Award-winning laboratory and office complex housing 2,000 employees in 14 structures. Two 700-car garages, two pedestrian bridges, childcare center. Sustainable design. 1,100,000 sf.
Weidlinger Associates provided structural design services for the US Environmental Protection Agency's award-winning research and administrative complex in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Located on a 133-acre site, the 1.1-million-square-foot facility consists of fourteen buildings intended to be a model for sustainability and environmental protection. Weidlinger chose concrete construction with concrete joists for the laboratory buildings to satisfy strict vibration control requirements and air quality standards. The use of structural steel for linked office buildings provided increased span lengths for column-free spaces. By conserving nonrenewable fossil fuels and reducing air emissions, the complex uses 40% less energy than a comparable one of standard construction, for a projected savings of more than $1 million per year.
The complex, which accommodates more than 2,000 employees, contains 600 laboratory modules in five wings, three office wings, and a six-story office tower with conference rooms, auditorium, library, and cafeteria. It has 270,000 square feet of laboratory space, 220,000 square feet of office space, a 70,000-square-foot National Computer Laboratory, a central utility plant, and a pair of three-level, 700-car parking structures built into a sloped site. A high-bay laboratory offers head clearance of 35 feet for large formal experiments.
The complex boasts 80% of construction waste recycled, 100% capture and treatment of storm water runoff, and a 200% increase in building lifespan. Awards recognizing the project's demonstration of sustainability and green design standards include the 2001 White House Closing the Circle Award for outstanding waste prevention and recycling, a 2002 GSA Design Award for Sustainability, and a 2000 Planet GSA Demolition Derby Award for exceptional success with construction waste recycling. The project was also recognized by the Ford Foundation and the Council for Excellence in Government as one of the Top 100 Innovations of 2000 and was selected as one of only 30 projects worldwide to be presented at Green Building Challenge 1998, the first-ever international green building benchmarking conference. The project was among the highest-scoring and was rated the best of the five US projects.
Completion Date: 2002 Location: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina Owner or Client: General Services Administration (GSA) Prime Consultant(s): Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum (HOK)