Klaus Advanced Computing Building

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The Christopher W. Klaus Advanced Computing Building serves as the home to some of Georgia Tech's most technologically advanced computing labs. The Klaus Advanced Computing Building is located at UNIQ7e12230b2a3f5c5c-geo-00000000-QINU.

Klaus Advanced Computing Building


Construction and Completion

This 414,000 square-foot facility began with a formal groundbreaking ceremony on April 1, 2004. During the groundbreaking ceremony, President G. Wayne Clough voiced his excitement about the construction of this advanced facility commenting, “Here in academia, computers have become the test tubes of the 21st century.”[1] The Klaus building was created to further the advancement of the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science disciplines. Formal dedication of the Klaus building took place on Thursday, October 26, 2006, with six men, among them Christopher Klaus and President G. Wayne Clough, cutting a binary code banner in front of the building's main entrance. [2] The binary code on the banner reflected that of the recurring binary code theme depicted throughout the Klaus Building.

About Christopher W. Klaus

Christopher W. Klaus, for whom the building is named, attended Georgia Tech in 1994, just one year prior to the Internet's public opening for personal and commercial use.[3] In an attempt to predict the need for Internet security, Klaus created a company named Internet Security Systems (ISS); his company went public in 1998 and was acquired by IBM in 2006 for over one billion dollars. Klaus later founded the company Kaneva, Inc., a company Klaus directed to excel in the area of three-dimensional gaming. Although Klaus left Georgia Tech prior to completing his degree, he is still an active member of the Georgia Tech community. With his donation to the Klaus Advanced Computing Building, Chris Klaus "became one of the nation’s youngest philanthropists."[3] In his remarks at the Klaus Advanced Computing Building groundbreaking, Klaus said, “My contribution is a result of both my desire to give back to Georgia Tech and the Atlanta community as well as enable future students to follow their dreams with the resources they need to be successful.” This quotation, along with a picture of Christopher Klaus himself, is depicted on a frosted glass plaque featuring binary code in the atrium of the building.

Location and Layout

Located near the center of Georgia Tech’s campus, the Klaus Advanced Computing Building rests on six acres of land. The building itself occupies less than fifty percent of the site leaving the remaining amount of land for green space. Walkways surround Klaus allowing for easy access to the College of Computing Building and the Engineering Quadrangle. [4] The Klaus Building houses more than 70 laboratories with several classrooms, lecture halls, and offices in between. The second and third floors contain study lounges, faculty offices, research labs, various administrative offices, and one gathering area. Also, housed in the Klaus Building are areas dedicated to divisions such as the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), Algorithms and Randomness Center and ThinkTank (ARC ThinkTank) the Center for Experimental Research in Computer Systems (CERCS), and the Georgia Tech Institute for Data and High Performance Computing (GTIDH). [5] "The binary skywalk is located on the third-floor, and connects the Klaus Building to the rest of the Information Technology Complex which includes the College of Computing, the Microelectronics Research Center, and the Van Leer Building." [5] In an aerial picture, the Klaus Building serves as a buffer between the Georgia Tech baseball field, track field, and the rest of the academic buildings on the Georgia Tech campus. [6]

Exterior View of the Klaus Advanced Computing Building

Building Operations

The Klaus Advanced Computing Building boasts building operating systems that use almost forty percent less energy than that required in the current energy codes. Many building components, more specifically the flooring, are the byproducts of recycled materials. All of the toilets located in Klaus use an “ultra low flow flush” to reduce water consumption. This selection of plumbing saves 360,502 gallons of potable water per year, a twenty-two percent savings over the base line building. [7] Rain amounts of up to 1.2 inches are collected and stored in two underground storage facilities. Before storage, the rain is filtered and later fed into the bioretention receptacles. Between these two storage facilities, over 147,000 gallons of water can be stored. This water is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the Klaus Building. Another form of water conservation employed by the Klaus Building is harvesting HVAC condensation. By harvesting this condensation, 1,700 gallons per day are available for irrigation of the Klaus Building's local landscape.

Various pieces of monitoring equipment, such as daylight and occupancy sensors, are activated throughout the building to measure amounts of light and to provide artificial lighting as needed. In all three levels of the parking garage, carbon monoxide sensors are present to measure appropriate emission levels and control the use of exhaust fans as needed to reduce elevated levels. Carbon dioxide levels are measured through sensors and allow for dynamic adjustment to maintain healthy air qualities throughout the building.[7]

Schematic detailing the underground cisterns and water reclamation system.


Maintenance of the Klaus building is less demanding than that of many other campus buildings due to Klaus’ relatively new construction and high quality construction. According to a pamphlet from the architecture firm Perkins+Will, "the Klaus Building is expected to perform in its current use for over fifty years without significant overhaul."[7] An example of Klaus’ design detail with attention to low maintenance is the use of recycled floor carpet tiles in the building that allow for easy replacement and cleaning. These carpet tiles also promote conservation: in the event of damage to the carpet, rather than replacing an entire section of carpet, one tile can be removed and replaced without wasting other intact sections of carpet.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency in the Klaus Building remains a major factor. Lighting for the Klaus Building incorporates the use of T-5 fluorescent fixtures and high efficiency fluorescent down lights. Nearly sixty percent of the building receives natural daylight; therefore, use of these lights during the day is not necessarily required. No incandescent lights are used in the building in an attempt to create a more efficient building and reduce energy use. [7] Glass windows cover the majority of the three main levels of the Klaus Building exterior. All windows on the exterior of the building are operable. A frontal view of the building exposes a large, rectangular glass panel which covers a portion of the left side of Klaus. On this frosted glass panel is a binary code sequence. This panel is representative of the disciplines the Klaus building serves: Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as Computer Science. The glass depiction of the binary code is also depicted on the glass covered walkway connecting the College of Computing Building and the Klaus Advanced Computing Building.

Going Green

In an effort to reduce the building’s overall ecological footprint, close to 500 parking spots are located on three levels under the building. The underground parking frees more land for green space and walkway areas. Access to this underground parking requires a Georgia Tech student identification card. After regular operating hours, access to any door or elevator of the building requires a proper student identification access card.

In an effort to support recycling and to promote an overall “go green” environment, the Klaus Building houses a hidden surprise on the first floor: a painted illustration of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. This painting covers three walls of an alcove hidden behind a series of doors and hallways. Just as the story written by Dr. Seuss promotes the conservation of trees and nature, so do the energy efficiency of the Klaus Advanced Computing Building promote conservation. The overall design and maintenance of this building reflects the state of the art energy efficient model that is reflective of the direction of Georgia Tech future construction projects.


  1. Ground-Breaking Remarks, Klaus Advanced Computing Building, April 1, 2004 http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/21142/1/oop04-050_Klaus_groundbreaking_4-04.pdf
  2. Georgia Tech Marketing and Communications Photograph Archive https://photos.comm.gatech.edu/ImagePortal.jsp
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dedication Remarks, Klaus Advanced Computing Building, October 26, 2006 http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/22209/1/oop06-058_Klaus_bldg_dedication_10-06.pdf
  4. Georgia Tech Campus Planning http://space.gatech.edu/planning/index.html?id=25&year=2006
  5. 5.0 5.1 Georgia Tech College of Computing http://www.cc.gatech.edu/about/facilities/klaus
  6. Georgia Tech Marketing and Communications Photograph Archive https://photos.comm.gatech.edu/ImagePortal.jsp
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Case Study http://space.gatech.edu/planning/assets/PlnFile_0_20091027122602.pdf

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