With springtime just around the corner, construction on the South’s largest Living Building is now entering the homestretch.
General contractor Skanska USA is slated to complete its work on Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design by the first of June. By fall, three university programs — the Georgia Tech Global Change Program, Office of Campus Sustainability, and the Kendeda Building director’s office — should be moved into 37,000-square-foot structure. And the building is expected to host special events throughout the fall semester. Regular classes won’t take place in the new building until January 2020, however, a semester later than originally envisioned.
“The schedule has slipped a little bit, but not as much as it may seem,” said Georgia Tech Senior Project Manager John DuConge, who’s overseeing the work of general contractor Skanska USA.
While construction had initially been projected to wrap up in May 2019, project slowdowns mainly related to the Living Building Challenge’s stringent materials vetting and weather caused the schedule to slide. As a result, university officials opted to delay full occupancy – the scheduling of classes – until students return to campus for the spring 2020 semester.
“There’s a benefit to this,” DuConge explained. “We typically test systems prior to getting the ‘keys’ from the contractor. Given the uniqueness of this building, we felt it would be best to provide extra time to test the systems and allow the director and operators to occupy and use it before the official opening, so it will be good for everyone to get used to operating and occupying it.”
Even when it is completely occupied, however, the Kendeda Building won’t immediately be certified as a Living Building. The Living Building Challenge certification process requires 12 months of continuous LBC compliance at full occupancy, and DuConge expects that to begin in spring of 2020. That means the building can’t be fully certified as a Living Building until early 2021 at the earliest.
For a closer look at the remaining steps in the Kendeda Building’s design and construction, check out our newly updated Timeline.
PHOTO ABOVE: Among the steps underway in February, subcontractors are coating the exterior of the Kendeda Building with air barrier free of toxic chemicals manufactured by Prosoco.