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Georgia Tech certified as ‘living building’

ATLANTA (AP) – It is not uncommon for new building tours to start with toilets. But they make up the majority of other buildings in Atlanta.

And so Shan Arora, who oversees Georgia Tech Kendeda building, quickly takes visitors to the first-floor toilet, where the toilet starts to roar and then foams. There is no regular flushing, toilets use only a teaspoon of water for single use. And the waste is fertilized in the digesters in the basement instead of through the treatment plant pipeline.

“We say there is a lot of small talk in the Candeda building,” Aurora said.

Georgia Tech announced on Thursday, Earth Day, that the building was certified as the 28th “living building” in the world. This means that during one year of operation, the building has proven to meet the standards of the Living Future International Institute, which benefits the environment more than it harms it.

“Stability brings us to a point where we do not do as much damage as we do,” Aurora said. “But we have already done so much damage that we must reach a point where we are recovering or recovering.”

The $ 25 million building, donated by the Kendeda Fund, is primarily a demonstration project. It is meant to show that technology is ready for wider use, especially in the southern environment.

The Kendeda Fund is the personal charity affiliate of Diana Blank, the first wife of Home Depot founder Arthur Blank. It also provided $ 5 million more for programming to its full potential.

“Candeda’s goal was not really to build a building,” said Dennis Krich, the foundation’s sustainability adviser. “Our goal was to be a catalyst for how to change the design of buildings.”

More than 5,000 people walked around the building while it was still under construction. Krich said it would be impossible to trace all the “waves” in the building, but said he knew two or three buildings were now being designed that were affected by the structure of the Torgia Tech.

The International Institute for the Living Future says the building should look like a flower, giving more than is required. It sets out seven “sheet” requirements. Place, water, energy, health և happiness, materials, justice և beauty.

That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.

For example, a building does not have a standard air conditioner. Electricity for cooling is usually the largest energy demand in the American South with long, hot, humid summers. Instead, the building relies heavily on humidifying weather, making it more comfortable and less sticky using the water it produces. The designers also focused on keeping the air separate from the inside and outside, which means that the building has less air leakage.

Finally, there is a piping system that can push cold water through concrete floors to cool a building if it rises above 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 degrees Celsius). But Aurora said that even during the hottest days of last summer, the cold water system was never turned on because the building had never been so hot.

Dexter Harper, who oversees building systems, says his colleagues are skeptical about the lack of regular air conditioning.

“When I first started, they said, ‘In the summer you will burn at 78 degrees.’ That is the farthest thing from the truth, ”Harper said.

It is unlikely that there are solar panels. A large canopy overshadows the building while generating more than twice as much electricity as the building uses.

The focus is on excluding materials that designers consider harmful. Even large glass windows have holes in them to warn birds not to accidentally fly into them.

The builders diverted more materials from the landfill during construction than the new waste it created, using the old tiles of the dilapidated Georgia Orge Tech to cover the walls above the bathroom sink.

And that means flushing toilets. The building is not connected to the city sewer, it is designed to be independent of the water system. The building has gone through a long process of obtaining a permit from the state as its own municipal water system to treat rainwater for drinking. The canopy collects rainwater for the treatment system և sends extra water to slowly drain it into the ground instead of draining the concrete.

Beyond that, focusing on health, happiness, and beauty makes the building a magnet for students. Biochemistry doctoral students Jay Haynes և Brooke Rothschild Mancini were on the roof Tuesday holding vegetables. It was not for research, but just for fun.

“When you know it’s better, how can you look back?” Aurora asked.

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Follow ff Em on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

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