New Net-Zero Energy Use Laboratory

The first ever net-zero energy use biological laboratory is nearing completion in La Jolla, CA.  These ‘wet labs’ are typically very high energy use buildings, but the new building for the J. Craig Venter Institute will break that mold in style.  The new headquarters will comprise 45,000 square foot and cost upwards of $39 million.

The building will achieve net-zero use without purchasing carbon offsets, meaning all its energy saving tactics are coming from personnel and the building itself.  The builders are using concrete that contains 30% fly ash, a recycled material, which is the highest percentage ever used by the company.  The 23,000 square foot solar panel array will provide electricity for the building, contributing about 60% of the total energy reduction.

Heating and cooling will be operated by a high-efficiency HVAC system, which consists of two 25,000 gallon thermal energy storage tanks that will use water instead of air to move heat in and out of the building.  This system will cut HVAC energy consumption by 87% compared to similar buildings.

When completed sometime in October, the building will support approximately 125 scientists and staff, and will (hopefully) have a LEED-Platinum rating.  Hopefully this trend catches on and more labs are built like this in the future.  In the end they will save money, mainly because they will have almost completely eliminated monthly energy costs.

Thinking about building green?  Tip Top Remodeling does new construction with energy efficient options.

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