NOTE: Hover over yellow hot spot to see callout.

In addition to meeting the design and construction requirements of a Living Building Challenge certified project, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design must be a fully functional building with all the technology services building users need to perform their daily work and business. One necessary function is audio and visual (AV) services. The rigorous performance requirements presented by the Living Building Challenge create opportunities for Georgia Tech to rethink its approach on AV equipment standards across campus and leverage technology that will minimize the power consumption of typical AV solutions.

Finding an AV Solution

A joint collaboration was led between AV consultants, Newcomb and Boyd, and the Georgia Tech’s Office of Information Technology’s AV Services team. In order to meet the net-positive energy requirements of the building, the team had to literally reduce the amount of equipment necessary to provide core AV functions to the building – less equipment usually means less energy consumption. The solution they developed leverages the networking equipment in the building to provide the AV switching transport capabilities (in lieu of traditional AV switchers) and Power-over-Ethernet (POE) to power a majority of the AV equipment in the building.

The Kendeda Building will use the AMX Harman SVSi product to transmit AV within the rooms and throughout the building. This is a highly scalable and flexible solution that uses encoders and decoders on the Georgia Tech network to transmit AV from any source to any destination. This approach eliminates the limitations that are usually inherent to traditional AV switchers – namely the number of inputs and outputs of the AV switcher. Once inputs/outputs are maxed out, the switcher needs to be replaced if additional sources or display devices are needed.  With the SVSi solution, all that is needed is an available port on the network switch.

Utilizing the AV Solution

This network solution will meet the AV needs of The Kendeda Building users and align with the building’s energy use requirements. Additionally, this approach will utilize the campuswide touch-panel user interface for uniformity and ease of use. Some of the audio requirements will use BIAMP equipment with DANTE (Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet) to transmit audio via the network. Microphones and other audio equipment will leverage DANTE to distribute audio throughout a room or the building.

Most rooms in The Kendeda Building will require users to Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD).  The two classrooms rooms and the auditorium will have fixed computers. Document cameras will be provided, but not connected to the AV system to save energy.  If users need a document camera, they can easily connect it to the HDMI connection in the rooms.  This connection will be available for all HDMI sources, to include but not limited to laptops, document cameras, and tablets.

Laser projectors, manufactured by Sony, are being used in the rooms. These projectors consume less power than standard lamp projectors providing the same lumen output. Approximately 5 years ago, these laser projectors became the standard across campus and there are currently 370 installed on campus. Several rooms will also have built-in cameras and microphones for web-conferencing and lecture capture via the BYOD or the installed computer in the two classrooms and auditorium.

The core of the AV solution will be located in the network closet.  It will comprise of one main AV rack that will manage all the AV solutions for each room.  Since the network closet will be properly conditioned for the networking equipment, it will be an ideal environment for the main AV rack. 

Moving Forward

During the first full year of operation, the team will evaluate the AV solutions and adjust as needed. As The Kendeda Building is transforming how we work, the team plans to take these AV design ideas to the rest of campus in an effort to increase energy efficiency in all of Georgia Tech’s facilities.

Georgia Tech is no stranger to being a leader. From academics to research, making strides and raising the standard is something that Georgia Tech does—we create the next. An area where Georgia Tech has been “creating the next” for years is in our green cleaning practices. Led by the Facilities Management Building Services Associate Director Tommy Little, the Green Cleaning program is innovative and an amazing asset. Both private and public organizations visit Georgia Tech to learn more about our program and how to implement it in their locations. As the name suggests, a green cleaning program would seemingly have a natural fit into the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.

Servicing The Kendeda Building

As a Living Building Challenge certified facility, The Kendeda Building must be maintained in such a way that it does not harm the environment while also maintaining top standards – including cleanliness. Items of consideration include the cleaning products that are used, the cleaning materials that are used (paper towels, toilet tissue, trashcan liners, etc.), and the equipment that is utilized. The Building Services team quickly rose to the challenge of servicing The Kendeda Building. The Georgia Tech Green Cleaning program was a natural fit for this building.

A New Way to Clean

Often when one considers “clean” you think of all germs and pathogens being removed usually at the expense of using of harsh chemicals. These harsh chemicals are just that—harsh. Their use can be detrimental to the staff who use them, to the building user who interact with them, and to the environment.

The philosophy adopted by Georgia Tech Building Services is to clean for the health of the person. This means considering how the substances used impacts everyone. The green cleaning program Georgia Tech Building Services began developing in 2003 cleans in an entirely different way, without the use of harsh chemicals. The latest step in the ongoing program evolution was having the program independently certified by GreenSeal, an internationally recognized third-party certification that verifies every step in the cleaning process to assure the protection of human and environmental health, on-going inspections, waste reduction and more.

The Building Services’ green cleaning program utilizes ionized (or charged) water in combination with different minerals, including salt, to clean surfaces. When the ionized water is mixed with minerals it is doubly tested by staff to ensure it is the proper pH for cleaning. This system is able to clean to a standard and level that far exceeds the use of traditional cleaners such as bleach or degreasers. The results are outstanding—for example, the sanitizer is 80-200 times stronger than bleach with none of the harmful side effects. Additionally, all paper-towels are 100 percent post-recycled content.

Cleaning The Kendeda Building

Every substance, ranging from the building materials to the cleaning solutions, that goes into The Kendeda Building has to be carefully sourced. As part of the certification process, Georgia Tech submitted a list to the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) of all the substances employed in our buildings. ILFI reviewed all of the substances to look for those that would not be suitable to go into the building. The ILFI report found that many of the substances already utilized by Building Services are a natural fit and do not pose any concerns. Despite the overwhelmingly positive findings about the Green Cleaning system, there remained a few challenges for the team. Since everything has to be vetted that comes into the building, the team is in the search for trashcan liners and hand-soaps that will align with the standards shared by the building. They also have to consider the energy usage of the cleaning solutions system, and possibly initiating different training requirements.

Cleaning at Home

As with many techniques being explored with the Living Building Challenge, this special way of cleaning can be incorporated into our own homes. We are all invited to review the “red list” products identified by ILFI to see if anything we bring into our home presents an area for concern. Research will reveal alternatives and different products that we can be substituted to lessen the impact on our health and environment. Additionally, we are invited to look into ionized water home cleaning systems. Small changes can make great impacts!

Links

 

Professors Marc Weissburg and Emily Weigel from the School of Biological Sciences, along with Georgia Tech students, are studying the impact buildings and construction have on biodiversity in the ecosystem.

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The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design will be surrounded by an impressive amount of green space (40,237 square feet) - fitting for a Living Building. Every element of The Kendeda Building’s construction and future operation is challenging Georgia Tech to rethink how things are “always done,” and landscaping maintenance is no exception.  

The Landscape Pilot Project

Per the International Living Future Institute, the organization that manages the Living Building Challenge, to achieve Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification, The Kendeda Building must be designed to operate at a "net-positive energy and water and to maintain the landscape" without using the conventional methods of "pesticides and fertilizer but with native plants only.” To prepare for this element of the Living Building Challenge, a team, led by Georgia Tech Associate Director of Landscape Services and Fleet Services Hyacinth Ide, conducted a 12-month long pilot project to assess:

  • Combustion-free maintenance equipment
  • Weed, disease, and insect control without the use of petrochemical-based products
  • Irrigation from only non-potable water sources
  • Soil moisture monitoring
  • Composting 100 percent of landscape waste

To understand the operational impacts of the certification, grounds located near the site of the Kendeda Building were subdivided into four test plots. Each of the plots were roughly equal in size, though there was some size variation. No special vegetation was brought into the test plots—what was already growing was what was tested. The test plots were surrounded by gravel, and this helped prevent (additional) weeds from migrating to the area.

The variables tested at the different plots were mechanical/hand weeding (weeding using strictly hand tools or just hands), battery-powered tools powered with rechargeable batteries, and the use of an organic herbicide to kill weeds.

The four test plots were maintained with the following, different standards:

  1. Plot 1:  Control (no treatment or maintenance); flora was ornamental grass – 656 sq. ft.
  2. Plot 2:  Mechanical/hand weeding only; flora was ornamental grass – 390 sq. ft.
  3. Plot 3:  Mechanical/hand weeding and battery powered tools only; flora was ornamental grass – 485 sq. ft.
  4. Plot 4:  Mechanical/hand weeding, battery powered tools, organic herbicide (Avenger Organic Weed Killer, an herbicide that uses concentrated citrul oil), and mulch; flora was ornamental grass, shrub, and Ball Cypress Tree – 860 sq. ft.

Additionally, two turf area treatment plots were maintained in the following methods:

  1. Plot 1: Battery powered mower, line trimmer, organic weed control/fertilizer – 480 sq. ft.
  2. Plot 2: Battery powered mower, line trimmer, no weed control, no fertilizer – 480 sq. ft.

Pushing through the Weeds

The intent of the pilot project was for Georgia Tech to develop a plan for how landscape services will operate on The Kendeda Building grounds. Atlanta receives both a lot of sunshine and plenty of rain—these factors combine to create an environment where plants grow quickly. Challenges the team encountered included:

  • The selection of an effective organic herbicide;
  • Staffing time realized when plots were maintained with hand tools versus traditional and battery powered tools; and
  • Equipment failure.

The team discovered that Avenger Organics Weed Killer does not effectively kill weeds. As a result, more hand-weeding will be required, and a much broader variety of local and non-native plants may be able to propagate on the site. “A weed is simply a plant that is not wanted in a specific location. Therefore, at The Kendeda Building, we are going to have to be more accepting of a naturalized landscape, one that may include plants reminiscent of a wild meadow,” explained Ide.

The team also found the battery-powered equipment was not as robust as what the landscaping crew was accustomed to using. The majority of battery-powered landscape equipment was made for personal, residential use and not commercial use. It was also discovered that to use battery-powered equipment, staff must be prepared to have multiple batteries on hand, as the battery-life of the test equipment did not last through the duration of the required tasks. As a result of this pilot program, the Landscape Services Department is requesting to purchase a mobile solar-charging station to charge the electric tools that will be used to maintain the area.

Rethinking our Process and Sharing What we Learned

Robert Paltz, a member of the Landscape team shared, “A challenge is just an opportunity to rethink things.” The findings by the team have influenced decisions for The Kendeda Building landscaping. The most common messages discovered throughout this project are the importance of education and a willingness to rethink how we operate.

The landscaping at The Kendeda Building will look different than other landscaped areas of campus—a situation witnessed at site visits to other Living Buildings. It will be necessary to address landscaping expectations and to educate the Georgia Tech community that the landscaping at The Kendeda Building will look different – by design – than other areas on campus. It cannot be said that one landscaping style is better than another; they are inherently different. Different appearances require different maintenance, and with differences come particular benefits and challenges. One clear benefit from this style of landscaping is that the area will be primed to be richer in wildlife and pollinators, raising the biodiversity on campus.

Operational learnings from the pilots continue to advance. A specialized horticulturist will be brought on to maintain The Kendeda Building site and will be able to not only maintain the area but also to share on-going learnings and educational information to both visitors and other staff members.

Using this Information at Home

The findings of this project can go past The Kendeda Building and into our homes. Ide explained, “Organic and low environmental impact gardening practices are important and should be applied any time it is possible. It is actually easier to maintain a home or personal garden utilizing the above methods than it is to maintain a commercial area.”

A few tips to incorporate as you are planning a more sustainable garden:

  • Plant selection – carefully research and select the plants for your garden, remembering to consider sun-needs, migration tendencies, native plant selection, and maintenance needs.
  • Mulch helps reduce the proliferation of weeds; mulch also needs to be periodically replaced as it breaks down into soil.
  • Remember that you have to be committed to maintaining a landscape in this way ­– consistent and frequent weeding is necessary.

Links:

The Living Building is like any living organism; it must use its resources wisely. Led by Dr. Michael Chang of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems and Dr. Dana Hartley of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, this pilot project for The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design creates an innovative building dashboard system for The Kendeda Building – one that allows building occupants and managers to know in real-time how the building is managing and utilizing its resources.

Ten Georgia Tech undergraduates were selected as the inaugural (2017-2018) class of Sustainable Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF). The undergraduates represent all six colleges at Georgia Tech and were selected from a group of 88 applicants. After being selected, the team was quick to get to work.

A New Direction

A challenge to think differently is a hallmark of The Kendeda Building, and the students rose to the occasion. The SURF team’s first decision was to break out of the confines of “the screen” as the medium for communicating information and knowledge about the fitness and function of the building. The students considered many different ways to convey information and to immerse visitors in the “Living Building experience.” Among the methods the group discussed included using ambient lighting, sound, or color to convey if the building was “happy” or “sad.” Another idea required users to complete an action or participate in a game in order to receive a reward (like energy to power their phones or laptops, or to get a free coffee). The brainstorming time was productive, and the students were left with many ideas to work through.

Having generated many ideas, the SURF team had to pause and develop a set of values by which they could evaluate their ideas. They settled on four values that any system they ultimately produced should adhere to:

  1. It should be sustainable;
  2. It should be inclusive of the whole Living Building community;
  3. It should be educational (and not just entertaining); and
  4. It should accurately report and represent the underlying data/phenomena.

The team was also challenged to develop an overarching theme or narrative that would unite their selected concepts.

Continued Progress

Members of the initial team are continuing to work on the project. One next step includes the development of communications materials (primarily short videos) that help explain who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. Students are also obtaining building data from other buildings that can be used to begin developing a virtual prototype of one or more of their concepts. Finally, the students are proposing a way to capture data directly at the Living Building construction site about the geographic origin of workers, visitors, and materials that come or are brought to the site.

Resources:

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design has the intention of becoming a resource for and model of sustainable design for the Southeast. This necessitated feedback from the community even in the design phase. One way to collect feedback is through crowdsourcing methods. But how do you crowdsource information for a building that has not yet been constructed?

Dr. John E. Taylor, the Frederick Law Olmstead Professor of the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his dynamic research team were charged with creating interactive virtual and augmented reality viewers to collect user information for the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.

Creating an Experience for a Building Not Yet Built

Dr. Taylor and the team quickly identified that there was not necessarily a one-size-fits-all virtual reality platform for crowdsourcing. In response to this observation, they created three different iterations of crowdsourcing platforms. Each of the platforms had their own benefits and challenges.

The three viewers were:

  1. The augmented reality viewer is tied to the user’s GPS location and places users in the building if they are at the building site. Using an iPad or iPhone, users walking around the site see the building superimposed over the camera’s view, as if they are walking through the building. When the building was in the pre-construction stage and still had a colorful parking lot, this was an engaging way to interact with the building. Now that the building is under construction, access to the site is more restricted­–making the augmented reality viewer difficult to deploy to collect user feedback. As users shared feedback about a particular area they could tie their comments to a specific location and identify what Living Building Petal to which their feedback pertains.
  2. A 360-degree viewer allows users to experience 360-degree views of the building and its surroundings from a set of pre-defined locations on the site using a mobile device. Like the augmented reality viewer, as users share feedback about a particular area, they can tie their comments to a specific location and identify the Petal to which their feedback pertains.
  3. A full immersion virtual reality viewer enables users to experience and walk through the building and the site surrounding the building before it is built with no limitations imposed by construction on the actual site nor limitations on what parts of the building or site they may visit. Participants can even experience the building in different weather conditions, and the full immersion experience gives people the opportunity to interact with the building before it is built. The full immersion program requires a VR headset.

 

A Popular Response to Finding a Meaningful Experience

As mentioned above, one of the early obstacles overcome by Dr. Taylor and his research team was the realization that there was not one virtual reality platform that optimally meets every feedback requirement. This suite of virtual reality experiences allowed for project stakeholders to collect more community information and feedback. As the purpose of the reality viewers is to capture community feedback, it is beneficial to tailor the viewer to the specific type of feedback desired to help ensure a meaningful user experience. The system also collects demographic information from the users. This is an important feature as the Living Building team works to ensure that diverse feedback is collected - and, if feedback is implemented, design changes are equitable for all.

An additional challenge encountered by Dr. Taylor and the team has been the extremely positive reaction from the community! He and his team have been very busy trying to fulfill the various request to present their technology to individuals and groups across campus and the greater Atlanta community.

Next steps for the project include developing methods to analyze the data, analyzing the data and experiential information collected thus far, and then publishing what they have learned about the best platforms to crowdsource design feedback.

Resources:

 

One of the seven petals of the Living Building Challenge, the fulfillment of the Equity Petal requires a demonstration that the building supports a just and equitable world. The Equity Petal defines this as “a society that embraces all sectors of humanity and allows the dignity of equal access and fair treatment is a civilization in the best position to make decisions that protect and restore the natural environment that sustains all of us.” To bring a student voice and perspective to this petal's challenge, a diverse mix of undergraduate and graduate students from disciplines across the campus were selected to form the Living Building Equity Champions (LBECs). This group was charged with fully engaging in the development and realization of the Equity Petal of The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. This group was led by Georgia Tech Institute Diversity’s Dr. Keona Lewis, Program Review and Research Manager, and Atira Rochester, Corporate Relations Manager, and supported by the Academic and Research Council and Serve-Learn-Sustain.  

The LBECs were exposed to relevant experiences and brought an invaluable perspective to the table. They attended numerous discussions and opportunities to expand their understanding of and exposure to the Atlanta community. They took the opportunity to represent at targeted-minority events and gain exposure to groups who are not well represented at Georgia Tech. From these experiences, the LBECs were able to bring a more comprehensive perspective to equity discussions. The champions could speak for and represent groups not typically represented.

Experiences of an LBEC

Challenges presented to LBECs included:

  • Providing input and feedback to the design and development of The Kendeda Building;
  • Engaging current students in the Kendeda Building’s equity, sustainability, and diversity efforts; and
  • Connecting The Kendeda Building with the greater Atlanta community, particularly K-12 students.

The group quickly found that compared to the other petals (Place, Energy, Water, Materials, Health & Happiness, and Beauty), it was often difficult to generate conversation and initiate efforts around the Equity Petal. Pushing past this challenge meant the Champions had to work to ensure their voices were heard just as loudly as those discussing The Kendeda Building’s water or energy usage. The experiences of the LBECs also generated conversations with tough questions and tough answers. These real answers have been powerful in both explaining and working towards a more equitable building and Georgia Tech.

The group of LBECs were challenged to continually expand their perspective and to engage with the Equity Petal at a deeper level. This group pushed The Kendeda Building team to realize how important it was to have student’s voices in the conversation. The group realized that coming to the table with less information than others had on the project was a disadvantage. Champions had to be taught the information to be able to be active participants in the conversation.

What the Champions Realized

The champions are influencing The Kendeda Building for the better by positively impacting our conversations about the Equity Petal of The Living Building Challenge. The champion’s presence and efforts highlights the importance an individual’s presence can make and that a student’s time in college is a very individualized experience. This individual experience can cause students to inadvertently be unaware of unequitable conditions at Tech and in the community. Equity is an issue that pertains to every individual, and greater awareness can spark positive change.

While the LBECs are influencing the design for the better, they too are benefiting from the experience. Their understanding of equity has been elevated to a higher and more empowering level. And the team has come to truly appreciate the importance of having a seat at the table and being an informed voice in a sea of voices. The Kendeda Building will help facilitate crucial conversations like these in the Equity realm.

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design will have an impact far greater than the Georgia Tech community—it is meant to transform the entire Southeastern United States. One way to impact our region, and in particular our state, is to engage with K-12 schools. These students are the next generation of thinkers and doers who will one day be responsible for upholding the principles of the Living Building Challenge. Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing's (CEISMC) Sabrina Grossman, Program Director in Science Education, and Mike Helms, CEISMC Research Scientist worked with Amanda Reding, a participant in the GIFT Program, to create an outreach curriculum pertaining to The Kendeda Building. This curriculum connects the State of Georgia’s teaching standards directly with biologically-inspired elements of the Living Building Challenge to help guide students’ understanding of how nature and science can help solve the many challenges of achieving Living Building Challenge certification. By state standards into the lessons, this curriculum provides an easily accessible path for students across Georgia to “visit” the building without ever leaving their classroom.

Overcoming Obstacles
Elementary, middle, and high school teachers are faced with rigorous, state-mandated grade-level teaching requirements that they have to fulfill on an expedited time-table. This requirement makes it a challenge for educators to adopt a special lesson plan unless it directly connects with their mandated teaching requirements. Knowing this, Sabrina, Mike, and Amanda sifted through the volume of content pertaining to the Living Building Challenge and found connections to the state curriculum mandates.  The connections forged between the Living Building Challenge requirements and state requirements demonstrated the presence of the inherent biology and nature within The Kendeda Building.

Making The Kendeda Building Accessible to Students
One petal of the Living Building Challenge is Equity, and included within Equity is accessibility – or rather the ability for all to engage with and enjoy the building. The Kendeda Building is not only meant for Georgia Tech but for the entire Southeast. The classroom content produced by CEISMC, in keeping with the Equity Petal accessibility requirement, needed to be available to students across the state of Georgia. The lesson plans and materials will be free of charge to any teacher and accessible through the internet. Additionally, John Thornton, Academic Professional and Coordinator of the Video Production Lab in the College of Ivan Allen, is creating video content that will feature the building and provide an additional element of being able to “visit” the building from afar. Another tool being designed within the School of Industrial and System Engineering are cards that demonstrate the biologically-inspired building blocks of the building. These cards will be an additional visualization tool to engage students.

The first iteration of the curriculum “Animals in Action” – written for the 7th grade –  is currently being tested with plans to adapt the curriculum for 6th and 8th grade students. Eventually all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade will have a one-week long science lesson plan that directly connects grade level curriculum to the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.

Because these materials are available for teachers state-wide, students in rural Georgia who may never have the opportunity to travel to Atlanta will still be able to “visit” and engage with the Kendeda building!  

November 2 marked the beginning of the construction phase of The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. Formerly referred to as the Living Building at Georgia Tech, the project is on track to become the first Living Building Challenge 3.1-certified facility of its size and function in the Southeast.

The building launch took place at the northwest corner of Ferst Drive and State Street and featured representatives from Georgia Tech and The Kendeda Fund, the project’s philanthropic donor. Play video.

Auditorium

The educational opportunities are not limited to the classrooms and makerspace. As part of its mission to serve as a public forum for educational activities, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design also features an auditorium that will seat 170 persons.

As with other programmable areas in The Kendeda Building, the auditorium will support flexible use of space. The structural system will consist of mixture of wood, concrete and steel. Wood is a preferred material due to its aesthetics, low carbon footprint, and regional availability — all of which are important variables to Living Building Challenge certification. While steel and concrete won’t be eliminated entirely, these materials will only be used strategically where needed for structural support.

The design team has also taken great strides to incorporate salvaged materials (including granite, slate, and wood) from recent construction projects on campus.

Offices

Offices on the first floor support the academic and research activities conducted in The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. In addition to a building manager and administrative support, the building will also house the faculty teaching in the building during the semester. Courses taught in the Living Building will be alternated throughout the academic year to maximize exposure to the student community. As temporary occupants of the building, faculty will reserve their office space on an as needed-bases. This “hoteling” concept has become popular in the past two decades as a means to accommodate the ever-increasingly dynamic and mobile workforce.

The office space configuration will incorporate an open floor plan to support flexible use of space. As with the lobby and outdoor programmable area, seating will consist of a mix of fixed and movable furniture to enable the occupants to maximize the use of space. 

Makerspace

Makerspaces are becoming increasingly popular on Georgia Tech’s campus as students receive hands-on experiential learning opportunities to build and test the concepts they have designed in the classroom. Notably, Georgia Tech’s student-run Invention Studio dates back to 2009 when a group of Capstone Design students gathered to run a facility and provide prototyping instruction to other students in exchange for 24-hour access to the facility. Today, this 4,500 square foot makerspace is open to students, faculty and staff across campus and houses more than $1 million in tools and equipment.

To accommodate the demand, other makerspace concepts are springing up on campus. The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering (AE) Aero Maker Space  opened in late 2016 and houses laser-cutters and 3D printers for AE students. 

 
Class Labs

Much like the classrooms, the 24-person class labs are designed to foster active learning by using The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design as a teaching tool. Due to the requirement for the building to be net-positive energy, power operated equipment will be very limited. Proposed programs are being developed to support the goals and learning outcomes of the Living Building Challenge.

The class labs will be located on the first and second floors and can be accessed via the central collaborative commons space.

Classrooms

Designed to function as a true living, learning laboratory, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design will help educate and transform future generations of thinkers and doers to not only create a more sustainable environment, but one that actually gives back and improves the environment. The Kendeda Building will feature two 75-person classrooms to provide hands-on educational and learning opportunities. Classrooms will be located on the second floor and can be accessed via the centrally located collaborative commons space. ­­­­­

As of fall 2017, several multidisciplinary curriculum proposals from across campus are being evaluated. Many of these classes will also leverage the instructional laboratories and makerspace located in The Kendeda Building. The flexible, open space will enable students and faculty to engage in problem based learning exercises that will explore and teach the principles of sustainability.   

Porch

No southern dwelling would be complete without its porch, and The Kendeda Building for Sustainable Design is no exception. Shaded by the PV canopy above, the porch of the building bridges the physical building to the surrounding landscape – eventually connecting and integrating with the proposed campus eco-commons.  

The porch also serves as a point of entry to the building, accessible by all through several entry points.

The outdoor porch area (2,618 square feet) houses several functional systems designed specifically to assist in the management of stormwater. Following the natural moderate slope from north to south, the porch terraces, or steps down, at appropriate elevations. This geometry accommodates cascading porch areas that support substantial volume storage underneath the permeable pavers. Unlike a traditional stormwater management approach that concentrates water storage in a single area, this method of managing rainwater relies upon dispersed locations along the sloped site in order to leverage gravity to assist in controlling the flow of water. 

Edible Landscape

The landscape surrounding The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design must navigate competing performance demands for rain water management, passive building cooling, tree protection, healthy ecology, and urban agriculture, while providing adequate space for human occupancy and year-round seasonal character.

Given The Kendeda Building’s anticipated building density or floor-to-area-ratio (FAR), 20 percent of the project area, or approximately 12,600 square feet, will be dedicated to fostering a healthy, accessible food system.

The bulk of the urban agriculture area requirement will be met with a 5,350 square foot shade-to-partial shade edible ground landscape. Trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that produce edibles, accompanied by informative signage, will encourage students, staff, and visitors to pick and eat tree fruit and berries year-round. This landscape will also work seamlessly with the landscape’s adjacent, proposed mesic woodland and seepage wetland zones to manage stormwater runoff from the site’s pavement. Additionally, this type of production requires far less sunlight and maintenance than intensive agriculture and can thrive within a sloped, shaded landscape.

Roof Garden

Like most spaces in The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, the rooftop garden will serve many purposes and help contribute to the building’s performance. The 5,347 square foot rooftop garden will consist of a honeybee apiary, pollinator garden, and blueberry orchard. These elements will help satisfy a portion of the Living Building Challenge’s Urban Agriculture Petal requirement while simultaneously offering valuable curriculum and research opportunities.

Of the rooftop’s total square footage, 1,000 square feet will be public space. This unique space will also assist in reconnecting students, faculty, and visitors with their food system by modeling a sustainable and productive infrastructure that supports pollinators and pollinator habitat conservation awareness.

Functionally, the rooftop garden will contain rainwater catchments to help manage stormwater runoff, while shade provided by the photovoltaic canopy will help mitigate the urban heat island effect.

 

Rainwater and Greywater Treatment Equipment

Achieving net positive water is one of the major imperatives of Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification. The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design will collect­ – and appropriately treat – the water that it collects on site in order to provide the water needed for irrigation, potable water (i.e. safe to drink), and the small amount of water needed for the composting toilettes. 

To achieve net positive water, the following strategies are planned to collect and recycle both rainwater and greywater (waste water from sinks and showers) on site.  

Harvest and treat rooftop rainwater to supply all potable demands for the building.

  • Rainwater from approximately 18,000 SF of rooftop will be filtered and disinfected. A 50,000 gallon cistern stores water to overcome drought and provide water resiliency.
  • The cistern system harvests approximately 41% of the annual rooftop runoff; the balance is managed on site.

Manage waste water on site by using a greywater treatment system and composting toilets.

  • Greywater and condensate will be used to supply the majority of irrigation demand on the site. Any makeup needed can be drawn from the cistern provided that water is available.
  • Finished compost and compost tea (leachate) will be periodically removed and used onsite, on campus, or in a regional facility that produces beneficial byproducts (compost, fertilizer).

Provide onsite filtration of stormwater.

  • Overflows from the rainwater and condensate systems will join stormwater management systems on the site.
  • Approximately 59% of the annual rooftop runoff will overflow from the cistern to onsite stormwater systems.
Rainwater Cistern

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design must collect more water than it consumes on an annual basis to function as a net positive water facility – one of the many requirements to achieve Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification. Due to the humid and rainy conditions in the Southeast (Atlanta receives a level of rainfall every year that is on par with Seattle), the building is expected to harvest 460,000 gallons of water a year. To hold all this water, the building will house a 50,000-gallon cistern in the basement of the building. 

Like all living things, the cistern will need to replenish itself and will do so by collecting rainwater from the roof.  Overflow for the system is designed to work with the natural slope of the topography to most effectively manage the volume and rate of water flowing throughout the site. These systems include a stormwater raingarden and trickle filter under the porch plaza as well as a series of constructed wetlands and edible landscape areas with subsurface infiltration. In addition, there will be rainwater catchments on the roof of the building to collect stormwater before it reaches the ground. 

Interior Floor

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Entrance from Ferst Drive

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Clerestory Windows

Dating back to early Christine Byzantine architecture, clerestory windows are popular for their ability to unobtrusively deliver natural light to large interior spaces. In The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, clerestory windows will be installed at the roof of the two-story atrium to provide ample daylight and natural ventilation to the open space below. Considered a rather simple design technique, these windows will help reduce the need for electrically-powered artificial lighting and air conditioning which will greatly contribute to the building’s net positive energy requirement. 

Photovoltaic Canopy

To achieve Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design must function at net positive energy – meaning it must harvest more energy (in this case via photovoltaic panels) than it consumes. Like all living things, The Kendeda Building will need to “sleep” in order to restore its energy reserves. Currently, the plans are to make the building available for occupancy a total of 16 hours a day with variable access after 5 p.m. 

Based upon this rate of occupancy and a variety of interconnected variables, the building’s Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is expected to be 34, which is 66 percent more efficient that your average building of the same size and occupancy. While this certainly helps contribute to the net positive energy goals for the building, any variation that impacts the intake or output of energy will alter the building’s performance.       

The solar array capacity on the Living Building at Georgia Tech will need to produce 367,000 kWh (approximately) based on the targeted 34 EUI.

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The Living Building at Georgia Tech has reached a major milestone, with the approval of the schematic design. Approved by Georgia Tech’s Planning and Design Commission in December, the schematic design essentially provides a working blueprint for what is anticipated to be the most environmentally advanced research and educational building ever constructed in the Southeast. Read More

The Living Building at Georgia Tech crosses an end-of-the-year threshold Wednesday as the building’s architects present their proposed schematic design to the university’s Planning and Design Commission. Read More

Start Schematic Design Phase

Sept 2016  

Since last fall, when the notion of developing a Living Building on Georgia Tech’s campus became a reality, there has been a flurry of planning activities that have involved a variety of stakeholders on campus and beyond to help ensure the success of this transformative project. Read More

The Georgia Institute of Technology has received a commitment for $30 million from The Kendeda Fund to build what is expected to become the most environmentally advanced education and research building ever constructed in the Southeast. The investment represents The Kendeda Fund’s largest single grant and ranks among the largest capital gifts ever received by Georgia Tech. Read More

The Georgia Institute of Technology has selected the team of Lord Aeck Sargent and The Miller Hull Partnership to design the Institute’s Living Building Challenge 3.0 project. The final team was selected after three teams participated in an ideas competition to explore all the possibilities and challenges of designing this certified project, set to be constructed on the Georgia Tech campus beginning in 2017. Read More

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a leading research university committed to improving the human condition through advanced science and technology.

student life at georgia techRanked as the #7 best public university, Georgia Tech provides a focused, technologically based education to more than 21,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Georgia Tech has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike, and is ranked in the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Degrees are offered through the colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

The strong academic work ethic at Tech is balanced by a collegiate atmosphere incorporating both intercollegiate and intramural sports, campus traditions, and some 400 student organizations.

Alongside their academic achievements, Tech students are also active in the community, earning a well-rounded education through community service activities.

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