The Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens are delighted to announce a partnership with Georgia-Pacific
Mimosa Hall, a Greek Revival mansion built in 1841, the Centerpiece of the Mimosa Hall & Gardens property in Roswell, Georgia will be getting a solar roof later this year. “We’re overjoyed about this,” said Mike Harris, president of the Friends of Mimosa board. “The roof is being funded by dozens of donations from local families and organizations and in large part by an anonymous donation of $50,000 and a generous $25,000 donation from Georgia-Pacific. We couldn’t do it without these community partners.” Georgia-Pacific in particular stepped forward in support of the Solar Roof and the Community engagement programming which reflect the companies’ core principles: Education, Environment and Community Enrichment.
The Solar Roof which will be made up of Eighty translucent thin-film photovoltaic panels, about the thickness of a credit card, will be laminated onto a new metal standing seam roof. These lightweight panels are expected to generate approximately 103% of the hall’s electricity and help power its domestic hot water. Because the house will produce more energy than it consumes, The Friends of Mimosa will seek official Net Zero status under the Living Building Challenge once construction is complete, making Mimosa Hall the oldest house with Net Zero designation in the United States. Currently, the oldest Net Zero designated property in the United States is the 1901 Mission Zero House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mimosa Hall not only predates the Mission Zero House by some seventy years, but it is much bigger; at 1500 square feet, Mission Zero consumes approximately 8700 kilowatt hours per year, while at 6300 square feet, Mimosa is estimated to consume around 29,000 kilowatt hours. The solar panels have a 10/25-year warranty against power loss and will save the City of Roswell around $5000 annually on energy bills.
The Friends group presented the concept of a Solar Roof to the City of Roswell in 2018 and received unanimous approval. The total cost of the project was over $147,000. In 2018, when Friends of Mimosa first proposed and received approval for the project, the City of Roswell earmarked $35,990 for the project. Since then, Friends of Mimosa has fundraised for the additional cost. The group received an anonymous donation earlier this year that covered the majority of the fundraising needed for the roof. This grant from Georgia-Pacific covers the remaining amount. Cadmus Construction, a Roswell-based environmental design company, donated the design and some of the components and will oversee the installation. “Roswell has always been in the forefront when it comes to protecting the environment and preserving our historic assets. So, we could not be happier about this project,” said Mayor Lori Henry. “I’m excited that Roswell will soon be home to the country’s oldest Net Zero home.”
Mimosa Hall was built for John Dunwody, one of the founders of Roswell in 1839-1841. In 1918, renowned Atlanta architect J. Neel Reid (1885-1926) bought the home and made substantial changes to house and the grounds. He transformed 5 of the acres into formal gardens. Of the 15 garden rooms Reid created on the property, 13 survive today. In 2018, Friends of Mimosa received a grant from the Garden Club of Georgia to restore one of the gardens.
Friends of Mimosa Hall & Gardens is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to championing the sustainable preservation of Mimosa Hall. The Friends group formed in 2017 to help the City with the interpretation, restoration, and maintenance of the property. The City of Roswell purchased Mimosa and the 9-acre property the same year. The Department of Recreation, Parks, Historic, and Cultural Affairs oversees the property and has been renovating the interior of the mansion in preparation for a public opening. The grounds officially opened to the public in April 2019. Once the renovation is complete, Mimosa Hall & Gardens will be used as a public gathering place for educational events, recreational activities, corporate programs, and entertainment. To follow this exciting project, visit friendsofmimosa.org.