On the west side of Georgia Tech’s campus sits the largest “living building” in the southern United States. Part of the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech, the recently-opened Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design building is home to classrooms, event spaces, an apiary, and a blueberry orchard.
From the outside, the building feels almost out of place for its urban surroundings. A combination of natural wood and cement with broad, large windows, the building seems like it should be in the middle of the woods instead of on a college campus in Atlanta. But that’s part of the design. Using reclaimed wood, windows that help regulate the temperature, and a sophisticated water reclamation system, the building is designed to barely make a blip on the ecological radar.
Salvaged materials mean this new building incorporates a lot of campus history. The bathroom tile was sourced from a roof update at the Georgia Tech Alumni Association building and the staircase treads are heart pine joists that were salvaged from a renovation of the 140-year-old Tech Tower.
The Kendeda Building also has a green roof, bees to produce honey, and more than 900 solar panels. Construction was largely completed in 2019, and the building opens for classes in January 2020.