The 347,000 gross-sq.-ft. buildings (Building A - 172,000 sq. ft. with 6,000-sq.-ft. BSL 3 space, and Building B-175,000 sq. ft. with 13,000-sq.-ft. ABSL 3 space and a 45,000-sq.-ft testing area with interstitial level above) provide lab and office space for cutting-edge research in areas such as neural rehabilitation, genomics, molecular biophysics, neutraceuticals and edible vaccines, and nano-scale bio-optics and bioscience. The research is interdisciplinary in nature, with a focus on the life sciences, bioengineering and biotechnology.
A primary aim in building this facility was to accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation. The facility has been designed to meet the most stringent demands by experimental programs in biotechnology and nanotechnology; to enhance communication and collaboration between researchers with an open, shared lab design and a central atrium linking all floors; to be flexible allowing for rapid reconfiguration of space and equipment to meet the changing demands of the research programs; and to be a hub providing the linkage between the multi-disciplinary research groups and those from leading industries and regional institutions.
Building A was completed Fall 2004 and achieved LEED® -NC Gold certification. Building B, was completed Fall 2005 and achieved LEED® -NC Platinum certification.
- Building A received LEED® Gold Certification
- Building B received LEED® Platinium Certification
- Fly ash – a waste by-product of coal burning power plants – was used to offset the energy demands of a typical concrete structure.
- A reflective roof membrane and high-albedo paving materials mitigate the Phoenix area's urban heat island effect.
- A 5,000-gallon irrigation water cistern collects air conditioning condensate water, which eliminates the use of potable water in landscape irrigation. Rain water from the roof and paving are routed directly via pipes to the drought-resistant native desert landscaping.
- Low-flow lavatories, kitchen sinks, showers and waterless urinals use 30 percent less water than conventional fixtures.
- An exterior shading system on south and west facades controls unwanted heat from the hot desert sun.
- The top portion of the interior shade louver system is automatically controlled to maximize daylight penetration by reflecting diffuse light onto the ceilings.
- Office occupancy sensors automatically control artificial lighting, reducing both lighting energy demand and associated cooling loads. These strategies reduce energy use by 29 percent.
- Terrazzo floors were made with locally available materials, including area river rock. This pays tribute to the Salt River that flowed through the site long ago.
- Ozone-friendly refrigerants were used to help mitigate ozone depletion.
- An innovative variable-volume exhaust system was designed in place of a conventional, constant-volume system, reducing energy demand associated with meeting laboratory ventilation requirements in the desert.
- A two-week flush-out was performed to improve indoor environmental air quality before occupying the building.