Southface on Atlanta Real Estate Forum RadioRobert Reed, Director of Community Sustainability Services for Southface Energy Institute, joined Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio to discuss the EarthCraft program. Reed has a long career as an architect committed to sustainable buildings in Georgia communities, from new home to multifamily buildings to renovations of older homes.

Southface began in 1978 with a group of hardy environmentalist volunteers who spent their free time educating the greater Atlanta are about the sustainability and benefits of solar power. As research, technology and data advanced, Southface decided to take sustainability ideas directly to home builders with the EarthCraft program, which started in the late 1990s.

Reed explained that EarthCraft is a designation, much in the vein of LEED or EnergyStar, but with a total project focus on creating sustainability in news homes. EarthCraft homes are built around both energy reduction and output, but also resource sustainability. Projects aim to use production materials in a more conscientious way to reduce waste. Reed said an EarthCraft house is focused on the “total scope” of the project.

People who are interested in building a sustainable home can find EarthCraft advisors and builders in their area by searching earthcraft.org. While in the past, the program focused on new homes, Reed said that any project can apply the principles. “Our advisors can help direct a renovation, figure the real cost of the project and also test the finished work to ensure it adheres to the principles,” said Reed.

Builders interested in acquiring the EarthCraft designation can attend the builder training programs to become certified. Reed said with the market uptick, they plan to offer a Realtor training soon. They also present Building Science Basics to combat outdated myths about sustainable housing.

Learn more about EarthCraft and Southface by visiting their websites. Reed can be contacted at rreed@soutface.org.

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