Inside Atlanta’s Better Buildings Challenge Successes

April 11,2016

How often do professionals from the education, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and tech sectors get together AND talk about energy and climate change? If it’s in the city of Atlanta, the answer is at least once a month. That’s because in 2011 Atlanta was one of the first cities to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge with the U.S. Department of Energy, a program that motivates building owners to cut their energy use by 20 percent within 10 years.

For the past three years, the City has had tremendous success working with public and private sector leaders throughout the city to shed energy waste and conserve water. The City is still working on its 20 percent goal, but has exceeded an initial 2 million square foot goal 50 times over, making Atlanta the city on top when it comes to energy efficiency square feet commitments—with a combined 100 million square feet of building space slated for water and energy efficiency improvements.

Now, what’s behind Atlanta’s success?  

Atlanta has leveraged the power of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national Better Buildings Challenge program to effectively build networks between seemingly disparate parties, creating symbiotic relationships to help achieve goals beyond energy efficiency. The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) led by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability engages the city’s Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) and a network of professionals to rally a diverse chorus around the City’s multiple goals, including economic development, community investment, capacity building and of course, sustainability.

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