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Emerald Cities Atlanta Launches Initiatives to 'Green Our City'

November 7,2013

Emerald Cities Atlanta met the national mission of "Greening our Cities" by initiating its large scale commercial building assessment and retrofit program in downtown Atlanta last week through a comprehensive energy audit of the Peachtree Center Complex.

The Peachtree Center Complex consists of six multi-story buildings and covers more than 3 million sq. ft. of office and retail spaces, including a food court and shopping mall. The energy audit team consists of some 22 professionals, experts and specialists from 13 different organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC), Johnson Controls, Trane, Inc., City of Atlanta Water Shed Management Office of Efficiency, AFL-CIO ( building trades and laborers), Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Water Management, Inc., Acurity Brand (Lai Lighting Associates, Inc.), AGL Resources (natural gas utility), Real Times Media, HTS Enterprises, and Parkway Reality Services among others.

The audit revealed substantial savings through assessments of energy use and consumption, energy modeling, water conservation measures, use of energy efficient lighting, and improved heating, ventilation and cooling components and controls. The audit was conducted in conjunction with the Atlanta Better Building Challenge, part of a national initiative to decrease energy consumption and green house gas emissions by 20% by the year 2020 in major cities.

The event also "kicked off" actions associated with Georgia Piedmont Technical College Sustainability Initiative; a comprehensive plan to transform it to one of the most green and sustainable campuses in the nation.

Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) is a national non-profit network of organizations working together to advance a sustainable environment while creating greater economic opportunities for all.

"We're transforming the energy efficiency sector in a high road way, by retrofitting building stock, creating high wage jobs, and revitalizing the local economies of our metropolitan regions," said Garry Harris, Executive Director.

Harris is currently president and CEO of HTS Enterprises, a consulting firm that provides diverse energy engineering, research, policy, education, and power generation technical services. He is also the founder and Managing Director for the Center for Sustainable Communities.