Whitehead Biomedical Research Building, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

The 325,000ft2, $83 million Whitehead Biomedical Research Building on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Geprgia, comprises 8 floors of laboratory, lab support and offices for cell biology, human genetics and physiology. The facility also accommodates the Neurodegenerative Disease Center and Center for Medical Genomics. Faithful+Gould led a value engineering study of the building. The value engineering team – including key University staff, the architect and project engineers – concentrated their study mainly on the mechanical, plumbing, electrical and laboratory systems. The process helped the University to balance initial cost premiums and life cycle cost economies with confidence. The challenge was to gain a LEED Silver rating.

The final design of the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building included a number of sustainability features which successfully contributed to the LEED Silver rating. Specifications included many products with recycled content, as well as locally sourced materials. The University invested in an enthalpy 'heat' wheel recovery system to reduce HVAC system energy demand. Condensate recovery units produced water savings, and storm water was collected for irrigation. An open lab concept aimed at promoting collaborative research, and the layout allowed natural light for 90% of the building occupants. The US Green Building Council awarded the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building a LEED Silver rating.

Related expert