Scientific Sustainability

Scientific Sustainability


Combining research labs and offices into one building is harder than it may seem. Research programs require very different construction types and building systems than administrative spaces (think about the frequent air changes needed in research labs, for example), which is why labs have traditionally been much costlier to operate than offices. Sundt helped pioneer the new generation of sustainable research facilities – where lower energy and water use, reduced lifecycle costs, safety and beauty are smoothly integrated into one facility.


The Veterinary Medicine Research Facility 3B at the University of California, Davis is a great example. The building was designed in a fully integrated manner to provide very high performance at a low operating cost. A sophisticated energy model was used to help demonstrate the cumulative effects and inter-relationships of each and every design choice while allowing the team to measure how changes and substitutions could impact the building’s overall performance.


The project’s energy-efficient HVAC system brings outside air into the building and regulates indoor air temperatures with active chilled beams. Using this type of heating and cooling method in a laboratory setting is unusual because laboratories require very high levels of control, especially when they’re combined with office spaces.


University of California, Davis


Veterinary Medicine Research Facility 3B