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Emory University’s Health Sciences Research Building II: A Model for Energy-Efficient Design

Chirag Mistry and Anica Landreneau
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Emory University's Health Sciences Research Building II: A Model for Energy-Efficient Design

Chirag Mistry and Anica Landreneau
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When it opens in Atlanta in 2022, Emory University's new Health Sciences Research Building II (HSRB II) will be in the vanguard of new biomedical research buildings facilitating discovery of the biology underlying human health. In addition to advancing Emory's vision for reimagining medicine, HOK's design supports its campus-wide sustainability efforts and aggressive goals for energy use reduction.

The eight-story building will have 350,000 square feet of research space dedicated to biomedical science. Along with targeting LEED Gold certification, the university set an ambitious goal for reducing its energy use. Research buildings typically are energy-intensive, consuming five to 10 times more energy per square foot than office buildings. In fact, the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) Labs21 program states that the average energy use intensity (EUI) for a building of this type is 302 kbtu/sf/yr. Yet the university’s aspirational goals opened the door to many innovative design strategies for the HSRB II, resulting in a conservatively modeled EUI of just 156 kbtu/sf/yr.

This case study describes Emory’s integrative sustainable design process, HOK’s six-step approach to high-performance design for the HSRB II, the team’s specific strategies for reducing energy and water use, and efforts to integrate biophilic design elements that promote health and wellness.

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