Performance and Pedagogy Collide

Joshua Gassman, Lord Aeck Sargent
Juan Archila, Georgia Institute of Technology

This presentation will look at the programming process and energy and water saving strategies that the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech used to achieve net positive goals for energy, water and waste, and what that was like without a user group determined during design to collaborate with. We will explore the process of reverse programming the building after the user groups were identified. We will highlight challenges, such as limiting materials due to Living Building Challenge Red List restrictions, as well as successes, such as asking the Ecology group to re-invent the way they teach so that they use less water and could conform to the building's already established water use requirements.

The discussion will also include changes that have been made and user responses since the building was occupied. COVID-19 also played a role, as the building opened for classes only two months before the pandemic struck. A representative from Georgia Tech will touch on how the building operations changed as a result, and how they were able to keep going due the resilient and flexible strategies the Kendeda building had adopted.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to evaluate the use of energy in buildings and what strategies may be available to reduce that use;
  • Understand measurement tools for accessing building energy performance and water use during design and after occupancy;
  • Gain an understanding of the energy use and water use in laboratories and understand the strategies available to owners and design teams to help make buildings more efficient; and
  • Learn how the early design and programming process can impact overall energy and water use and be able to select strategies for reducing them.


For more than 20 years Joshua has lead large, multi-faceted design teams focused on sustainable design. During his career he has managed a broad spectrum of projects, ranging from large research labs for major universities to interpretive and education centers. He is co-vice president and founding member of the Georgia Chapter of I2SL.

Juan Archila, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is director of facilities and capital planning for the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech. He also teaches a class on equity and sustainability in the Kendeda Building. Juan's community involvement includes serving as Member Engagement Officer of the Georgia chapter of I2SL (2018-present).


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