Already recognized nationally for its downtown renaissance and the redevelopment of its riverfront, Chattanooga is now taking a leading role on the environmental edge. Sustainability is a key concept for industry and government working together for enlightened development in the city.
Downtown living is one area in which local builders, designers and homebuyers are making great strides to embrace green principles with both new and restored homes and buildings.
"It's all about breaking out of the norm," explains Ethan Collier, president and CEO of Collier Construction. For Collier, that means building green, investing in philanthropy, building relationships and modeling the company around innovative and ethical business strategies. "We have distinguished ourselves by pioneering sustainable building practices."
Collier, who became Chattanooga's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-accredited residential builder in October, has helped lead the charge for better buildings with a range of downtown projects, including the construction of Tennessee's first LEED-certified Habitat for Humanity House located on the corner of Market and Main streets.
"As mayor, it is important to me to make sure Chattanooga is on the forefront of innovative environmental practices, initiatives, and programs," says Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield. "Collier Construction Company is helping to not only construct better homes, but create a stronger, greener tomorrow for both our city and its residents."
Sustainable design is no new idea at Artech, either. The local design firm has long been committed to bringing the most current green practices to the built environment through sustainable architecture and interior design.
Whether it's a redeveloped urban loft project which features salvaged materials inherent to the structure, or a new school with day-lighting controls and clerestory day-lighting for interior spaces, Artech understands the importance of thinking green within any developing project design.
Artech has most recently registered a multi-screen theater for LEED certification. This project is currently under construction in downtown Chattanooga and will be the first of its kind in the United States.
Many of downtown Chattanooga's older buildings are making their way back with careful attention to historic details and an affinity for reclaiming parts of the their storied past.
Recently opened on Market Street, The Terminal Brew- House is a shining four-story example of fusing the city's past and present. The building, originally opened in 1909, keeps its 100-year-old charm intact, combining features like hand-hewn tables from reclaimed pocket doors to cutting edge technology like waterless urinals and other energy- and water-efficient products.
"The Terminal BrewHouse is a locally owned and operated business. As such, we go to great lengths and expense to utilize local products and services whenever available," says co-owner Ryan Chilcoat. "It is our goal to be a contributing member of our neighborhood and city for years to come. In order to achieve this goal, we have instituted many green practices and initiatives."