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The Atlanta BeltLine

Where Atlanta Comes Together. Learn more

Green Materials, Design and Construction

Building for a Greener Future

The Atlanta BeltLine will provide extraordinary new opportunities for commercial and residential development within the corridor. These new projects will help usher in a new pattern of smart growth and development for the City of Atlanta. As they are built, these projects will be required to follow very clear guidelines in the use of green materials, energy-efficient designs, and construction practices that make minimal environmental impact.

Atlanta BeltLine Guidelines

  1. Compliance with the Atlanta BeltLine Typologies is required to ensure consistent and uniform approach to design and construction
  2. Materials for the Atlanta BeltLine corridor should be selected through a lifecycle analysis, considering the ecological footprint of the material from cradle-to-grave
  3. The Atlanta BeltLine shall use and upgrade existing infrastructure within the corridor, to the extent possible.
  4. Ninety-percent or more of Atlanta BeltLine corridor materials must be regionally sourced, in compliance with SSI, Credit 5.7.
  5. All wood used within the corridor must be come from non-threatened tree species, in compliance with SSI, Prerequisite 5.1.
  6. Any enclosed facilities designed to meet one higher LEED standard than City ordinance requires1
  7. All construction activities must comply with SSI Construction Prerequisites 7.1 and 7.2.

Integrated Sustainability

The Atlanta BeltLine Sustainability Guidelines require compliance with portions of LEED™-NC and Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI) green landscape guidelines to ensure that the Atlanta BeltLine corridor will be built with green materials, using best practices available in green construction. Selection of materials for the Atlanta BeltLine Corridor is driven by life cycle assessment, which takes into account the cumulative impact of the material to the environment during manufacture, distribution, installation, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. Locally sourced and manufactured materials and materials with recycled content and that are recyclable are given precedence.

Durability and ease-of-maintenance (See Green Operations & Maintenance) is another major consideration for materials selection. The Atlanta BeltLine trails, for example, will be constructed with durable concrete, specified to contain recycled flying ash. Crosswalks, plazas and walls will be built using locally sourced granite. Plantings and landscape materials will be locally sourced. The Atlanta BeltLine typologies presented in this document are the product of an integrated design. Sustainability considerations ranging from material selection to community health and wellbeing are weighed, along with program goals and physical and economical constraints, during an iterative and interdisciplinary design process. Transit Stations, for example, feature a modular architecture that allows each station to be easily adapted to its context. The design consolidates program elements into the least amount of parts, minimizing material use. The windscreen, for example, doubles as a public-art element while the station canopy serves to generate solar energy.

Environmental Issues Addressed

  • Locally Sourced and Manufactured Materials
  • Recycled Content in Materials
  • Recyclable Materials
  • Modular and Flexible Design
  • Construction Pollution Reduction
  • LEED™ Certification

Other Environmental Issues

  • Site Selection (N/A for Atlanta BeltLine corridor)
  • Certified Wood Products (N/A)
  • Performance Monitoring

Related Metrics

The Sustainable Sites Initiative 2.1. Conduct a pre-design site assessment and explore opportunities for site sustainability* 2.2. Use an integrated site development process* 5.1. Eliminate the use of wood from threatened tree species* 5.3. Design for deconstruction and disassembly 5.4. Reuse salvaged materials and plants 5.5. Use recycled content materials 5.6. Use certified wood 5.7. Use regional materials 5.8. Use adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings with reduced VOC emissions 5.9. Support sustainable processes in plant production 5.10. Support sustainable practices in materials manufacturing 7.1. Control and retain construction pollutants* 7.4. Divert construction and demolition materials from disposal 7.5. Reuse or recycle vegetation, rocks and soil generated during 7.6. Minimize generation of greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to localized air pollutants during construction 9.1. Monitor performance of sustainable design practices

Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)

GIB Prereq. 4. Construction Activity Pollution Prevention GIB Credit 6. Existing Building Reuse GIB Credit 7. Minimized Site Disturbance in Design and Construction GIB Credit 15. Recycled Content