Kendeda Building wins Atlanta Magazine Groundbreaker Award

Atlanta Magazine, Groundbreaker Award, Kendeda Building, Georgia Tech

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design isn’t rising out of the ground yet, but we already can refer to it as an award-winning project.

The Living Building Challenge project, which is a primary focus of this blog, was one of 10 buildings, firms and individuals to be honored Monday evening with Atlanta Magazine’s sixth annual Groundbreaker Awards.

The awards highlight “people and projects that make Atlanta a better place to live, emphasizing innovation and new ideas.”  This week’s banquet came 11 days after the Kendeda Building’s construction launch; work at the site itself is expected to begin in earnest after the holidays.

Here, in part, is what the magazine had to say about the Kendeda Building:

Georgia Tech’s Living Building will take its name literally, generating more energy (via photovoltaic panels) and capturing more water (with a large, underground cistern that stores rainwater) than it uses. Its 43,500 square feet of programmable space will include a 170-seat auditorium, two 75-seat classrooms, seminar rooms, labs, a maker’s space, cafe, and student commons, all topped by a rooftop garden and [apiary]. Its composting toilets will use tiny amounts of water, and its heating-and-air system will modulate itself.

The article also quotes Howard Wertheimer, Georgia Tech’s assistant vice president for capital planning and space management, on what really is the core objective of the building: “We’re hoping to be the pebble in the pond. We want to create opportunities where there’s replicability in what we’re doing so other building owners can embrace some of these ideas.”

Among the other honorees were New Urbanist architect Lew Oliver, New City Properties (which is developing the largest project so far on the Atlanta Beltline), and Gamble + Gamble Architects. Gamble + Gamble is a husband-wife team, and the husband is Georgia Tech Architecture Professor Michael Gamble. As it happens, Micheal Gamble helped to draw the Kendeda Fund’s attention toward Georgia Tech for what was to become the Kendeda Building. He currently chairs the Georgia Tech Living Building Academic Council.

While each of the 10 honorees were dubbed “finalists” before the ceremony, all were honored as Groundbreaker winners during the event.

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