The Georgia Institute of Technology has dedicated a new building on its Atlanta campus that it says is one of the most sustainable facilities in the Southeast.
The university describes the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design as regenerative.
“The time for doing less harm is gone,” says Shan Arora, director of The Kendeda Building. “We need to have buildings that provide more than they take.”
That building is designed to generate more on-site electricity than it consumes, and collect and harvest more water than it uses. During construction, the building diverted more waste from landfills than it sent to them.
“The Kendeda Building is an incredible and beautiful example of sustainable design, integration with nature, human inclusion and well-being," says Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. "It is the most sustainable building of its kind in the Southeast.”
In 2015, The Kendeda Fund committed $25 million for Georgia Tech to design and build a living building on campus in an effort to prove a regenerative building was practical even in the Southeast’s heat and humidity. An additional $5 million will support programming activities once the building is certified.
The Kendeda Building is the first academic and research building in the Southeast designed to be certified as a living building by the International Living Future Institute. Over the next 12 months, it will have to prove its bona fides to earn Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification, by delivering on its promise to be self-sufficient, healthful, and beautiful while connecting people to light, air, food, nature, and community.
One of the first steps in that effort is getting the on-site water treatment system certified by state environmental regulators. It will be the first rainwater-to-drinking-water system in a commercial building in this part of the country. Arora says that means the project is breaking more new ground for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
“We are teaching and learning together, the regulator and the regulated,” he says.
The architects are architects Lord Aeck Sargent and The Miller Hull Partnership, and the general contractor is Skanska.
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