ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A new building with a giant porch has been dominating the corner of State and First Street in the Georgia Tech area. It has been filled with tourists wearing hard hats, gloves and safety glasses as they dodge the Skanska construction crews.
It's the Southeast's biggest entry into the Living Building Challenge to create a space that makes more energy than it uses, takes more waste out of the landfill than it creates, and makes more water than it uses. No wonder more than 2,000 people -- mostly architects, designers and engineers -- are already tourists. With even more to come as the building opens in the fall.
The wow factors are everywhere. Intricate wooden ceilings inside the classroom building are made from recycled movie sets, crafted into panels by down -on- their- luck Atlantans learning construction skills from West Side Works.
Deep purple-black bricks made from wasted building remainders in a North Carolina factory are glued into place with matching mortar, and for all the building design and operations people, the really geek-out stuff is yet to come.
CBS46 Sally Sears toured the roof to the basement and she revealed wonders. Lots of next-gen do-good, enviro-sustainable fabulousness.
The deep porch is held up by spindles like fine flag poles, shading and collecting rain water and energy to operate the building.
Net zero water use? Compost toilets will recycle the teaspoons of water used to function.
Drinking water will come from an internal cleaning system; gray water will be cleaned and returned with a boost from micro-eating plant roots in the courtyard.
Planks for the main stair treads are coming from a renovation of the Georgia Tech tower -- a historic set of steps beloved by Tech alumni for student pranks through the last century.
When it opens for classes in January, after a fall of tours and tweaks, the building is expected to become a favorite. Facing west, aligned with a grove of oak trees as old as the university, it could be the best place of all to live the Living Building challenge.