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USGBC Georgia Announces 2020 Chrysalis Award Winners

ATLANTA, GA — Six winners took home green awards after the virtual celebration of the Chrysalis Awards.

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Georgia created the Chrysalis Awards to support broadening the conversation between the green building industry and the green community. The goal is to support and recognize the people and projects within the community that represent the breadth of what sustainability means, from a high-performance building to an urban farm feeding a neighborhood, to a material with a low carbon footprint, to a thriving green team within a company. The winners were announced at an online celebration.

For the awards program, attendees listened to a keynote featuring Bonnie Casamassima, Principal of Interweave People Place, and the ceremony was followed by a virtual reception for the winners in breakout rooms.

2020 Chrysalis Award Winners
Existing Building Transformation - Hines - 1180 Peachtree Street
A sustainable and innovative high-rise building known as 1180 Peachtree stands 41 stories tall in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. This building has been certified Platinum for LEED EB: O+M based off the Hines Volume Prototype in 2019, and several other LEED re-certifications previously. 1180 Peachtree demonstrates what it means to be a green building as it has also earned an Energy Star score of 96/100 back in 2018.

The building consists of two roofs: a green roof filled with vegetation and another white roof. The combination of both significantly reduces the building’s heat island effect. The green roof is able to capture rainwater by using a cistern that provides irrigation toward its plant life, and helps 1180 Peachtree reduce its potable water use for landscaping by 76 percent.

The building also boasts a high recycling diversion rate at 51 percent, as occupants have free access to recycling programs which helped them gather over 2,000 pounds of e-waste during the LEED performance period. The building’s occupants have been a major factor in reducing 1180 Peachtree’s carbon footprint. Its location in midtown Atlanta near MARTA showed that 42 percent of building occupants consistently use forms of alternative transportation, such as public transportation, walking, biking, carpooling, and driving low-emitting green vehicles.

New Construction Transformation - Interface Base Camp Headquarters
Interface Headquarters, known as Base Camp to employees, is an ambitious tribute to sustainability and biophilic design features. The building provides a holistically healthy, positive, and productive workplace that benefits both employees and guests. Achieving both LEED Platinum and Well Gold certification, Interface’s Base Camp is setting the standard for future workplaces.
Community Impact - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest and most efficient airport in the world. Additionally, it is the largest economic driver and one of the largest employers in the state of Georgia. The airport has prioritized sustainability within its $6-billion capital improvement program, ATL NEXT, and has created a sustainability program to support those efforts. In addition to minimum certification standards in LEED, Parksmart, and Envision, the airport has developed sustainability standards for all planning, design, and construction, resulting in over 20 certified or registered projects. To track program successes and sustainability metrics campus-wide, the airport pursued LEED for Communities certification, subsequently becoming the first airport in the world to achieve certification.

Today, airports around the world are beginning to pursue certification to benchmark sustainability and identify best practices in sustainable airport development and operation. Atlanta continues this effort pursuing re-certification under the new LEED for Communities v4.1 standard by incorporating these initiatives into the redevelopment of their Sustainable Management Plan.

Emerging Leader - Laura McComb
Laura McComb works for AMLI Residential and said she is passionate about sustainable built environments. She is a LEED AP specializing in homes, as well as a Fitwel Ambassador. McComb managed the Fitwel certification of AMLI Ponce Park, which was the first multifamily building to receive Fitwel certification in the southeast. She also enacted AMLI’s strategy to improve recycling areas throughout the portfolio, which raises the bar for sustainable waste disposal in multifamily buildings. McComb is currently Co-Chair of the board of USGBC - Atlanta’s Emerging Professionals.
Legacy - Will Harris
Will Harris is fully committed to regenerative agriculture. As a fourth generation owner of his family farm, Harris transitioned from an industrial production system to one embracing good animal welfare and land stewardship. In establishing this radically traditional production system, he rebuilt the dying town of Bluffton, Georgia, which fell victim to the "brain drain" in the 1960s.

Instead of continuing the family business of industrialized, centralized livestock production, he learned about a new way of farming — one that required a polycultural production system in which things coexisted and benefited from each other. In the last 15 years, Harris has constructed two on-farm, USDA processing plants, an on-farm restaurant, on-farm lodging, has tripled his farm's size, opened a General Store, bought 15 houses for farm managers at WOP, partnered with a solar company to build one of the first solar arrays to be managed by livestock, created 165 full-time jobs, and more.

Connect the Dots - Mahitha Pothuri
Mahitha Pothuri is a senior at Alliance Academy for Innovation and is the Founder and President of the Eco Club at her school. She is completing the EcoSchools Energy Systems Pathway and is passionate about renewable technology and the environment. During her free time, she volunteers for GreenCell, a local community environmental club.

Pothuri presented her work earlier this year at the Connect the Dots Year End Showcase for Georgia and was voted Outstanding Project of the program. She led her club at the Alliance Academy for Innovation to switch from individually wrapped packages of utensils to dispensers, not only avoiding additional waste, but saving the school $1,500 a year. Pothuri presented this to the Forsyth County School District to consider the change for the other seven high schools, for an average annual savings of $4,550 for each school, over $30,000 total.

USGBC Georgia works to make healthy, sustainable buildings a reality for the people of Georgia. The organization serves Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Central Georgia (Macon area), and Savannah. Each branch has a leadership group elected from the region's membership; and each branch sends representation to the USGBC Georgia Market Leadership Advisory Board.

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