Sustainable Architecture and Engineering of Core
and Shell Laboratories
Asif Syed, AFK Engineers
Paul Drago, Nk Architects
The Digital Century Building is located in Newark,
New Jersey, in close proximity to the Rutgers, New Jersey, Institute
of Technology, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey (UMDNJ). It is a 110,000 square foot building designed for
housing high-tech companies with laboratories and offices. The building
is designed as core and shell only with potential multi-tenant occupancies
with either wet laboratories or dry laboratories.
The design approach and goals for this building were:
- LEED® Gold Certification
- Energy: Optimize, measure, and verify
- Simulation of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems
- Onsite generation
- Life cycle cost analysis
- Minimize air change rate
- Provide pathways/flexibility for dry and wet laboratories
- Water use reduction
- Tenant fit out guidelines
The technologies adopted for this building were:
- Right-sizing strategy with real loads, variable frequency drive
chiller, and variable frequency drive pumps. Lessons learned include
saving and cost of variable frequency drive on chillers.
- Investigated four options to recover energy: 1) heat wheel,
2) flat plate device, 3) heat pipe, and 4) run around loop. Lessons
learned include the appropriateness and applicability of each
device. Run around loop was selected. Reduction in loads for each
recovery method was calculated.
- 1) Reduce air change rate, 2) use low flow hoods or lower sash
stops, 3) reduce or lower air flow during unoccupied hours, 4)
reduce process heat generation burden on central air, 5) energy
recovery, and 6) demand control ventilation.
- Perimeter photovoltaic façade array is mounted on the
sun-tracking shades that generate electricity and also provide
shade, reducing the solar heat gain and air conditioning load.
- Solar collector hot water system on the roof preheats water
used for heating and reheating air in laboratories.
- Density less than code mandated criteria of 1.3 width per square
foot. Active daylighting controls at perimeter.
Water Use Reduction
- Rain water from the roof is collected in underground tank and
is used to serve landscape irrigation.
- Energy analysis was used to analyze the glazing.
- Tenant fit out guidelines were provided to carry through the
sustainable technologies incorporated in the base building design.
Asif Syed has 20 years
of experience in the HVAC industry. His experience includes working
on institutional and commercial projects. Asif was senior vice president
at Flack+Kurtz until 2003, where he pioneered new technologies of
radiant cooling in New York City for the Hearst Building, designed
by Norman Foster, under-floor air distribution for the Biltmore
Broadway Theater and Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Asifs
experience includes working in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and South
America. Asif's current projects include Pfizer Building 115 designed
by Hillier Group, educational teaching laboratories at St. Johns
University and Stony Brook, and a LEED® Gold-rated
laboratory project for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
in Newark, New Jersey.
is the managing principal of NK's New York City office and has 26
years experience in the architectural profession. His responsibilities
range from office operations and oversight of individual projects
to his role as project manager for specific assignments. Mr. Drago
has successfully managed many award-winning projects for the firm’s
educational and corporate clients.
In his tenure at NK, Mr. Drago has developed an expertise in higher
education with a specific emphasis on high technology research laboratories
and has been instrumental in forwarding sustainable design initiatives
at NK. Mr. Drago’s project portfolio includes numerous projects
for Rutgers University, University of Medicine and Dentistry, Raritan
Valley Community College, and Barnard College. Recent additions
to his portfolio include a blood distribution center for the New
York Blood Center, a training and showroom for the Greater New York
Automobile Dealers Association, and the 68,000-sqaure-foot Life
Sciences Center for Rutgers University.
Mr. Drago has served as a panelist at seminars sponsored by the
Mid-Atlantic Concrete and Aggregate Forum and has been a speaker
at the U.S. Green Building Council and the AIA Sustainability Conference.
Mr. Drago is a member of the AIA and The Society of College and
University Planning. He obtained his Bachelor of Architecture at
the City College of New York.
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