The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design (Kendeda Building) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was dedicated on October 24, 2019. Built in partnership with the Kendeda Fund, the 46,800-square-foot building is the first academic and research building in the Southeast to pursue the Living Building Challenge – the world’s most ambitious green building program.
The Kendeda Building will need to meet 20 “Imperatives” – which are specific performance requirements – after 12 consecutive months of operation. Certification is anticipated in 2021, and the project is also pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification at the Platinum level.
The project team used a three-inch base layer of non-halogenated GAF Polyiso roof insulation to cover nearly the entire roof and approximately 130 squares of material GAF TPO. This GAF polyiso insulation does not contain halogenated flame-retardant chemicals and offers:
- A higher R-value per inch compared to non-polyiso types of insulation of equivalent thickness;
- High moisture resistance;
- Improved fire resistance;
- Are lightweight for easy handling and installation;
- Have zero ozone depletion potential and negligible global warming potential, and;
- Manufactured with EPA-compliant blowing agents containing no CFCs or HCFs.
The Kendeda Building will use just one-third the energy of a comparable building, will generate more energy than it uses from solar panels on its roof and will capture and treat rainwater for all purposes, including drinking. This is one of the reasons the project team chose to integrate tapered Polyiso roof insulation in addition to the flat material to help direct water into the capture systems.
The building includes classrooms, laboratories, offices, an auditorium, a student commons, and a roof garden with an apiary. The project offers unique learning opportunities for designers, builders, and building operators, such as how to tackle the region’s humidity and potential droughts.
The Living Building was funded through a $30 million grant from The Kendeda Fund, one of the leading philanthropic investors in civic and environmental programs in the Atlanta area with a commitment to ecological and social causes.