Table of Contents


I. Introduction

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is surrounded by an impressive amount of green space – ground level native and edible gardens, a greywater treatment constructed wetland at the main entrance, bioswales on the south and west side, landscaped areas on the south, west, and north sides, and a roof top garden. Every element of The Kendeda Building’s construction and operation challenged The Georgia Institute of Technology to rethink how things are “always done,” and landscaping maintenance was no exception.

Requirements for landscaping are found in the Place Petal of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) under the Limits to Growth Imperative. The Imperative states that “on-site landscape must be designed so that as it matures and evolves, it increasingly emulates the functionality of indigenous ecosystems with regard to density, biodiversity, plant succession, water, and nutrient needs” and “provide(s) wildlife and avian habitat.” Additionally, “no petrochemical fertilizer or pesticides can be used for the operation and maintenance of the on-site landscape.”

To prepare for this element of the LBC, a team, led by Georgia Tech Associate Director of Landscape Services and Fleet Services Hyacinth Ide, conducted a 12-month long pilot project to develop a plan for how landscape services will operate on The Kendeda Building grounds. Details of the pilot are available at This work plan is informed by the results of the pilot. It covers landscape operations and maintenance procedures for just The Kendeda Building site.


II. Contact Information

For information or maintenance questions, please contact Steve Place, Horticulturist II, Facilities – Landscape Services:

  • Phone: 404-428-0801
  • Email:

If a building occupant notices an issue that needs resolution, then please contact Brooke Vacovsky, Kendeda Building Senior Facilities Manager:


III. Expectations

There will be an ongoing education of the Georgia Tech Community about The Kendeda Building landscape through partnerships with Institute Communications, building occupants, and educators on staff.

  • The site appearance may be different than other more manicured areas of campus. An education program will let campus know why – and the benefits of this program.
  • Landscape staff must also be able to serve as educators.
  • New Landscape Services employees charged with maintaining The Kendeda Building’s landscape must have traditional landscape skills. Priority will be given to hiring those with additional expertise in urban agriculture, ecology, organic farming, and the ability to teach and coordinate with campus visitors.
  • Landscape Services staff are expected to leverage volunteer students to enhance the building’s educational program. For example, Landscape Services personnel already mentor students in the Excel Program offered by Georgia Tech. The Excel Program is a four-year college program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities leading to two separate Certificates.
  • Landscape Services staff must have:
    • The ability to effectively communicate with the public regarding both the LBC and The Kendeda Building at Georgia Tech.
    • Knowledge of work procedures, including use of applicable hand tools and battery powered equipment whenever possible.
    • Knowledge of environmentally sensitive techniques.
    • Knowledge of plants on the site.
    • Knowledge of materials that meet LBC requirements.
    • Knowledge of equipment use on the site.
    • Knowledge and drive to research best practices in environmentally-friendly landscaping, and assist with updating this work plan to reflect these, as appropriate.


IV. List of Landscaping Products that Meet Living Building Challenge Requirements

In an effort to help Georgia Tech evaluate and update campus programs to align with the intent and requirements of the LBC, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) worked with Georgia Tech on several research and analysis projects. These projects looked at how innovations and new procedures can carry over beneficially into whole campus activities related to LBC. One of the results of this effort was a Landscape Products Procedure and Analysis Report, available here, prepared by ILFI for Georgia Tech. This report focused on landscaping procedures and soil amendments, and evaluated the campus landscape protocol and inventoried chemicals used for landscape activities. Review of specific products noting their compliance or presence of petrochemicals is listed in the report.

Therefore, the following list of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fertilizers, and soil amendment products for use in The Kendeda Building have been reviewed by ILFI to determine compliance. The products labeled “meets LBC requirements” do not have any petrochemicals listed on their published ingredients list, and therefore meet the requirements of the Limits to Growth Imperative for use on site.

ILFI advises that products labeled “meets LBC requirements” may still have environmental and health hazardous properties. The suggestion is to research alternative products. The Georgia Tech team will continuously use ILFI guidelines to determine if products are made without petrochemicals and can be applied in the landscape of The Kendeda Building. It is important to note that any landscaping product labeled “organic” meets LBC requirements and may be used on site.

  • Fusilade (meets LBC requirements)
  • Gallery (meets LBC requirements) (pre-emergence herbicide)
  • Image (meets LBC requirements)
  • Lontrel (meets LBC requirements)
  • Q4 (meets LBC requirements)
  • Reslute (meets LBC requirements) (pre-emergence herbicide)
  • Dr. Earth Final Stop weed and grass killer (organic herbicide)
  • Avenger weed killer (organic herbicide)
  • Mirimichi pro organic weed killer (organic herbicide)
  • Acephate 97UP (meets LBC requirements)
    • This product is toxic to white throated sparrows and bees, and is banned for use by the US EPA on green beans. Landscape Services staff will use an alternative product whenever available.
  • Altosid (meets LBC requirements)
    • According to Georgia Tech researcher guidance, this product can be detrimental to bees. Landscape Services staff will use an alternative product whenever available.
  • Bandit (meets LBC requirements);
    • According to Georgia Tech researcher guidance, this produce is banned in the European Union. Landscape Services staff will use an alternative product whenever available.
  • Insecticidal Soap (meets LBC requirements)
  • Mosquito Dunks (meets LBC requirements)
  • Mirimichi Green Pest Control (organic insecticide)
  • Triple Action Neem Oil (organic insecticide)

None of the products in the current Landscape Services inventory meet LBC requirements. Therefore, the following products will be used for The Kendeda Building:

  • Dr. Earth Final Stop Disease Control Fungicide (organic fungicide)
  • Natria Disease Control by Bayer (organic fungicide)
  • High Manganese Combo (liquid) (meets LBC requirements)
  • Nutragreen (liquid) (meets LBC requirements)
  • Brandt Supreme Green (liquid) (meets LBC requirements)
  • Atrimmec (liquid) (meets LBC requirements) – plant growth regulator
  • Milorganite (granular, meets LBC requirements)
  • Neptunes Harvest (granular, organic fertilizer)
  • GreenEdge (granular, organic fertilizer)
  • Nature’s Care (granular, organic fertilizer)
  • Dr. Iron (granular, organic fertilizer)
  • Bat Guano (granular, organic fertilizer)
Soil Amendment, Mulch, and Pine Straw
  • Black Kow Manure (meets LBC requirements)
  • Pine Back Mini Nuggets (meets LBC requirements)
  • Pine Straw (meets LBC requirements)
  • Nature’s Helper Soil Amendment (meets LBC requirements)
  • Black Dyed Mulch (meets LBC requirements)
  • Compost (generated on campus)
  • Mirimichi Soil Enhancer (organic soil enhancer)


V. Equipment

Non-combustion Landscape equipment is not a LBC requirement, but Landscape Services will use all available non-combustion equipment such as battery powered equipment whenever possible. Below is a list of the anticipated equipment that will be used at The Kendeda Building site:

  • Four blowers
  • Two electric leaf shredders, which are important for onsite composting
  • Two weed eaters
  • Two edgers
  • Two shears (one long handle)
  • Two chainsaws
  • Two mowers
  • Two golf carts
  • One truck


VI. Landscape Waste

Landscape waste, such as leaves and wood debris should be composted onsite, or removed to another campus locations for composting.


VII. Rooftop Garden Planting Schedule and Seasonal Operating Tasks

The rooftop garden consists of four separate types of planting beds. Two planting beds, blueberries and the pollinator garden, will not change and will be maintained as necessary. The large bed on the northeast corner of the roof is for annual planting (e.g., sweet corn, sunflowers, beans, and native squash). The crops will be rotated and a native pumpkin may be added to the mix. A native cover crop in this large bed will fix nitrogen to the soil. 

The beds on the southeast corner of the building are for intensive agriculture. The plants include broccoli, cabbage, kale, radish, leek, brussel sprout, onion, chives, cauliflower, turnip, two lettuce varieties, beets, and rhubarb. These beds will be test beds planted and tended by students.  Two of the southeast corner beds will serve as living laboratories, one left as a control and the second watered with a compost tea. These results will be documented and the data archived for future reference. In the spring these beds will be replanted with summer crops to be determined. The focus will be to keep the garden producing all season, thus as produce is harvested and the plants finish their cycle, other will be moved into their place. Attention will be paid to crop rotation.

Year round activities include:

  • Cultivation
  • Soil preparation (based on soil test results)
  • Event management
  • Debris removal
  • Composting
  • Preparation for and clearing of severe weather situations

Below are the tasks that should occur throughout the year based on season.

  • Fertilization
  • Mulching
  • Planting of edible roof garden
  • Replacement plantings
  • Cultivation of soil
  • Start-up of irrigation
  • Harvesting of winter crop
  • Initiation of Integrated Pest management (IPM) protocol
  • Harvesting
  • Fertilization
  • Planting
  • Continuation of IPM
  • Dead heading
  • Watering
  • Irrigating
  • Mulching
  • Weeding
  • Pruning
  • Removing leafs
  • Hard pruning
  • Planning for new season
  • Weeding
  • Weeding
  • Mulching
  • Hard pruning
  • Shutting-down of irrigation


VIII. Special Events

Currently, The Kendeda Building does not require unique treatment of the landscape for special events. This is subject to continuous review based on the building’s operations and unique requirements of special events.


IX. Edible Landscape Management

As part of the LBC Urban Agriculture Imperative, there is an edible landscape component in the landscaping around the building and on the rooftop garden. The overall practice related to this landscape is:

  • Edible landscaping will not be promoted as a foraging landscape, but will be maintained as fit for human consumption.
  • The Landscape Services staff who manages the landscape of this building has attained Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification to effectively harvest the edible landscape, as needed. HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards throughout the supply chain of food products.
  • The Kendeda Building team will work with food partners, such as GT Dining, to prepare harvest for donation to local food pantries or other groups, as determined by the Kendeda Building Team.


X. Plant List for Site

As with any garden, some of the plants on The Kendeda Building site will vary from year to year (e.g., annuals and vegetables). Below is a listing of the initial, as-built plant list for the site. This list will be updated periodically as needed.

Location Botanical Name Common Plant Name
Rooftop Vaccinum ashei 'Premier' Rabbiteye Blueberry
  Asclepias  tuberosa Butterfly Weed
  Boulteloua curtipendula Sideoats Grass
  Cucurbita pepo Summer Squash
  Echinacea pallida Pale Purple Coneflower
  Eupatorium hyssopfollium Hyssop Leaf Thoroughwort
  Helianthus annuus Common Sunflower
  Solidago sphaceleta, 'Golden Fleece' Goldenrod
  Sporobotus heterolepis Prairie Dropseed
  Symphyostrichum georgianum Aromatic Aster
  Zea mays L. Corn
Garden Trees Acer rubrum Red Maple
  Quercus alba White Oak
  Quercus rubra Red Oak
  Linodendron tulipfera Tulip Tree
  Nyssa sylvetica Tupelo
Garden Understory Amelanchier arborea Service Berry
  Asimina trioba Pawpaw
  Cercis canadensis Redbud
  Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood
  Magnolia tripetala Umbrella Magnolia
  Magnolia virginiana Sweet Bay Magnolia
  Malus angustfolia Southern Crab Apple
Garden Shrubs Caphalanthus occidentalis Bottonbush
  Clethra alnifolia Sweet Pepperbush
  Fothergilla 'Mount Airy' Dwarf Fothergilla
  Gaylussacia baccata Black Huckleberry
  Hamamelis intermedia Witch Hazel
  Hydrangea arborescens Smooth Hydrangea
  Ilex glabra Inkberry
  Ilex verticillata, 'Jim Dandy' Winter Berry
  Ilex verticillata, 'Red Sprite' Winter Berry
  Lindera benzoin Spice Bush
  Vaccinium pallidum Hillside Blueberry
Garden Perennials Anemone americana Roundleaf Liverwort
  Arisaema triphylium Jack in the Pulpit
  Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed
  Carex annectens Yellow Fruit Sedge
  Corex cherokeensis Corex Cherokeensis
  Corex pensylvanica Corex Pennsylvania
  Echinacea pellida Pale Purple Sunflower
  Eupatorium hyssopfolium Hyssop-Leaf Thoroughwort
  Gaultheria procumbens Wintergreen
  Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium
  Lobelia cardenalis Cardinal Flower
  Lysimachia terrestris Swamp Candle
  Monardia didyma Scarlet Beebalm
  Phlox paniculata Garden Phlox
  Podophylium peltatum May-Apple
  Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas Fern
  Pontederia cordata Pickerel Weed
  Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani Softstem Bulrush
  Silphium perfoliatum Cup Plant
  Solidago flexcaulis Broad Leaf Goldenrod
  Solidago sphacelata, 'Golden Fleece' Goldenrod
  Teucrium canadense American Germander
  Tiarella unifoliata Foam Flower
  Trillium cuneatum Wood Lily
  Typha latifolia Broadleaf Cattail


XI. Native Plants on Site

The Kendeda Building showcases the diversity of plant species native to Georgia and has been certified as a native plant habitat by the Georgia Native Plant Society. Most of the plants on the site are native to this region. Below we showcase a few of the native plants to highlight how The Kendeda Building serves the yearlong needs of our pollinators. These native species bloom in a staggered fashion from early spring to late fall.

The building’s native perennials bridge the seasons starting with the Geranium maculatum and Tiarella unifoliata, commonly known as Foam Flower.

Geranium maculatum – Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium

Tiarella unifoliata – Foam Flower

These important early season perennials support the emerging bees and pollinators while there is still a chill in the air. Both species signal the arrival of spring and are welcomed reminders that winter is near its end.

Late spring and summer are filled with Echinacea pellida, Lobellia cardenalis, and Phlox paniculata. These important pollen sources are also well known medicinal herbs. Butterflies and humming birds frequent the Lobellia cardenalis, adding colorful interaction with the deep red flowers.

Echinacea pallida – Purple Coneflower

Lobellia cardenalis – Cardinal Flower


Autumn at The Kendeda Building promises to be just as vibrant as the other seasons. Solidago flexccaulis blooms when many plants are beginning their preparations for winter after a long summer. Tall and brilliantly colored yellow flowers draw pollinators from across the landscape. The Kendeda Building will be a landscape in motion. Complex relationships will unfold every day, some very simple, others far more serious. The Kendeda Building will provide an open air theater, filled with beauty and drama as only a garden can provide.

Solidago flexcaulis – Broadleaf Goldenrod