AstraZeneca announced recently that a renovated laboratory at its Wilmington, DE, headquarters has been awarded gold certification for green design by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It is the first laboratory in Delaware to achieve certification and only the second building in the state to be awarded the gold level.
With sustainable design principles at the heart of this renovation, the 95,000 square foot facility was an opportunity to be green from the start. By reusing the existing building shell, the amount of demolition required was minimized, as well as the amount of new building materials needed. Minimizing waste continued with the demolition of the building’s interior. AstraZeneca worked with its contractors to ensure the rubble—6.8 million pounds of it—was recycled, instead of sending this waste to a landfill.
Designed to improve indoor air quality while minimizing energy, the lab’s sustainable elements include additional automation technology, which was employed to minimize energy loss. AstraZeneca installed automatic closures on fume hood sashes to ensure they close when not in use. Lighting controls with motion sensors automatically turn lights on and off.
The design also uses energy saving lighting fixtures and energy efficient windows, reducing heating and air conditioning loads. High efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs were also used in temporary light fixtures during construction, realizing a significant cost savings.
Sustainable design even had its impact on the finished interior. The rest room countertops utilize scrap metal shavings; carpet tiles are manufactured from old carpets; ceiling tiles are made of recycled paper; vinyl flooring incorporates recycled plastics; pantry counters use recovered wood fiber; and drywall incorporates recycled news print. Project Manager Ed Walczak said, “It proves something old can truly become something new.”
USGBC’s rating system for designing and constructing sustainable buildings, known as LEED requires construction and renovation projects to meet specific requirements, using a four level credit system, for certification. “We are exceptionally proud that while going green, we achieved the gold,” said Arnie Caine, vice president of business services for AstraZeneca. “It’s proof that we’re committed to making a positive impact on the environment in ways that benefit our employees and the community.”
“AstraZeneca is to be commended for their LEED gold certification. Both the company and community can be proud of this achievement,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, founding chair, USGBC. “The AstraZeneca campus is a showcase for high performance, energy efficiency, healthy innovation, and an inspiration for similar facilities in Delaware.”