Camp Southern Ground is the passion project of Georgia native and Grammy-winning country music singer Zac Brown. Zac was inspired to start this camp based on his own experience as a camp counselor. The camp is located on more than 400 acres in Fayetteville, about 30 minutes south of downtown Atlanta and will serve kids on the neurological spectrum, those with challenges and children of gold-star military families.

Peterson Dining Hall is the first of 23 buildings to be built on the property. “It's the heart of camp like the kitchen is the heart of home,” says Chris Sciarrone, of Perkins+Will, the designers of the building.

DPR teamed together with Structor Group for the first phase of Camp Southern Ground. The dining hall is a ground-up, multi-purpose and entertainment venue to be used by campers and for special events. The 19,500-sq.-ft. facility includes a full kitchen, six dumbwaiters to convey food, a pharmacy and a large dining area to accommodate patrons. Sapele Mahogany, donated by Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars, adorns cathedral ceilings and custom millwork benches.

The integrated project team was able to deliver the project with a tight budget and an expedited schedule. Programmatic elements include an integrated A/V system, four square courts, gathering areas, and kitchen waste reuse provisions for the organic farm. The open plan offers visibility as the users to flow from one activity to the next.

BIM Features

The team coordinated mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire proofing using building information modeling.

Green Features

The building is meant to be sustainable and quiet and for that reason a geothermal loop was installed. This ties into not only the water loop for the mechanical systems but also regulates the domestic water temperature via a heat exchanger and also interfaces with the cooling systems for the walk in coolers. The project has achieved LEED certification.


  • ABC Georgia Chapter | Excellence in Construction Award for Camp Southern Ground Peterson Dining Hall - Merit Award (2018)
    Associated Builders and Contractors | Georgia Chapter
  • CMAA Project Achievement Award (2017)
    Construction Management Association of America
  • AIA Honor Award in Build (2017)
    The American Institute of Architects, Georgia Association (AIA)