Ga. community's building owners join solar, energy-saving efforts

Livable Buckhead has recruited 10 of the Georgia city’s hotels to the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, a citywide effort to reduce water and energy use by 20 percent by 2020.

On top of that, major building owners in the area have shown interest to increase solar-powered homes and buildings in Atlanta, Livable Buckhead Executive Director Denise Starling told Reporter Newspapers.

Livable Buckhead is a nonprofit that works to increase green space and sustainability and is spearheading PATH400, the multiuse path along Ga. 400.

More than 100 buildings in Buckhead are LEED certified, a sustainability rating system for buildings devised by the U.S. Green Building Council; 63 buildings are part of the Better Buildings Challenge; 21 buildings participate in Livable Buckhead’s recycling program; and electric vehicle charging stations are plentiful in Buckhead, Starling said.

The 10 hotels that joined in February comprise 43 percent of the total hotel rooms in Buckhead and will more than triple the number of hotels actively participating in the challenge, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, according to the organization.
Each of the hotels has committed to reduce their energy and water consumption by 20 percent improvement by 2020, measured against their use in 2009 or the most recent data available, according to a press release. The city of Atlanta keeps track of buildings’ improvements and describes the progress in an annual report.

To decrease energy and water use, hotels can implement recycling and towel reuse options or limit heating and air conditioning settings, according to the challenge website.

Livable Buckhead is also helping building owners figure out if solar could work for them. Some may have not enough exposure to the sun or too many obstacles on the roof blocking installation, Starling said.

The solar panels don’t have to be on the roof, though, and there are some creative solutions buildings can use, Starling said. The owners of Tower Place office tower near Ga. 400 and Peachtree Road, for example, could cover the top of its parking deck, which often goes unused because it is uncovered, she said.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Energy Saving Products, Energy Storage - Solar Energy Storage, Great Commercial Buildings, Hospitality, Solar Energy & Solar Power, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design

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