CDC Lab First of its Kind to Achieve Gold LEED Certification
According to Perkins+Will and CDC, the sustainable components of the building will significantly reduce the impact on the environment and save taxpayer dollars.
“The goal of this building is to enhance our research capabilities while doing so in a sustainable way,” said James Pirkle, M.D., Ph.D, deputy director for science at CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences. “Perkins+Will delivered the strategy and creative thought needed to achieve this objective. With so many sustainable elements incorporated, the lab as a whole operates more smoothly. It allows our scientists to focus on conquering major health challenges with ease and efficiency.”
Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED rating systems have become a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. The LEED certification levels are determined by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Upfront Savings of $847,000
CDC and Perkins+Will estimate that the design of the building offers “conservative upfront savings” of $847,000 and annual savings of more than $1 million. According to the organizations, the savings break down to:
- $847,000 upfront due to flexible design of lab (interstitial floors that save storage space; multipurpose flexible office space; mobile casework; and equipment zones). The inclusion of interstitial floors eliminated the need to build an entire additional floor.
- $400,000 annually due to laboratory flexibility. The lab is reconfigured easily and quickly.
- $175,000 annually due to energy-efficient design.
- $500,000 annually due to productivity gains. The organizations “conservatively” estimate that the effects of a healthy workplace and employee satisfaction are 2.5 percent of worker salaries.
“The design of Building 110 significantly improves the work environment for CDC,” Perkins+Will Design Director Manuel Cadrecha said. “We have blended practical elements of sustainability – such as better air quality and use of natural daylight – with sophisticated, quality design. This mix creates an operationally effective laboratory and a superior research environment.”
Sustainable design elements of Building 110 range from energy efficiency to sustainable land use. High-performance glazing and exterior sunshades maximize daylight contributions and minimize electrical lighting demands within the building. Daylighting and occupancy sensors are provided in all office and lab spaces to conserve energy.
According to CDC and Perkins+Will, the building boasts 23.7 percent reduction in energy use over similar conventional buildings.
“We have proven that labs can conserve energy,” said James Myrick, Ph.D., a research chemist at CDC. “Building 110 will save approximately $175,000 per year in energy costs alone over a non-LEED building. That’s savings for taxpayers.”
Largest and Most Complex Federal Lab to Earn LEED Gold
According to CDC and Perkins+Will, Building 110 is the largest and most complex federal laboratory to receive LEED Gold in the United States. The only other federally owned laboratory to receive a higher rating is the smaller, less complex National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, which received a platinum accreditation.
“This project was critical in the implementation of the laboratory portion of CDC’s Chamblee Campus Master Plan,” said George Chandler, director of CDC’s Buildings and Facilities Office. “Building 110 allowed CDC to replace several old, substandard, energy-inefficient lab buildings dating from the 1940s through the 1970s. These old buildings have since been demolished, making way for future laboratory projects at the Chamblee Campus in accordance with CDC’s highest and best use policy, while retaining substantial campus green space and conserving environmentally sensitive areas.
“The CDC team of architects and contracting officers, including Angela Wagner, Tanya Bertsch, Jerry Stephenson and Mark Federer, who allowed the project to be so successful for our internal clients, have delivered several other important lab and lab support projects at Chamblee. Building 110 is certainly the jewel in the Chamblee Master Plan crown.”
Other Sustainable Components
According to CDC and Perkins+Will, additional sustainable components of Building 110 include:
- “Smart” stormwater management, which directs rainfall to gardens to reduce the amount of rainfall leaving the site by over 25 percent.
- A landscape design comprised of primarily native and adapted plantings that will not require extensive irrigation. Equipment condensate is captured in underground containers to provide 100 percent of site irrigation needs, eliminating the need for externally supplied irrigation water.
- Indoor air quality control managed through separate air handling units for laboratories and offices. Through zoning lab and office uses, the system is tailored to best fit the needs of occupants. The systems reduce operational costs by at least 5 to 10 percent.
- The restoration of open space and habitat to the site and campus. Previously, over 50 percent of the site was impervious development for use by the military. The restored habitat also reduces the urban heat island and ground-level ozone and helps offset CO2 emissions.
- The use of local and recyclable materials, which further minimizes the negative impact on the planet. Over 46 percent of materials were sourced regionally. Renewable materials such as bamboo were used to help preserve and protect natural resources. A total of 21.7 percent of all materials and products used on the project were recycled content. Over 56 percent of construction waste was recycled, including metals, gypsum, fibers and concrete/paving.