Field Trip to Georgia Tech’s Kendeda Building

2/13/20242 min read

On February 12, 2024, 13 Ens&Outs folks, led by Annie Archbold, made our way to the Georgia Tech campus. In the spirit of environmental awareness, many of us took MARTA.

From GA Tech’s Website:

“The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is the first building in Georgia and 28th in the world to earn Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification, the world’s most ambitious and holistic green building achievement. Rather than being less bad for the environment, The Kendeda Building fosters regenerative and restorative relationships amongst humans and nature where people give back more to the environment than they take.”

We had a delightful guide, an undergraduate majoring in civil engineering, who described the design of the building and its materials (much salvaged from older buildings on campus that were being refurbished). She also described its use of electricity from its solar panels and its ability to keep the temperature and humidity at a comfortable level without the traditional energy-intensive HVAC units. 

We had a tour of the roof-top garden (insulation for the ceiling of an auditorium).

Our tour of a bathroom facility with its flushless toilets included the composting room in the basement.

Our guide also discussed a research project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for a self-contained composting toilet for use in individual homes.

As members of UUCA, where environmental concerns were a significant part of our relocation to North Druid Hills, it was fascinating to hear our guide describe her contribution to the goal of her Masjid: “Roswell Community Masjid is striving to be the 1st faith-based Living Building in the world.”

With the impact of climate change, buildings that return more energy to the environment than they take are essential for a sustainable future.

Part of the Living Building Challenge includes beauty and aesthetics. Consequently, this is one of the most popular buildings on campus. Although there are informative videos on the Georgia Tech website, the experience of a physical tour makes an indelible impression on every visitor.