Laboratory Tenant Improvement Design

Celgene Corporation Location: San Diego, California Square Footage: 150,000 Construction Cost: 40,345,000
CRB provided MEP and Data/IT design services for this Lab/Office/Vivarium Tenant Improvement of a warm Core and Shell for Celgene's relocation and expansion project, which consolidated their Research and Development, IT and Corporate departments under one roof while allowing for growth and decompression of their existing space.

The 150,000-sq.-ft. LEED® Gold certified facility includes approximately 65,000 sq. ft. of new Lab space for: Chemistry, Biology, Tissue Culture, Histology, Automation, Pharmacology, BSL-2, Cold Rooms, Morphology, Mass Spec, NMR, Crystallography, Radioactives, Fermentation, Collaborator and General Lab areas, an 8,000-sq.-ft. Vivarium including a BSL-2, Immunocompromised, Holding, Procedure, Washing, and Irradiation suites. Utilities also included services to Autoclaves, Glasswashers, and a Cagewasher. The Irradiation suite required special approval from homeland security. Miscellaneous rooms include: New H-Rooms, Hazardous Material storage shed, mechanical rooms, shipping receiving, service yard, Warehouse + Shipping/Receiving, and a Lobby/Reception area. A 1,000-sq.-ft. high density server room with a gaseous (NOVEC) fire protection system, N+1 UPS, and N+1 HVAC was included. Utilities include Compressed Dry Air, Industrial Air, Vacuum, Nitrogen, LN2, Animal Watering System, C02, RODI Water, C02, Steam, HHW and house chilled water.

The space was fed from a 12KV line up in the Central Plant Building with an underground loop supplying the building. A unit substation inside the building dropped the voltage to 480 volts. Emergency/standby power was supplied from a 2MW generator.

The project had its challenges right from the outset—beginning with the owner implementing a design-bid-build method to maintain control of the design. The design and construction time frame was extremely compressed with 11 weeks from start of Design Development to the Issued for Permit set, with early MEP buyout off the 8 week drawing set. The building also had a few constraints, including locations with as little as 11'-6" of headroom. Furthermore, a very large quantity of air had to be moved throughout the two floors to accommodate 78 fume hoods in laboratories, which made routing of utilities very tricky and required an extensive coordination effort. Mid-way through the design, Celgene realized that they would need additional space and leased the adjacent 35,000-sq.-ft. space, increasing the project scope to 150,000 sq. ft. To complicate the tenant improvement further, there were three projects being constructed simultaneously in the same area with multiple contractors.

With the Celgene Project Manager based on the East Coast, the company decided it needed a strong project leader to manage this aggressive project. Project Management Advisors (PMA) was chosen to fulfill that role. DGA Architects, CRB for MEP and Hope Structural Engineers were selected for their expertise and ability to handle fast track projects. BNBuilders was chosen as the General Contractor.

CRB developed an accelerated design package that was bid to multiple M/E/P subcontractors. Even with the accelerated design schedule, CRB designed the ductwork routing in Revit MEP 2012 which proved invaluable when it came to overhead utility coordination and shop drawing production.

Not only was the design schedule aggressive, so was the construction schedule. To meet the schedule BNBuilders along with the design team participated in weekly coordination meetings where all parties were encouraged to present 'out of the box' ideas. The construction approach reflected this type of thinking as each floor was constructed as a separate project with its own dedicated crew. At one point there were as many as 243 construction workers on site.

Tight owner control was also instrumental in reducing RFI's and change orders as additional end user requests were put on a 'parking lot list' and addressed according to priority.

With such a fast moving project incorporating energy conservation is always a concern; nevertheless the team remained committed to providing an environmentally sound tenant space through the use of intelligent design and construction practices, achieving their goal of LEED® Gold certification. A variety of strategies, including techniques for reducing water and energy usage, selection of construction materials using recycled content and clean construction practices were incorporated. The following is a partial list of measures used:

  • Intelligent site selection
  • Electric Vehicle charging stations
  • Water efficiency: > 40% savings over the code
  • Lighting Efficiency and Controls: > 20% savings over California Title 24
  • Enhanced Commissioning

Other items incorporated into the design were:

  • Efficient plumbing fixtures
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Use of Energy Star-rated office equipment
  • Metering of utilities and distribution panels
  • Selection of low VOC materials.
  • Providing natural light

The design team also took advantage of local energy incentives through the utility company. The design included zone presence sensors that not only controlled lighting but also interfaced with the BMS system to reduce air change rates in unoccupied lab spaces. This resulted in a $95,000 rebate.

The team of PMA, DGA, CRB, Hope Engineering and BNBuilders, in concert with Celgene, provided forward-thinking, state-of-the-art solutions which allowed the project to be designed and constructed on time and within budget.

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