Brian Court and Joshua Gassman imagine the South’s greenest campus building as an airy space spanned by timbers, like the sun-dappled woods around it. Here’s a close look complete with visuals of the Living Building at Georgia Tech.
The Living Building Challenge’s biophilic design imperative may be the building industry’s most formal adoption yet of a concept that is finally breaking past the theoretical stage.
The ideas competition for the design of Georgia Tech’s Living Building certainly was challenging. But Tech officials and the six architectural firms that were finalists say they gained valuable knowledge about the program. And the university already is employing a similar process as it gets going on a non-Living Building project.
The first time Barry Berlin heard of the Bullitt Center was when Diana Blank called him with an idea: How could the Kendeda Fund go about creating a Living Building on a similar scale in Atlanta? It was May 2013.
“She’s telling me about this wonderful building, and I’m pulling it up on Google just so I can see what she’s talking about,” says Berlin, longtime financial advisor and strategist to the philanthropy founded by Blank. “I asked her, ‘So you want me to see if we can build one of these here?’ And she said, ‘Do you think we can?’ And I said, ‘We’ll never know until we try.’ ”
Even big foundations think long and hard before they give away $30 million. So it’s not surprising that The Kendeda Fund took a while to figure out that its largest grant ever would go toward a single building on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus.