Georgia Tech Living Building plans construction launch in September

It’s a milestone week for the Living Building at Georgia Tech.

The project’s architects presented their proposed design documents to a key Georgia Tech commission on Tuesday. And today the university announced that it’s set Sept. 12 as the official construction start date.

The September celebration is being described as a “launch” rather than a groundbreaking — in keeping with the innovative project’s aim to restore rather than exploit the environment around the building. The Georgia Tech building is being designed and constructed to rigorous Living Building Challenge standards. It’s funded by a $30 million grant from the Kendeda Fund, which also publishes this blog. We’ll share more details on the launch event as they become available.

Meanwhile, this week, the Georgia Tech Planning and Design Commission considered the building’s design development documents at its quarterly meeting. The PDC is a group of nationally recognized architects, planners and landscape architects who advise university leadership at key thresholds for major projects.

Design development is one of the final phases prior to starting construction. During this stage, the design team advances and resolves most of the issues remaining from the earlier schematic design phase. Design development drawings also provide details on materials and the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Once Georgia Tech approves the design development documents, the design team — led by architects Joshua Gassman of Lord Aeck Sargent in Atlanta and Brian Court of The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle — will set to work on more detailed construction documents to be used by contractor Skanska and various subcontractors.

The September event will mark the transition from design to construction. The current timeline calls for the building to be completed in January 2019.

Rendering above: A view from the northwest shows the Georgia Tech Living Building coming into more focus during the design development phase. Image by Miller Hull.


  1. A terrific project. Looking forward to seeing the progress and following the success story, years in the future.