Miller Hull

Lessons for Acing the Living Building Challenge

Source: Architectural Products

6-7-2024 | News

Class is in session. The Miller Hull Partnership talks challenges, lessons learned, and offers a little LBC-certified inspiration with the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Atlanta.


With a $30 million commitment from The Kendeda Fund, the Georgia Institute of Technology, already known for its long history of environmental stewardship, wanted a model for sustainable design on its Atlanta campus and to prove regenerative buildings are possible even in the hot, humid climate of the Southeast. The Miller Hull Partnership and Lord Aeck Sargent Planning and Design, Inc. were selected as architects for the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, which opened its doors in 2020 and received Living Building Challenge certification in 2021.

The building has approximately 47,000 square feet of programmable space in the form of classrooms, labs, a makerspace, offices, and auditorium. Its 4,300-sq.ft. vegetated roof is home to a honeybee apiary, blueberry orchard, and pollinator garden.

According to Georgia Tech, the Kendeda Building is 80% more efficient than a comparable new, conventionally built higher education Atlanta building. One of the most notable building features, its 15,860-sq.ft. canopy, creates a two-story front porch that shades the west-facing building, reducing cooling demands significantly. A tight building envelope, with numerous operable windows facilitates both breeze and natural light. More than 60 ceiling fans also circulate air, adding to the comfort of the building. Instead of a conventional HVAC system, the Kendeda Building uses a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAD). It preconditions and delivers clean outside air, dehumidifying it in the summer and heating it in the winter.

A total of 917 solar panels (330kW) mounted to the canopy generate 440,000 kWh annually. It’s a two-part energy strategy. “First, we want to make the project as efficient as we can. The the second step is to make that power out of something that’s renewable; that’s where the solar panels come in,” notes Hellstern. The Kendeda Building currently produces 200% more electricity per year than it consumes; the excess is fed back into the campus grid.

Read the full story at Architectural Products