Press Release: 09.01.2015

McCarthy Completes Engineered Biosystems Building Project at Georgia Tech

Exterior of Engineered Biosystems Building at Georgia Tech

McCarthy, one of the nation’s leading builders in higher education, announced today the completion of the new Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). The 220,000-square-foot building, totaling $91 million in construction costs, includes several communal areas aimed at fostering collaboration among researchers across disciplines.

A phased approach was taken in the mobilization of the construction work in that construction began midway through the preconstruction phase of the project. This allowed McCarthy to provide constructability feedback early on in the process to ensure Georgia Tech’s high standards were met.

Sustainable features such as rooftop photovoltaic panels, low-e glass, sun shades on the exterior of the building, chilled beams and groundwater, rain, and condensation harvesting, are just a few of the environmentally friendly features of this facility.

“Laboratories are commonly known as energy guzzlers due to the intense mechanical and electrical demands,” explains Ben Watkins, McCarthy’s Project Director of the EBB. “However, Georgia Tech, the design teams, and McCarthy were all focused on making this facility as sustainable as possible. “

One of the most impressive sustainability features of the building is the 365 active chilled beams. There was originally some hesitation about this addition due to the humid Atlanta climate, however a side-by-side experiment with HVAC was conducted on campus and proved the beams would significantly minimize energy for heating and cooling.

Leveraging sufficient daylight to minimize the need for artificial lighting while not adding to the building’s heating load, was a major factor in several aspects of the design including:

  • More than 12,100 square-feet of vertical perforated zinc panels, shade glass panels and windows on the exterior surfaces receiving the most direct sunlight.
  • A three-level system of light shelves use 50-feet-long, 4-feet-wide sections of three-layer laminated glass to reflect light deep into the interior.
  • Metal horizontal lattice elements extend horizontally from the rooftop photovolatic arrays to provide shade.

“McCarthy is honored to be a part of increasing Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary research abilities,” said Kevin Kuntz, McCarthy’s Southeast Division President. “We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate the positive impact this facility will have for Georgia Tech and the Atlanta community. “

Cooper Carry Inc., Atlanta, Ga. ( acted as the head project architect in collaboration with Lake Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas (

Additional figures of the construction of the EBB include:

  • About 40,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated from the site. 
  • About 10,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in the infrastructure.
  • The basement level is approximately 40 feet’ underground.
  • The building has a permanent foundation drainage system to accommodate the groundwater present at such a deep elevation.
  • EBB has seven stories; five above ground, a basement level and a mechanical penthouse.

About McCarthy
At McCarthy, we’re just getting started. For over 150 years, McCarthy has been building communities across America, both by constructing essential projects communities rely on, as well as by helping those who need assistance. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work, McCarthy has approximately 1,600 salaried employees with offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Dallas, Houston, Texas; Albuquerque; San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.; Collinsville, Ill.; Denver, Colorado; and Kansas City, Kan. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company’s history is available online at

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