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LEED™ Your Labs to the Environment—Creative Mechanical Designs for the New Generation Labs

Gurdaver Singh, Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers

The Science II building at CSU Stanislaus is a new three-story 115,000 square foot laboratory building. The laboratory is scheduled for completion in fall 2006. It will provide wet and dry laboratories and support space for interdisciplinary sciences, including an observatory at roof top level.

Although there is no LEED™ rating scheme specifically for laboratories, the Science II building at CSU Stanislaus is one of only a few LEED™ certifiable laboratories in the country under the current LEED™ rating system.

A number of measures were implemented to attain a LEED™ Silver rating. The energy consumption of the laboratory was reduced by over 15 percent compared to the typical Energy Code requirements.

Labs21 Connection:

California leads the country in programs to encourage owners to design, build, and operate high performance buildings. Laboratories, due to their process driven requirements, are generally approached from a prescriptive perspective to meet Energy Code requirements. On a standard design approach, this allows owners to ignore the value that can be gained from sustainable design strategies.

The project made use of a number of technologies and strategies to obtain the necessary credits to attain a LEED™ rating:

  • Intelligent façade construction
  • Energy efficient lighting scheme
  • Improved boiler efficiency
  • The use of VFD's on pump and fan motors
  • Use of low water usage fixtures and fittings
  • Pre-cooling outside air to reduce chiller peak loads
  • Low pressure ventilation system
  • VAV ventilation system
  • Passive ventilation for the atrium
  • Elimination of chemical treatment for the cooling towers

Evaluation of energy conservation measures included financial costs and benefits (energy cost reduction, payback period, life cycle cost analysis, etc). In addition, choices were influenced by the goal to reduce the profound impact of the built environment on occupants, environment, local, and global communities.


Gurdaver Singh, C. Eng, LEED™ AP, originally from the United Kingdom, brings 16 years of experience as principal engineer in mechanical and electrical design for building services in institutional, civil, and healthcare projects. An Associate with Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineer in San Francisco, California, Gurdaver is also a LEED™ accredited professional as well as member of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers, California Society of Hospital Engineers, and Institute of Mechanical Engineers (in UK). Gurdaver's recent project experience includes work valued over $500 million. He received a Bachelor's degree of Science with Honours in Mechanical Engineering from Dundee University, UK.


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