A partnership between Georgia Institute of Technology and the Kendeda Fund, a private foundation in Georgia, will see a unique, living structure come to life in the form of a building. Called the Living Building, it will be an environmentally friendly education and research center located in the southeast portion of the Georgia Tech campus.

Why It’s Called the Living Building
The Living Building will be designed to follow the most advanced measures of sustainability, and meet requirements based on health, happiness, equity and beauty. To be fully certified, a Living Building must meet all program requirements of the International Living Future Institute over a 12-month operating period.

Plans to construct such a building at Georgia Tech have been in the works since the fall of 2015 and the project has attracted a variety of stakeholders that want to aid with the project.

What is the Living Building Challenge?
The Living Building Challenge is a push to create sustainable, environmentally sound architecture that “operates as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture,” according to the institute.

These structures are created using environmentally friendly materials, sustainable living practices and efficient power and resource consumption methods. In other words, the goal is to eliminate the excess that is often a part of today’s building methods. Even though some new building construction equipment has decreased its impact through improved emissions technology, the overall goal of a Living Building is to lessen the environmental impact of new building construction.
There are three types of certifications offered through the challenge:

  • Living Building Certification and its goal of restoring the natural environment
  • Petal Certification, which aims to accelerate the adoption of restorative principles
  • Net Zero Energy Building Certification, which focuses on exceptional energy conservation and renewables

In the case of Georgia Tech and the Kendeda Fund’s project, they want a building that will meet the strict environmental and design standards and also be comfortable for the students and researchers on campus.