Georgia Tech Designs First Living Building in Georgia

This write-up was originally posted on the Kendeda Fund’s website.

Visit the project’s blog to learn more about the design of Georgia Tech’s new Living education and research building as it finishes design development and prepares to break ground next week.

The Kendeda Fund and the Georgia Institute of Technology are collaborating on a landmark project.

We aim to create the most environmentally advanced education and research building on a college campus in the Southeast. And we’re leveraging our enterprise to guide others across the region toward more sustainable materials and processes.

In September 2015, Georgia Tech and Kendeda announced plans to design and construct the first building in Georgia certified under the Living Building Challenge — the world’s most rigorous green-building certification standard. Kendeda is funding the entire project with its largest single grant ever: $25 million for design and construction, and another $5 million for support activities. We expect to complete the building in 2019.

To do the work, Tech has assembled a highly qualified set of design and construction partners, many of whom already are experienced with the Living Building Challenge. Among them are the architectural team of Lord Aeck Sargent of Atlanta and The Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle, and the construction manager, Skanska USA. Together with various subcontractors and leading-edge Georgia Tech researchers, team members already are collaborating on the building’s design.

Meanwhile, both Kendeda and Tech are committed to leveraging our project to spread the word about advanced green building in our region. We want to educate property owners, architects, engineers and contractors, as they address environmental challenges facing the Southeast’s building sector.

This blog is one of those leverage activities. We’ll chronicle the story of Georgia Tech’s Living Building from Kendeda’s point of view; those articles will take form as an ongoing narrative in the site’s Building Chronicle category.

At the same time, we’ll be reporting journalistically about other environmentally regenerative projects in the Southeast and beyond. These articles — which appear in our Regenerative News section — will cover materials, design, construction and public affairs that affect the drive toward advanced building.

The lead writer for the site is Ken Edelstein, a longtime Atlanta journalist who specializes in communicating about sustainable infrastructure. Other team members will contribute from time-to-time.