AIA COTE Top 10 Award

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Cooper Carry and Lake | Flato are the proud recipients of the American Institute of Architecture’s (AIA) COTE (Committee on the Environment) award for our Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building project. Top Ten awards, among the most prestigious in our profession, reward projects that demonstrate design excellence and high performing buildings.


Georgia Tech’s LEED Platinum Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) is an innovative new model for research facilities. EBB challenges the silos of traditional laboratory design, creating a system of open lab neighborhoods that foster engagement. A departure from traditional lab structure, the “cross-cutting lab” implements continuous working lab space running down the spine of the building, with offices and meeting rooms in the wings. Daylight, outdoor views, a water harvesting system and other biophilic elements used throughout the program encourage interaction. Technology and intelligent design work together to create a multi-purpose open space with high levels of ecological performance.

“The Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building weaves a large array of active and passive strategies into a highly tuned machine for this university research laboratory.” ~ Jury statement

Georgia Tech’s Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) provides nearly 200,000 sq ft to serve as a core bio-technological research building for Georgia Tech, as well as a model for further development of that section of the campus. The six-story design reevaluates laboratory design, merging the College of Sciences and College of Engineering to create an interdisciplinary environment that supports the acceleration of advanced research development. EBB was conceptualized as a research facility that would coerce interdisciplinary collaboration by reinforcing physical integration between researchers focused on chemical biology, cell biology, or systems biology. EBB challenges the silos of traditional laboratory design by creating a system of open lab neighborhoods that foster engagement. A departure from traditional lab structure, which typically prescribes adjoining rows of partitioned lab space throughout a building, the “cross-cutting lab” implements a program with continuous unobstructed working lab space running down the spine of the building with offices, meeting rooms and break and restrooms in the wings. Daylight, views to the outdoors, and other biophilic elements are used throughout the program to encourage interaction. The first building in what will become Georgia Tech’s Research Quad, EBB was envisioned to anchor the northern edge of campus. As an institution known for its advanced research, Georgia Tech required a high-performance facility and anticipated LEED certification at a high level. Integrative design process was used to bring together all project stakeholders at the beginning of design to set performance goals and metrics for the building. To achieve the passive design goals that were set for daylighting, energy, site ecology, and water, the project team created a vertically-scaled, narrow research building with a light footprint. EBB fits and functions within the Eco-Commons, a permanent and multi-purpose open space with high levels of ecological performance that lays over the entire campus master plan.

Project Attributes

  • Year of design completion: 2013
  • Year of substantial project completion: 2014
  • Gross conditioned floor area: 207,790 sq ft
  • Gross unconditioned floor area: 4,676 sq ft
  • Number of stories: 6
  • Project Climate Zone: ASHRAE 3A
  • Annual hours of operation: 2,920
  • Site area: 142,052 sq ft
  • Project site context/setting: urban
  • Cost of construction, excluding furnishing: $91,613,210
  • Number of residents, occupants, visitors: 582

 Project Team

  • Architects: Cooper Carry & Lake | Flato
  • Daylighting: Integrated Design Lab
  • Ecological Services: Biohabitats
  • Energy Performance: TLC Engineering for Architecture
  • Engineer – Civil: Long Associates
  • Engineer – MEP: Newcomb & Boyd
  • Engineer – Structural: Uzun + Case
  • General Contractor: McCarthy Building Co.
  • Lab Planning Consultant: RFD
  • Landscape Architect: jB+a
  • Landscape Architect: Nelson Byrd Woltz

 Third party rating systems

LEED: Platinum

To learn more about this project, click here.