Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.57
Liaison Susan Kidd
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Agnes Scott College
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ashley Fournier
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Sustainability Office
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

In early 2011 Agnes Scott College agreed to participate in a project entitled “Advancing Residential Energy Retrofits” with Southface and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop deep energy retrofit case studies for single-family homes in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The results of this case study would help gain a stronger understanding of the impact of various retrofit measures on energy efficiency and cost savings in this mixed humid climate zone. The approach for this project was to incorporate integrated building science and systems engineering principles to provide technical assistance for deep energy retrofits and understand the related health, safety, comfort and durability needs. Agnes Scott selected five homes from its inventory of properties located adjacent to campus. These homes are occupied by Agnes Scott College faculty and staff members and their families. All of the homes selected for the project were built in the early 1920s.

The project process involved Southface and ORNL first evaluating pre-retrofit levels of energy use by performing whole-house assessments and analyzing utility bills. During the pre-retrofit stage each house was outfitted with a monitoring system to collect energy and comfort data during and after construction. Using the information collected about current home energy use, they developed detailed recommendations for implementation that would result in energy savings between 30 and 50 percent. Southface and ORNL then shared their recommendations with Agnes Scott’s selected contractor Renewal Systems Solutions and representatives from Agnes Scott’s Office of Facilies, Office of Business and Finance, and Office of Sustainability. The project team met for a day long charrette to discuss the recommendations for each house and determine the best course of action for each one. Once a project plan was completed and approved work began on the homes in late summer 2010.

The contractor first addressed any health or safety issues which included solving problems with mold, water intrusion, and wood rot. The energy efficiency measure for each home included air sealing attics and crawlspaces, adding insulation and weather-stripping, installing new furnace and air conditioning units, repairing or installing ductwork, and installing heat pump water heater.

After the retrofits were completed final whole-house assessments were performed on each house to provide quality assurance and collect data to compare to pre-improvement data. Each of the homes that participated in the project now uses between 30 and 50 percent less energy. For the residents this means homes that are more comfortable, healthy, and affordable. In addition to the energy retrofit work each of these homes also received roofing repairs and new exterior paint which helps to contribute to the aesthetic of the surrounding community. For Agnes Scott College this project helped to serve as a model for future retrofit and construction projects to its remaining stock of homes. All future projects will have an eye toward building science and carefully thought out solutions to issues affecting a home’s performance.

This project has also allowed Agnes Scott to build strong relationships will all parties involved in the project including Southface, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the City of Decatur, Georgia Power, and Renewal Systems Solutions. This project gave members of Agnes Scott’s staff an excellent opportunity to work collaboratively. Because of their work on this project, the Offices of Sustainability, Facilities, and Business & Finance were selcted as a team to receive the "Promise Award for Breaking Down Silos" presented by Agnes Scott College at the annual faculty and staff Holiday Party.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

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