Skip to main content Skip to main content

It's Not Easy Being Platinum

Diane Kase, Earl Walls Associates

Only one lab building currently has LEED® platinum status—the University of California Santa Barbara's Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Only one other lab is currently in the process of obtaining a LEED Platinum rating—the Northern Arizona University's Applied Research Development (NAU-RAD) Facility. As the team for NAU-ARD began keeping their LEED scorecard, one question kept puzzling the design team: "How did Bren achieve Platinum?"

The obvious difference is each project qualified under different versions, Bren under 1.0 and ARD under 2.0. The ratio of net lab square footage to gross square footage differs significantly between the two projects which begs the questions:

  • How much lab can a building contain and still achieve Platinum?
  • How does the type of science or specialty labs (i.e. BSL labs) impact the LEED Platinum rating?
  • Could Bren achieve a Platinum rating under 2.0?

This presentation will attempt to answer those questions by presenting a case study of those two projects as well as a comparison of them to other LEED Platinum projects of differing building types. The analysis will highlight the lessons learned on the lab projects and the most challenging issues to be addressed by the project team.


Diane C. Kase, LEED AP, is a Project Manager at Earl Walls Associates located in San Diego, California and is a 1989 graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design.

With Earl Walls Associates since 1989, Ms Kase has served in the capacities of laboratory designer, project coordinator, and now is a project manager. She is a focused, thorough project manager and an innovative designer with extensive experience on various laboratory projects for academic and institutional research, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical.

Back to the Agenda

EPA Home | OARM Home | DOE Home | FEMP Home

This page is no longer updated.
EPA gave I2SL permission to house this page as a historic record of the Labs21 Annual Conference.