City of Atlanta
Energy Efficiency Education and Interventions in Thomasville Heights
This community-research project will employ innovative diagnostic techniques that hold promise for achieving significant cost savings compared to traditional building energy auditing practices in the Thomasville Heights community in the City of Atlanta. Partners from Georgia Tech, Morehouse School of Medicine, and non-profit Focused Community Strategies will work together to advance the project. By analyzing the building envelope exterior, using drones equipped with remote sensing instruments, this method is also minimally invasive, avoiding much of the labor-intensive inspection of the home interior that is typically required during the energy audit phase. In this sense, it holds promise for overcoming homeowner hesitancy during the marketing and recruitment phase of weatherization programs. Scalability is a key asset of the proposed project, with the goal that the program be replicated in distressed neighborhoods throughout the city. The project is especially timely in the Thomasville community, where ongoing challenges such as acute unemployment and poverty will soon be compounded by the closure of a long-neglected subsidized housing project and the significant population loss that it entails.