Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design

The Georgia Institute of Technology 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 Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. The investment represents The Kendeda Fund’s largest single grant and ranks among the largest capital gifts ever received by Georgia Tech.

The Kendeda Fund committed to investing $25 million to privately fund 100 percent of the design and construction cost of the project as well as an additional $5 million to support programming activities. The Kendeda Fund and Georgia Tech intend for the project to become the first Living Building ChallengeTM 3.1 certified facility of its size and function in the Southeast.

The Living Building Challenge aligns with Georgia Tech’s longstanding vision for the campus and provides a unique opportunity to physically demonstrate how Georgia Tech practices thoughtful stewardship of all of its resources and how its innovative thinking can transform future generations.

Project Vitals

Name: The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design

Donor: The Kendeda Fund

Gift Amount: $25 million privately funds 100 percent of the design and construction costs; up to $5 million to support programming activities

Anticipated Certification: Living Building Challenge 3.1

Location: Northwest corner of Ferst Drive and State Street on Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus


  • Substantial completion late 2019
  • Full occupation (classes began) January 2020
  • Certification 2021 (or after at least 12 months of consecutive performance after full occupation)

Project Partners:

  • Architects: Lord Aeck Sargent and The Miller Hull Partnership
  • Builder: Skanska USA
  • Contributing teams: Andropogon (landscape), PAE (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering), Newcomb & Boyd (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing), Biohabitats (greywater systems), Long Engineering (civil engineering), Uzun & Case (structural engineering)

Building Size: Approximately 47,000 square feet of programmable space of which nearly 37,000 square feet is enclosed and conditioned space. Public outdoor learning space includes the outdoor porch area (2,618 square feet) and an accessible roof deck (1,000 square feet). The rooftop garden (4,347 square feet), while not open to the public, will contain the honeybee apiary, pollinator garden, and blueberry orchard. The remaining space (1,905 square feet) is for loading and bike storage.

Cost per Square Foot: Approximately $397 per square foot based on total programmed space. Cost of conditioned space is expected to be $503 per square feet. 

Intended Use of the Building: Education, research, and outreach opportunities; building features two 64-person classrooms, two 24-person class labs, two 16-person class labs, a 16-person seminar room, a 24-person design studio, 176-person auditorium, rooftop apiary and pollinator garden, an office space for co-located programs, and a coffee cart.

Projected Energy Use Intensity (EUI): 30 kBTU/SF/YR, which is 72 percent more efficient than your average building of the same size and occupancy. The photovoltaic array is designed to generate 42 EUI which will offset the building’s 30 EUI. By producing more energy than the building consumes, the systems generate a net-positive energy facility.

Solar Array: 330 kW (DC), approximately 917 solar panels generate over 455,000 kWh per year.

Cistern Capacity: 50,000-gallon cistern in the basement of the building.