CHRIS Kids Breaks Ground on Country's First DOE Builders Challenge Multifamily Residence

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Southface announces ground-breaking for the CHRIS Kids Graham Circle Project, the first multifamily housing development in the United States that meets the criteria needed to qualify for the Department of Energy's Builders Challenge. CHRIS Kids' new Builders Challenge-designed residence is expected to be 30% more energy efficient than a code-built facility. It will lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while offering a supportive community for Atlanta's homeless youth and those aging out of foster care.

Southface, the Southeast's non-profit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities, announces the ground-breaking of the CHRIS Kids Graham Circle Project (GCP), the first multifamily development in the United States that meets the criteria needed to qualify for the Department of Energy's Builders Challenge.

The Graham Circle Project, scheduled for completion in 2011, transforms four existing apartment buildings in East Atlanta into an affordable multifamily housing community for youth, ages 17 - 24, who grew up in the foster care system, are runaway or homeless. The new Builders Challenge-designed residence, which is expected to be 30% more energy efficient than a code-built facility, will include 39 housing units, each with one and two bedrooms, program and administrative offices, plus a computer lab and training rooms - a $10.1 million investment funded through charitable donations and public capital funds.

Jerome Dion, Research Supervisor, Buildings Technologies Program, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy said, "These energy-efficient multifamily homes will lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while offering a supportive community for Atlanta's homeless youth and those aging out of foster care. The Department of Energy commends longtime Building America partner Southface for their leadership and commitment to providing energy-efficient homes, and hopes that this project will set a new standard for multifamily developers across America."

Commented Dennis Creech, Executive Director of Southface, "CHRIS Kids' forward-thinking decision to build an EarthCraft Multifamily residence that can achieve Builders Challenge certification also ensures its residents will benefit from important quality-of-life necessities. These include a healthy indoor environment and people-friendly open spaces, plus access to transportation, job opportunities, shopping and the wider community. Together with the Department of Energy, we wish CHRIS Kids the very best in this worthwhile endeavor!"

About CHRIS Kids
CHRIS Kids is named for its core values: Creativity - Honor - Respect - Integrity - Safety. Since 1981, CHRIS Kids has helped more than 10,000 children and their family members across Greater Atlanta to address mental health and substance abuse challenges. Its mission is to heal children, strengthen families, and build community by reaching out to children and teenagers with severe emotional and behavioral problems. CHRIS Kids provides safe homes, meets basic needs, and teaches life skills that assist at-risk kids to grow into productive citizens. Please visit CHRIS Kids at http://www.chriskids.org

About Building America's Builders Challenge
Spearheaded by the U.S Department of Energy's Building America program, the Builders Challenge presents a unique opportunity for homebuilders across America to build a new generation of high-performance homes using proven innovations, working toward the ultimate goal of providing cost-effective, net-zero energy homes by 2030. A high performance home would use at least 30 percent less energy than a typical new home built to code, and also meet the highest safety, health and quality standards.

About Southface
Southface is the Southeast's non-profit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities. Driven by the region's growing need to save energy and water, and to preserve our natural resources, Southface proactively encourages responsible solutions for environmental living. Please visit Southface at http://www.southface.org.

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Judy Knight
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