The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design Launches on Campus

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Updated Friday, November 3
Thursday 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.

“Georgia Tech is honored to partner with The Kendeda Fund to develop one of the most environmentally advanced buildings in this region,” said Steve Swant, executive vice president for Administration and Finance at Georgia Tech. “This project supports our longstanding vision for the campus and provides a unique opportunity to physically demonstrate how Georgia Tech practices thoughtful stewardship of all of our resources and how innovative thinking can transform the way we think about and interact with the built environment.”

The Kendeda Fund is investing $25 million to privately fund 100 percent of the design and construction costs of the project as well as an additional $5 million to support programming activities. The investment represents The Kendeda Fund’s largest single grant and ranks among the largest capital gifts ever received by Georgia Tech.

“As one of the world’s preeminent engineering universities, Georgia Tech is the ideal partner to help The Kendeda Fund prove that regenerative design can and will work in the Southeast. Together, we hope to transform how the region thinks, builds, lives, and learns,” said Dena Kimball, executive director of The Kendeda Fund. “From day one, Tech has embraced the Living Building Challenge enthusiastically, and they are already using it as a springboard to examine other projects across the campus.” 

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design demonstrates a commitment to build to the most stringent standards in the world in a way that not only does less harm to the environment, but is actually restorative and gives back to the environment and the community. For more than a year, teams from Georgia Tech, The Miller Hull Partnership, Lord Aeck Sargent, and Skanska, as well as representatives from The Kendeda Fund have been analyzing and discussing site evaluations, design considerations, and technologies needed to achieve Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification. The inherent challenge is to provide a fully functional building, within budget, that integrates naturally into the Georgia Tech campus — all while meeting the strict building and programming requirements (the Living Building Challenge Petals and Imperatives) and Georgia Tech’s desire for highly flexible academic and community space.                                                    

Construction is scheduled to start later this year. The building should be substantially completed in early 2019, with Living Building Challenge 3.1 certification expected in 2020. To be certified under the program, a building must meet all the program requirements over a full 12-month period of continued operations and full occupancy.

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