City of Atlanta: Boisfeuillet Jones - Atlanta Civic Center


By revitalizing the Boisfeuillet Jones - Atlanta Civic Center, the City of Atlanta had the opportunity to turn one of its biggest electricity consumers into an energy-efficient showcase facility. The city is expected to save $200,000 per year, or a total of $3.57 million over the 15-year life of the Georgia Sustainable Environmental and Economic Development (SEED) contract.


The Atlanta Civic Center formerly ranked #12 out of almost 750 city accounts in terms of highest consumption of electricity, and #10 for highest electricity costs, excluding the airport. Due to original 1967 air-handling systems and domestic water heating equipment, which were in very poor condition, energy use in the exhibit hall tripled in fiscal year 2009 with annual energy costs of more than $500,000.

As part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, launched in 2011 and led by the city’s Office of Sustainability in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress, Southface and many other local organizations, Atlanta undertook the challenge to make commercial buildings 20% more efficient by 2020, while accelerating private sector investment in energy efficiency projects. The Boisfeuillet Jones - Atlanta Civic Center was the first building to complete the challenge, reducing its energy consumption and improving water efficiency.

Click below to view a video on the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.



Prior to a complete energy overhaul, the Atlanta Civic Center was an all-electric building with electric-resistance heating and domestic hot water. The equipment was unreliable, prone to frequent repairs, and inefficient. While services and equipment upgrades were overdue for the Civic Center, the city also faced capital budget constraints.


Through a partnership between the City of Atlanta and its gas utility, Atlanta Gas Light, the energy enhancements at the Atlanta Civic Center were executed as a design-build-finance project, with no upfront capital outlay required by the city. The project is being paid for through avoided energy, water, and maintenance costs in addition to new revenue resulting from increased utilization of the facility due to the improvements.

One of the key technology achievements at the Atlanta Civic Center was the replacement of older electric equipment with high-efficiency, individual-zone-controlled HVAC systems utilizing both natural gas and electric power. The city also incorporated the following energy-efficiency measures:

  • Building Automation – Installed integrated web-based controls of space temperatures, shutdown/startup, and demand-controlled ventilation.
  • Water Heating – Replaced 1,500 gallon electric water heaters that were more than 40-years old with two state of the art gas condensing water heaters.
  • Lighting – Replaced 3,438 inefficient lamps with lower wattage lamps. Replacement lighting for the auditorium included 18-watt LED screw-in dimmable lights, which are 82% more efficient than the previously installed incandescent lamps. The remaining lighting was replaced with high-efficiency T8 fluorescent fixtures and occupancy sensors were installed to eliminate unnecessary use.


Atlanta’s flagship energy efficiency project created 89 construction jobs. The energy efficiency upgrades at the Atlanta Civic Center will also decrease the city’s carbon footprint by reducing annual CO2 emissions by approximately 2.9 million pounds.


Additional benefits from this showcase project include:

  • New HVAC equipment has eliminated the safety risk for city employees who are no longer required to scale 40-foot high ladders to change the temperature in the exhibit hall and some office spaces.
  • With the growth of the film industry in Georgia, the Civic Center’s exhibit hall has been utilized as a sound stage for several movies and TV series. The energy efficiency improvements are allowing the city to book additional projects without concerns of equipment outages.
  • As a part of its sustainability plan, Power to Change, the city will now use the 45-year old Civic Center as a demonstration project showcasing its commitment to energy efficiency and for public sustainability education.

Finally, the City of Atlanta is considering LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification in the future.


Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2010)
232 kBtu/sq. ft.
Actual (2012)
145 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2010)
Actual (2012)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type

Local Government


Atlanta, Georgia

Project Size

231,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

Project Cost $2.1 Million

Outside view of the Atlanta Civic Center
Outside view of the Atlanta Civic Center

Auditorium with LED lighting
Auditorium with LED lighting