Miller Hull

Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design’s Tight Building Envelope

Source: ARCHITECT Magazine

2-4-2020 | News

By Timothy A. Schuler

To design what is anticipated to become the first certified Living Building in the Southeast, Seattle-based The Miller Hull Partnership and Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent, a Katerra Company, looked to Atlanta’s vernacular architecture, specifically the ubiquity of the front porch. The resulting 47,000-square-foot Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is a multifunctional learning hub and maker space for Georgia Tech that also is a demonstration building for high-performance design strategies. Paid entirely by The Kendeda Fund, a private family foundation based in Atlanta, the $18.6 million building includes an auditorium, classrooms, teaching labs, and gathering spaces. It also anchors the Eco-Commons, an 8-acre green space that will pilot innovative stormwater strategies that the university plans to implement on a total of 80 acres across campus.

The concept of a porch as a climate-responsive approach to fostering a comfortable outdoor environment in the South “just fit,” says Miller Hull partner Brian Court, AIA. “It was a concept that was rooted in the regional history, and it worked for us on multiple levels: It fit the program, it worked with the site, and it worked with the whole concept of a Living Building.”

The ambitious project was complicated by the building’s north-south orientation, predetermined by its site, earmarked to embrace and insulate the adjacent Eco-Commons from excessive street noise. As a result, the two-story building has broad east and west façades. Ensuring that the high-performance goals remained attainable would require the designers “to keep the sun off the glass,” Court says. “The second the sun hits the glass, you’ve heated your building and you’ve got to figure out what to do with that energy.”


Read the full story at ARCHITECT Magazine