September 25, 2020

Research Lab by TATE+BURNS Architects LLC is LEED-CI Platinum Certified

TATE+BURNS Architects LLC of Essex, Connecticut’s recent design for a 9,600 square foot Laboratory for Comparative Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council. To date, this is the first renovation project at Yale to achieve a LEED-CI Platinum rating. The project located in the Brady Memorial Laboratory Building (originally built in 1916 with additions in 1929 and 1971) continues a tradition of sustainable design by TATE+BURNS. In 2009, a 15,000 square foot laboratory renovation project on the second floor of the same building designed by TATE+BURNS received a LEED-CI Gold rating.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification is an internationally acknowledged standard for environmentally conscious design. Its criteria include sustainable siting and materials, water efficiency, energy savings, indoor air quality, day lighting, consumer waste management and design innovation. Factors that contribute to the sustainability of this project site include its location in a historic urban campus building, ease of pedestrian access, the addition of bicycle racks with affiliated changing/shower facilities and a convenient Zipcar location.

Energy conservation measures include building envelope upgrades such as window replacement and improvements to the existing masonry walls to reduce heat loss through air infiltration, innovative lighting design (lighting energy loads were reduced by more than 25%), active chilled beams for radiant heating, cooling and ventilation, Energy Star appliances and a comprehensive program for commissioning to ensure mechanical systems run as intended. Water fixture upgrades and the use of high efficiency fixtures with sensors and programmable controls yield a 30% reduction in building water use over current EPA standards.
Environmentally preferable and low emitting materials were specified. Materials with high recycled content were used. Brick, steel, wood, gypsum board and furniture were selected from regional sources of extraction and manufacture, reducing energy consumption for transportation of goods and supporting the local economy. Wood doors, millwork and laboratory casework are certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC rated). Interior adhesives, paints and coating meet the strictest standards for emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds. Engineered wood products are all made without use of added urea-formaldehydes (a known carcinogen). In addition 98% of generated waste from demolition and construction was diverted from landfills to recycling agencies.

Sustainable strategies were used in the design and construction to create a 21st century research facility within an early 20th century academic building which had antiquated, inefficient mechanical systems and undersized, dimly lit workspaces. The result is an efficient and aesthetically pleasing research environment successfully marrying modern technology and historic design.

The project included a team of design and construction professionals: Babbidge Facilities Construction provided construction management. Other collaborators included the Yale University School of Medicine Facilities Planning and Construction office, R.G. Vanderweil Engineers (MEPFP), Sage Design and Consulting (LEED), Michael Horton Associates (Structural), Robert Schwartz and Associates (Specifications), Philip R. Sherman, P.E. (Code Consulting), EcoOne Solutions (Waste Management) and other local subcontractors and suppliers.