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Atlanta recognizes top performers in Better Buildings Challenge as fate of national program seems unclear

georgia pacific center

The Georgia-Pacific Center was included on the list of MVPs in the 2017 Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge annual recognition. Credit: pondrobinson.com

By David Pendered

On the heels of reports that rank Atlanta among cities with the most green buildings, the city of Atlanta and its partners have recognized nearly 80 buildings that are leaders in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.

georgia pacific center

The Georgia-Pacific Center was included on the list of MVPs in the 2017 Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge annual recognition. Credit: pondrobinson.com

“The collective contributions that our Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge participants have made to Atlanta’s environmental footprint over the last six years are remarkable,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement.

The ABBC is a voluntary program in which building owners seek to reduce their structures’ consumption of energy and water 20 percent by 2020; track utility consumption, benchmark building performance and confidentially report progress; document planned or recently implemented conservation projects and results; and share strategies used to reduce consumption of energy and water.

CBRE ranked metro Atlanta fourth on its index of green buildings. The U.S Department of Energy on Tuesday ranked Atlanta fifth on its list of the top 25 cities, in terms of having the most Energy STAR buildings.

The future of the BBC program seems unclear.

The BBC is housed in the U.S. Department of Energy. It was not clear Friday whether the BBC is among the DOE programs that President Trump proposes to eliminate or reduce funding.

The Energy STAR program, on which the BBC is partly based, is housed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Trump’s budget proposal eliminates funding for the Energy STAR Program and others that are housed in the Climate Protection Program.

Atlanta Civic Center

The federal Energy Department cites The Boisfeuillet Jones-Atlanta Civic Center, with its LED lighting as a showcase project in Atlanta. The center was not named as a top performer in the 2017 Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. Credit: betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov

Atlanta’s Office of Resilience sponsored the 2017 recognition, in conjunction with partners Livable Buckhead, Central Atlanta Progress, Southface and Midtown Alliance. The recognition event was held Wednesday and Reed’s office released the statement Friday.

The MVP awards were based on type of facility. The recipients include:

  • College/University: Emory University
  • Office Building: Georgia-Pacific Center
  • Entertainment Venue: Atlanta History Center
  • Distribution Center/Warehouse: Atlanta Community Tool Bank
  • K-12 Schools: Fulton County Schools
  • Public Service: Hemphill Water Treatment Plant
  • Healthcare: T3 Labs
  • Multi-family: AMLI Residential

Michael Lopez, chief engineer for Cousins Properties, was recognized as an individual champion.

“I would like congratulate the honorees and thank the Atlanta business community for their dedication to protecting our planet, as well as for advancing Atlanta’s economy with their efforts,” Reed said. “I am confident that the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge’s portfolio of participants will exceed the 2020 goals for both energy and water savings.”

The sponsors also recognized top performers. Based on their location, the top performers are:


34 Peachtree, 55 Allen Plaza, AmericasMart-Building Two, Atlanta REALTORS® Center, Bank of America Plaza, Centennial Olympic Park, Centennial Tower, Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum, Coca-Cola Plaza-CCP, Coca-Cola Plaza-TCP, Georgia State University-One Park Place, Georgia State University-Student Center West, Georgia State University-Student Recreation Center, Georgia State University-Urban Life Building, Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia-Pacific Center, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber Of Commerce, Peachtree Center- Harris Tower, Peachtree Center-Marquis Two, Peachtree Summit Federal Building, Richard B. Russell Federal Building, Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, Southface-Main Campus, Southface-SWEET Center, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, SunTrust Plaza, T3 Labs, The Hurt Building, The Turner Building, Woodruff Volunteer Center.


100 Colony Square, 1100 Spring Street, 1180 Peachtree, 400 Colony Square, Emory University Hospital Midtown-Summit Parking Deck, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia Institute of Technology-Allen Lamar Sustainable Education Building, Georgia Institute of Technology-Technology Square Research Building, One Atlantic Center, One Midtown Plaza, Promenade, Ten 10th Street, Ten Peachtree Place, Two Midtown Plaza, WSB TV, The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer


Gallery Condominium, Lenox Square Mall, One Alliance Center, One Buckhead Plaza, The Pinnacle, Tower Place 100, Westminster Schools

City of Atlanta and metro Atlanta locations:

Atlanta Mission-Shepard’s Inn, Atlanta Public Schools-Douglas High School, Fulton County-Kirkwood Library, Fulton County-Washington Park Library, Fuqua Boys & Girls Club, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport-DOA Technical Campus, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport-North Terminal Parking Deck, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport-South Terminal Parking Deck, UPS-Building 35, UPS-Building 55, Fulton County Schools, Emory University, Adair Park-Warehouse, Bessie Branham Recreation Building, Candler Park-Bath House, Collier Park Recreation Center, Cornelius Adolphus Scott Recreation Center, Donald Lee Hollowell Memorial Water Park, Fire Station 30, Fire Station 31, Grove Park Recreation Center, Hemphill Water Treatment Plant and Pumping Station, Police Training Academy, Powell Pool-Bath House, Warehouse Office-Englewood Avenue.



David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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