Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was one of 60 leaders on hand to kick off the national Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Dec. 2.
Representing the City of Atlanta, Mayor Reed was joined by CEOs, mayors, university presidents and labor leaders in a ceremony in which President Obama and former President Clinton announced nearly $4 billion of investments in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next two years.
These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.
Along with Los Angeles and Seattle, Atlanta is a flagship city for this national sustainability project set forth by President Obama. The Atlanta BBC is part of the Better Buildings Initiative introduced in February, and challenges commercial, municipal, educational, medical and industrial property owners to make buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade.
“Thanks to the leadership of Central Atlanta Progress, we are ahead of the game in this challenge,” said Atlanta’s Sustainability Director Denise Quarles. “The buildings participating in the retrofits will initially exceed two million square feet, with broader participation expected over the next few years.”
Downtown Atlanta has already reached its participation goal for the initial phase of the BBC, having received commitments from 20 property owners within one month of its official launch in November. The next step in this long-term sustainability effort will be energy savings assessments at each building through the end of the first quarter of 2012. The Atlanta BBC’s inaugural participants include: the U.S. General Services Administration, Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, AmericasMart, Legacy Property Group, Epsten Group, Jamestown Properties, 330 Marietta Street, CNN Center and Omni Hotel, Luckie Street Properties, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, Fulton County Government, Lincoln Property Company, Spelman College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Cousins Properties, Georgia Power and Georgia Tech Research Institute.
“The enthusiasm Downtown property owners have shown for the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge is exciting and encouraging,” said A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress. “We look forward to moving full speed ahead with this citywide sustainability effort over the next few years.”