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Case Study of a Newly Built 185,000 Gross Square Foot Pharmaceutical R&D Biotech Facility Located in La Jolla California, that Received LEED™ Certification in April 2005

Martin J. Wendel Jr., PE, and Jonathan Weiss, AIA, LEED™ 2,0 AP, Kling

A case study will be presented of a newly built 185,000 gross square foot Pharmaceutical R&D Biotech Facility located in La Jolla, California that received LEED™ Certification in April 2005. The case study will begin with a brief overview of the various functional space groups housed in the facility, such as chemistry labs, biology labs and vivarium, and will briefly address the prerequisites for LEED™ certification that were designed into the facility. From there, each of the following sections of the major categories of the LEED™ checklist where points were received will be shown, highlighting the specific characteristics of the design that were provided that achieved those LEED points: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

Highlights will include water use reduction strategies, design features provided to optimize energy performance, the application of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitoring, process water savings, and energy supply efficiency achieved through the installation of a cogen plant, where (jacket water) waste heat from natural gas fired electric generator sets is used as a source of HVAC preheat and reheat hot water and also used to generate chilled water through a medium temperature hot water absorption chiller.

Labs21 Connection:

The case study is an example of a laboratory facility that reflects the principles of the Labs 21 Approach to Laboratory Design by achieving LEED™ certification. The facility design employs a broad range of sustainable energy and water efficiency strategies, some of which are highlighted below:

  • Optimized Central Plant: Variable frequency motors are used throughout for supply air handling unit fans, cooling tower fans, pumps, and an electric chiller. A cogen system is provided utilizing waste heat to generate preheat and reheat hot water, and chilled water through the use of an absorption chiller.
  • Supply and exhaust air distribution systems are optimized through the use of variable volume fume hoods and fume hood proximity sensors.
  • Reclaimed water is used from the local municipality for landscape irrigation. Cooling coil condensate from the airhandling units is collected and used as the primary source of cooling tower makeup water. Laboratory process and equipment cooling is provided by closed-loop cooling systems instead of "once-through" water streams.
  • Mechanical, plumbing, and electrical utility systems are monitored and measured through a direct digital control (DDC) building automation system (BAS) that is installed in the facility, allowing the facility owner to document the energy and environmental performance of the laboratory in "real time."


Martin J. Wendel Jr., PE, is an Engineering Design Principal at Kling, a Philadelphia based Architectural-Engineering-Interior Design practice. He graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania. He has over 22 years of experience in the design of high technology facilities, and has worked for Kling for over 12 years, specializing in the design of mechanical systems serving laboratory, pharmaceutical pilot plant and manufacturing, animal research, and biotech facilities. Martin is a member of ISPE (the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers) and ASHRAE and has given several Labs21 presentations over the past several years.

Jonathan Weiss, AIA, LEED™ 2.0 AP, is a Project Architect, and an Associate at Kling.  He graduated from Columbia University with a Master's of Architecture and is a licensed architect in Pennslvania. He is the former chair of the Philadelphia American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment, and is a LEED™ accredited professional. He has 12 years of experience in the design of laboratory facilities, working on all aspects of the design from exterior enclosure detailing to interior laboratory programming and detailing.  He has specialized in High Performance Laboratory Design, and is a founding member of Kling's High Performance Green Building Design Committee, developed to incorporate sustainability practices into all projects to the maximum extent possible.


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