Georgia Institute of Technology, Engineered Biosystems Building

Cooper Carry
191 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 2400
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 237-2000
Mark Jensen, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Project Location: 950 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30332
Completion Date: 07/01/2015
Owner: Board of Regents, Georgia Institute of Technology

Builder: McCarthy Building Companies

Builder Address: Edwin Harris, 770-980-8183,

Architects Involved:
Lake|Flato Architects
Associate Architect
David Lake

Research Facilities Design
Lab Planner
Sean Towne

Engineers Involved:
Newcomb & Boyd
Todd Mowinski

Uzun & Case Engineers
Rob Weilacher

Long Engineering
Joe Severin

Additional Team:
David Thomson
Project Manager

Brent Amos
Project Architect

Lesley Braxton
Interior Designer

Project Description

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s new Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) is a six-story, 218,000-square-foot research facility. The design for EBB reconceptualizes laboratory design, creating an interdisciplinary environment that supports the acceleration of advanced research development. EBB brings together chemists, engineers, biologists, and computational scientists to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in research neighborhoods designed around targeted focus. Encouraging active engagement and collaboration between researchers from varying disciplines was a core driver in the research facility’s design.

Challenging traditional laboratory design — typically composed of small silos of individual research teams – EBB creates a system of open lab neighborhoods that foster engagement. The building is organized into a series of layers which includes research support labs, a linear equipment corridor, research labs, open graduate student offices, closed post-doctoral offices, collaboration and teaching spaces, and a researcher office wing. Open office clusters are situated with a direct line of site for research assistants to see into the lab from their write up area.

EBB’s interactive and open-lab environment is enhanced by transparency and an ease of collaboration that extends to its two-story break area spaces which bookend the building. Spaces that require privacy remain in thoughtful proximity to the lab neighborhoods, and where needed, glass partitions interrupt open space to provide privacy between the graduate student offices and open lab spaces. Breakrooms book-end the building, alternating floors to direct vertical circulation. This design move ultimately encourages those who have breakrooms on their own floor to move not only laterally, but also vertically throughout the building. This circulation pattern allows for serendipitous interdisciplinary interactions which may not otherwise occur if researchers had all amenities in their home neighborhood. The building café creates an additional place for researchers to gather and congregate amongst each other and with researchers from neighboring buildings.

Currently tracking LEED Platinum, EBB is situated at the historic headwaters of the Atlanta water system. Revealing this water source became a dramatic connective tissue for the building and campus. Landscape runnels and a wetland pond expose water coming from foundation dewatering, rainwater cisterns and condensate collection while showcasing site ecology and giving building occupants a place of respite.

EBB’s vertically-scaled, narrow structure exhibits a light footprint that maximizes the scale at which daylighting penetrates the entire building. Views frame northern Midtown across Atlanta and create a more porous, transparent edge to the entire campus as a new vibrant entry.