We routinely receive questions from consultants, as well student teams who are analyzing The Kendeda Building for their projects. This page contains a list of questions and our responses. Information will be added/updated periodically.
Updated April 13, 2022
- Solar panels: SunPower X-Series Commercial Solar Panels (X22-360-COM)
- Filters used for the inlet rainwater filtration from the roof: two PURAIN filters that use the properties of flowing water to remove large contaminants such as leaves.
Cost of the Rainwater-to-Drinking Water System
The cost of the rainwater-to-drinking water system was $460,000. To arrive at this figure, the design team tabulated all items that would not have been in a conventional building. Those items are listed below:
- Additional gutters on the solar PV array to collect rainwater for the cistern: $15,000.
- Storm pipe system: $85,000, which includes the roof drains, storm pipe that serves the green roof, and pipes that serve the overflow that goes 5’ outside the building to connect with the civil/site’s Pipe R system.
- Cistern: $110,000, which includes the concrete slab, walls, crystalline treatment, waterproofing, below grade damproofing, rigid insulation, the topping slab above, and the man hole.
- Rainwater purification equipment: $250,000, which includes two pre-filters, valves, pipe and fittings through the system, two pumps to the water treatment, the water treatment skid, a set of filters and UV bulbs, two day tanks, and two pumps to the domestic system.
Living Building Operating and Maintenance Expenses
These are expenses associated with maintaining our regenerative, Living Building principles.
- Solar PV array: approximately $5,000 every five years for cleaning.
- Rainwater-to-drinking water system: we have a $50,000 per year contract with a third party who will test the water as required by the regulator.
- Composting toilet leachate removal: Rooter Plus charges us $750 each occurrence of removing the leachate, which is each four to six weeks based on building occupancy.
- Composting toilet foaming soap: approximately $4,000 per year.
- Composting toilet tilling: $600 each time the composters need to be serviced, which is about twice times a year.
- Urban gardening: about $2,000 per year for seeds, plants, and supplies.
Building Valuation and Insurance
These questions were posed by the building's architects in September 2021. The Director provided the responses in italics below.
- Has the Kendeda Building been valued differently/more because of its sustainability features and net positive performance? For example, when the Bullitt Center in Seattle was first appraised, the traditional appraiser did not understand the Living Building aspects. But when the Bullitt Center staff educated the appraiser about them, they doubled the building’s valuation. Has Kendeda seen anything like that?
From the Georgia Tech finance contact: I would expect that our insured value is largely based upon and/or tied to our actual cost of construction – and that this, plus possible inflation escalation at most, would be appropriate. I have a hard time imagining that the value of a building should or would be more than the cost to construct, just because of its unique operations – if you ask me, I think the staff of the Bullitt Center was proud of what they had achieved, and the insurance company leveraged that to raise the “value” and therefore the coverage requirements.
Is any difference in your insurance—for example, does our insurer recognize the building has some resiliency measures and ability to operate off grid or following a major event and then therefore has a different rate or level of risk for the building?
From our insurance consultant: No, insurers do not provide rate credits for various levels of green construction or operational aspects until they can actuarily prove a loss history over time of these having a proven material effect on their claimed loss results distinct from other design, construction methods and materials (at the moment most insurers are still trying to deal with these having been constructed with mass timber which they are having some trouble differentiating from higher fire risk frame construction).