Positive Water & Kendeda Living Building

August 18, 2021 | 12:00pm-1:00pm PT

Erin English, PE | Practice Leader & Senior Water Engineer, Biohabitats

Net Positive Water – ‘living within our water carrying capacity’- is an increasingly valuable approach for development in a changing climate. Transforming how our buildings dramatically reduce reliance on fresh water by harvesting, treating, and recycling water is one tool for addressing both regional long term water stress, and responding to episodic interruption of water supply from natural disasters or acute drought. Additionally, integrating living, ecologically-designed water infrastructure elements in net zero/positive projects brings benefits such as low carbon/energy footprints, habitat, and beauty.

Erin will share decentralized water infrastructure strategies typically employed at the building or district scale to approach Net Positive Water: rainwater, greywater, wastewater, condensate, and other novel supplies. She will explore best practices in terms of scale, and fit-for-purpose water use in the context of examples from AIA COTE Top 10, Living Building Challenge and award-winning landmark projects with innovative water solutions. She will then take a deeper dive into the recently certified full Living Building™ – The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. This AIA COTE Top 10 project features net positive water and energy strategies that harvest all the building’s water from rain, removes the concept of ‘wastewater’ by using commercial scale composting toilets, and employs constructed wetlands to polish any remaining greywater.


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