La Jolla Laboratory Replacement Project - Sustainable Strategies

The design team considered a wide variety of innovative design and sustainable strategies to cover all areas of the project: energy efficiency, an extensive rooftop photovoltaic system, elaborate storm water retention systems, regionally sourced building materials, “green roofs” planted with California coastal vegetation, natural ventilation systems, and a variety of corrosion-resistant materials, such as poured-in-place concrete, ceramic terra cotta, and stainless steel exterior fixtures.

SWFSC's La Jolla Laboratory Sustainable Strategies PDF 

Sustainable Strategies2

Exterior Materials – Stucco and concrete, chosen for the primary exterior walls, are produced locally, have low embodied energy, high durability / long life span, are resistant to heat, non-corrosive, and able to withstand weathering.

Energy efficiency – Energy savings were accomplished through several key strategies including the use of offices with fan-assisted natural ventilation and high efficiency equipment and lightings.  The LEED energy model shows that the building is projected to have a 25% reduction in overall energy use.  Cooling energy use is 69% less than the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers) 90.1-2004 standard. This means the project meets the federal requirement for new buildings under the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Solar energy – Roof top photovoltaic power provides a 7% reduction annually in the amount of electricity needed to be pulled from the public power grid.  That’s enough energy to power 40 houses and to assist the region in diminishing peak electrical load demand.

Natural lighting - Narrow floor plates, terrace design, atrium corridors, and small “neighborhoods” laid out within the building perimeter allow natural light to penetrate deep in the site while terra cotta louvers reduce thermal gain on the building and shade against sun. 

Natural ventilation – Operable windows allow researchers to control access to fresh air while high ceilings, ceiling fans and warm air intake above the windows provide low tech, energy efficient means of controlling workplace temperatures.  Occupancy sensors and thermostats control the exhaust dampers.

Storm water control –Storm water management was a significant concern for the site which was solved with an extensive series of vegetated swales (depressions) to collect runoff.  The vegetation will reduce flow velocity and naturally filter particulate matter. During large rain events, substantial storm water flows will pass through the vegetated swales and into a series of vegetated desiltation basins. During the most severe rain events, when storm water flows may inundate these desiltation basins, the excess water will overflow to an underground storage tank to be slowly released to the city's storm water system.

Green roofs and terraces– Roofs and terraces will be planted with California coastal vegetation.  Viewed from the street above, the greenery will blend with the native vegetation around the site.  The green roofs will help to keep the temperature moderated, save energy and retain rainwater. The vegetated roofs and terraces cover about 30% of the total roof surface. Bat and raptor boxes will provide habitat for native fauna.

Native vegetation – A goal of the project was to provide restored native California coastal vegetation around the new building, removing non-native invasive trees and plants.  During construction, non-native plants, such as eucalyptus, were removed from the site and replaced with native California coastal chaparal and Torrey pines. Also as a part of the project, an approximately equivalent amount of land on the upper campus of UC San Diego was restored with native plants including species such as toyon, lemonade berry, laurel sumac and coastal scrub oak.

 Sustainable Feature 1

Green roof – Gould Evans