participating in the challenge. This annual celebration honors the hard work of ABBC participants by recognizing top performers. Mayor Reed was the keynote speaker and acknowledged that Atlanta continues to lead the nation in the amount of square footage committed to the program; more than 114 million square feet of commercial space in the city has committed to reducing energy and water consumption by 20 percent. The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge celebrated the achievements of nearly 40 percent of the 599 participating buildings who have reached either their energy and/or water reduction goals.
The event recognized the incredible success of participants by awarding properties that are among the highest achievers in energy and water efficiency and participation in the program. The ABBC properties were separated into nine MVP categories:
- College/university market winner: Emory University
- Office market winner: Georgia Pacific Center
- Entertainment market winner: Atlanta History Center
- Warehouse/distribution center market winner: Atlanta Community Toolbank
- K-12 school market winner: Fulton County Schools
- Public service market winner: Hemphill Water Treatment Plant, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management
- Healthcare market: T3 Labs
- Multi-family market: AMLI Resident
- Individual engineer winner: Michael Lopez
ABBC is continuously working to improve the program. ABBC 2.0 was announced at the recognition celebration and will incorporate waste and wellbeing. 2.0 will address equity by targeting affordable housing multifamily properties and nonprofit facilities for participation. Through the ABBC, property and facility managers, building owners and operators have access to monthly events and training sessions. Joining the challenge is free and creates a more sustainable and healthy Atlanta. To learn more about the ABBC or information on how to sign up for the challenge, visit www.atlantabbc.com. For more information on the data, visit abbcdata.com.
You can also view the City of Atlanta Press release for the full list of 2016 ABBC top performers: https://www.atlantaga.gov/Home/Components/News/News/5042/672.