Skokie Lab Earns LEED Gold

LEED Watch:
Keeping track of new architecture that earns the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ratings.

Architect & Structural Engineer:
Flad & Associates

Energy & Daylighting Analysis:
Weidt Group

Pharmacia Laboratory Building Q, Skokie, Ill.

Pharmacia’s Building Q Research Building recently earned the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. LEED is a green building rating system developed by the USGBC. Gold certification requires substantial savings in the amount of energy the building uses, versus what a conventional building would use.

Green features need to be planned from the very start of a project, not simply added as an afterthought. Laboratories as a rule are energy-intensive facilities, so design for energy conservation was essential. Careful use of sustainable techniques and materials should save Pharmacia an estimated $800,000 per year in energy costs. Overall, the facility consumes nearly 40 percent less energy than similar lab facilities.

Sustainable features:

  • A pre-design charette, hosted by Bill Browning of the Rocky Mountain Institute, was held off-site with members of Flad, Pharmacia, and the contractor.
  • Programmed spaces include chemistry, analytical and process labs located around two atria. These atria are designed to encourage cross-disciplinary interaction and allow natural light to penetrate the labs and interior areas of the building.
  • A significant amount of the building material came from within a 300-mile radius, cutting down on transportation expenses.
  • The site for the new lab was reclaimed by deconstructing an old warehouse. More than 75 percent of the building materials were diverted from local landfills, netting Pharmacia about $54,000 in savings from scrap revenues and avoided landfill fees.
  • The steel frame is 100 percent recycled steel, a significant amount of the wallboard is synthetic gypsum, a byproduct of utility plants, the carpet yarns and backing can be endlessly recycled into new carpet, and the ceiling tiles have recycled content as high as 80 percent.
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