Page 13 - Georgia Forestry - Issue 4 - Fall 2019
P. 13

   Sustainable building is putting the spotlight on local, high- tech wood
T he Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, in Atlanta, is as impressive as any spaceship. Located on the Georgia Tech campus, the structure is the largest academic building in the Southeast to be certified
as a Living Building.
Upon completion, the exterior will have an
array of over 900 photovoltaic panels and a fully functioning rooftop garden with an apiary and berry orchard. Inside, rainwater flows into a large cistern, which can be treated and used on-site, and water-cooled pipes, which are embedded in the floors, reducing the need for air conditioning. Taken together, these features will help the edifice generate about five percent more electricity than it needs.
But what’s even more impressive is the construction itself, which relies heavily on wood. Columns and beams, made from glue-laminated timber (glulam), hold up 489 ceiling panels of nail-laminated timber (NLT), built using 25,000 linear feet of locally salvaged two-by-fours. While these elements give the interior a more organic look than, say, the offices at Cape Canaveral, the Kendeda Building nevertheless resembles a place where your great-great-grandchildren might go to school.
When I visited the building in July, it was late in the afternoon, and I was struck by how the high ceilings and tall windows let in pools of natural light. The columns and beams seemed to shimmer, and the hues of the wood felt innately soothing and warm. Next to the solid grays and blacks of construction, the gently-shifting shades of the grain made everything a little fresher and more inviting. | 11

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