Arizona State University

Greening the Maroon and Gold, The Biodesign Institute at ASU


Arizona State University needed a scientific research facility where experts from a variety of scientific disciplines could collaborate in an interactive environment. Constructing the 350,000 square foot, award-winning Biodesign Institute is the first effort by a U.S. university to create an interdisciplinary research institute entirely devoted to bio-inspired innovation principles focusing on solutions to some of society’s largest challenges.

The Situation 

The design team of Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration with Gould Evans Associates and university researchers created a ground-breaking sustainable facility fulfilling the needs of researchers while achieving the University's facility goals. Through cooperation with Phoenix Controls, the team created an elegantly simple floor plan allowing for both trans-disciplinary collaboration and future expansion.

The Solution ​​

174,000 square foot Building B is made up of high-tech laboratories with benches including BSL-2 and BSL-3 containment and animal research areas. Flexibility was built into every aspect of the design, ensuring that Building B could be easily adapted to changes. Proper ventilation was design-critical to ensure controlling airborne pathogens while implementing energy conservation measures and reducing HVAC maintenance. Because they can achieve up to a 20:1 turndown with ± 5% error of commanded flow - reducing energy usage without compromising the need to contain airborne pathogens - Phoenix Controls Celeris® II control platforms and high-speed tracking pair valves were chosen.

A year after the original construction began, an energy audit recognized further energy savings potential. More comprehensive Phoenix Controls solutions were selected to help realize that potential. Zone Pressure Sensors®, also know as ZPS, and Usage Based Controls®, also known as UBC, were installed on the fume hoods along with Fume Hood Monitors (FHM) and Fan Static Reset Kits (FSR).- creating the ability to reduce face velocity to a lower setting when an operator is not present at the fume hood with resultant energy savings of up to 40%.

The Result

The Biodesign Institute was the first facility in Arizona to earn platinum-level LEED certification from the US Green Building Council (exceeding LEED criteria for use of recycled materials and sustainability). The Institute also earned a variety of awards including the 2006 Lab of the Year award by R&D Magazine and eleven AIA, AGCA, and local awards. When Building C begins construction in the near future, all the lessons learned from Building B will be applied - including the cost-effective benefits of Phoenix Controls solutions.