Georgia Tech Dedicates the Most Sustainable Building of Its Kind in the Southeast


The Georgia Institute of Technology dedicated a new building Oct. 24 that rewrites the rules for sustainability in the Southeast.

In fact, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design isn’t really sustainable at all; more accurately, the newest building on the Atlanta campus is regenerative. And it has reimagined from the ground up what a campus building can be.

“The time for doing less harm is gone,” said Shan Arora, director of The Kendeda Building. “We need to have buildings that provide more than they take.”

That broad guiding principle has produced a building that will, each year, 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. It is the most sustainable building of its kind in the Southeast,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “Thanks to our partnership with the Kendeda Fund, it will inspire architects, civil engineers, business and policy leaders for generations to come.”

In 2015, The Kendeda Fund committed $25 million for Georgia Tech to design and build a living building on campus in an effort 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, delivering on its promise to be self-sufficient, healthy, and beautiful while connecting people to light, air, food, nature, and community.

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