2022 Annual Report

Some members of the Kendeda Building design, construction, and operation teams at Reclaiming for our Future | A Celebration of LBCs at The Kendeda Building in October, 2022.

What a year! As the COVID pandemic waned, society cautiously returned to a new normal. The Kendeda Building bustled with activity and lived its mission to inspire change in the building industry. Hundreds of Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff used it as an educational hub every day during the academic semesters. Thousands of visitors were inspired by the space through tours and events. Yet, despite the increase in demand, the building continued to be over 200% net-positive energy! 

Championing innovation is a core Georgia Tech value. For all of 2022, The Kendeda Building was home to one of the most innovative projects in the world: Georgia Tech's experimental Generation II Reinvented Toilet. Here, this revolutionary toilet was tested, refined, and hopefully prepared for commercialization. The decommissioned prototype of the toilet continues to be showcased in the building.

Georgia Tech and our partners also continued to receive many honors for The Kendeda Building. In February we won a prestigious National AIA Honor Award for Architecture, showcasing the alignment of high sustainability and beautiful design. Other 2022 awards include:

While we are honored by these accolades, the best award is seeing The Kendeda Building fulfill its mission to be a catalyst for change in our region and beyond. Below is a review of how Georgia Tech advanced this mission during 2022.

Generation II Reinvented Toilet

Dr. Shannon Yee, Associate Professor at the G.W.W. School of Mechanical Engineering, leads an international team that is committed to dramatically reducing the ecological, social, and health impacts of sanitation (or lack thereof).

2022 Chrysalis Awards

Members of The Kendeda Building Design Team at the USGBC Georgia 2022 Chrysalis Awards.

Generation II Reinvented Toilet

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue and Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera visit The Kendeda Building to view the Generation II Reinvented Toilet.

2022 Energy Matters

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols presents the 2022 Energy Matters Award to The Kendeda Building.

2022 Water and Energy

The Kendeda Building was easily net positive for water and energy during 2022. The building supplied and infiltrated more water than it used. It supplied a whopping 227% of its energy needs via onsite solar, far exceeding the 105% Living Building Challenge requirement.

This year and in all prior years, The Kendeda Building has remained net positive in energy and water use. Key features aiding in performance include foam flush toilets that use less than a tablespoon of water per flush, as well as passive design and a tight air seal that makes the building 80% more energy efficient than a comparable new, conventionally built higher education building in Atlanta.

2022 Student Engagement

Students are our top priority. Therefore, we had robust engagement with Georgia Tech students, students from other colleges and universities, as well as K-12 students throughout the year. 

Kendeda Building Fellows Program

Our inaugural group of Fellows entered their second year with the program. They gained deeper knowledge of the Living Building Challenge, gave tours to 835 attendees, managed our Revolving Closet, and assisted with many events.

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Imagine a scenario in which a pathogen turns humans into zombies. The Kendeda Building is ready to become a place of refuge for the uninfected humans! Now replace zombie apocalypse with hurricane, tornado, flood, or any other disaster that knocks out power and water for a protracted period. Regenerative infrastructure is resilient infrastructure.

To drive home this point while having fun, on October 30 we taught students how to survive the zombie apocalypse in a Living Building! The event began with a Zombie themed tour showcasing the building's resilient features followed by a vegan meal showcasing edible plants native to the region. After the tour and meal, guests joined one of the three pre-selected workshops about survival skills: canning / picking; foraging and herbal tea making; and green homemade cleaners. Watch the video we prepared about the event: 

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The Kendeda Building is exemplary in terms of sustainable urban farming and landscape management. Steve Place, our master horticulturist, is constantly envisioning creative avenues for engagement. During 2022, students volunteered over 1,000 collective hours for:

  • Planning, planting, and managing multiple harvests on our rooftop garden
  • Pulling invasive ivy in the areas around The Kendeda Building and EcoCommons
  • Managing other gardens across campus

We received consistent support from students through partnerships with Students Organizing for Sustainability, the Bioengineering and Bioscience Unified Graduate Students, and GT Trailblazers.

2022 Rooftop Garden Lunch

Volunteer luncheon celebrating the start of the spring 2022 planting season.

Bio-Inspired Makerspace

It was always envisioned that The Kendeda Building would host a makerspace. In 2022, we finally made it happen! Kendeda Building staff worked with the Colleges of Design, Engineering, and Biology, the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, and the student-led Invention Studio to secure funding, purchase hardware, and staff the Bio-Inspired Makerspace.  

This makerspace furthers four Living Building goals:

  1. Taking inspiration from nature
  2. Recycling used models into new filament
  3. Operating with lower energy consumption
  4. Serving as an equitable space open to anyone affiliated with Georgia Tech
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An Inviting Space for All

We want to ensure that The Kendeda Building is a space for all students at Georgia Tech. Therefore, we engage with a diverse group of students to host events. Some highlights from 2022 include:

  • Ballroom dancing event in collaboration with GT Ballroom, GT Pride Alliance, and the LGBTQIA Resource Center
  • Sustainable Passover Seder
  • Iftar dinners
  • Georgia Tech Chamber Choir's autumn concert (watch recorded live stream here)
2022 Sustainable Seder

Students at the 2022 Sustainable Seder.


For us, engagement with students begins before they graduate high school. While we provided tours to some K-12 schools, we were conscious of the Living Building Challenge Equity Petal. To allow students to engage with and enjoy the building regardless of whether they can take an in-person tour, we partnered with Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) to create lesson plans and materials focused on The Kendeda Building. 

We hosted two amazing teachers through the Georgia Intern Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) Program for Summer 2022. They created 6th grade water and 8th grade energy lesson plans that use The Kendeda Building's unique features to engage students through sustainability concepts. These lesson plans, and others, are available on our website free of charge to any teacher in Georgia and beyond. 

Through our collaboration with CEISMC, we also had a professional development day that allowed for teachers to come to The Kendeda Building and learn from our two GIFT Fellows about how to use their lesson plans.

GIFT Professional Development

2022 GIFT Fellow Karla Lomax teaching fellow middle and high school instructors during our Professional Development day.

2022 Knowledge Sharing

The true measure of Georgia Tech’s success with The Kendeda Building is each opportunity we get to promote regenerative building ethos. To this end, we are proud to have assisted academic, faith-based, and corporate organizations across the Southeast as well as in Israel and China to advance their project towards regenerative design, construction, and operation. 

In 2022, our Georgia Tech colleague and Kendeda Building design team member María del Mar Ceballos become Kennesaw State University's Director of Sustainability. We collectively took this as an opportunity to deepen the relationship between the area's major public universities' sustainability teams. For Campus Sustainability Month 2022, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, and UGA had urban agriculture themed field trips to KSU, GSU, and GT. We are continuing this cooperation into 2023 with an electricity theme.

KSU Field Trip

Campus Sustainability Month tour of Kennesaw State University Field Station where KSU grows food for their cafeteria.

2022 Seminars and Media

The Kendeda Building Team (Georgia Tech staff, architects, builders, engineers, and consultants on the project) spoke at 50 panel discussions, lectures, seminars, and events with an audience of over 3,000 people. Many are available online and have received thousands of additional views.

The Kendeda Building Team was featured in 13 media reports including a Nature.com article about more-sustainable building construction. Click here for a current list of media coverage.  

The Kendeda Building and its staff were featured in videos and podcasts that have a global audience. A Future U. Podcast featuring Georgia Tech President Cabrera and Emory President Fenves was recorded in the building. Drawdown’s Neighborhoods, presented by Project Drawdown, featured Steve Place’s work to make The Kendeda Building a living laboratory for interdisciplinary climate solutions.

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Here are additional highlights from 2022: 

2022 Tours

Seeing is truly believing. Therefore, tours remain our primary form of engaging a diverse group of changemakers. In 2022 over 2,880 people took a tour of the building. This was double the number of people in 2021, though the easing of COVID restrictions likely aided in the dramatic increase. Regardless, the building remains a top destination for people seeking to learn about regenerative design, construction, and operation techniques. Interested in seeing for yourself? Sign up here.

2022 Materials Management

Nature does not waste. So why do we? To lead by example, events at The Kendeda Building reduce food waste, which results in high-impact diversion of organic, compostable materials from landfills. We partnered with GT Catering to create a plant-forward, zero-waste menu that aligns with the building’s robust Materials Management Work Plan. Ultimately it is the responsibility of event managers and attendees to ensure that compostable materials (e.g., cutlery, plates, cups, and food scraps) are placed in the compost bins. However, we have provided tools that can dramatically reduce waste, and we have shown our event hosts how to organize and run zero-waste events 

E-Waste Diverted: 1,522 lbs 

The Kendeda Building hosts a permanent e-waste drop-off available to the Georgia Tech community. The e-waste recycler we partner with is a metro-Atlanta firm committed to Responsible Recycling (R2) Practices. In 2022, we diverted a total of 1,522 lbs of e-waste from landfills.  

Textiles Waste Diverted: 143 lbs 

The Kendeda Revolving Closet was launched in 2021 in response to textile waste and to provide students with free clothing. To complement the reuse of clothing, we also brought awareness of proper disposal of clothing by having a recycling bin for clothing and fabrics that can no longer be reused. In 2022 we diverted 142.68 lbs of textiles from the landfill.  

2022 Social Media

The Kendeda Building continues to increase its reach through InstagramFacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube. In 2022 we had three social media posts a week on average. Many of our videos were edited by an amazing Kendeda Building Undergraduate Fellow.