UO science building lands state's first higher-ed lab LEED status

A University of Oregon research building has become the state’s first higher ed lab to receive LEED platinum status.

The Robert and Beverly Lewis Integrative Science Building at the University of Oregon earned the designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. Only a handful of higher ed labs have received the top LEED status. It’s also the UO’s first LEED Platinum structure.

The $51 million, 103,000-square-foot building was, designed by HDR and THA Architecture and built by Lease Crutcher Lewis. It’s home to “research clusters centered around interdisciplinary and integrative research missions” that effectively bring different sciences together.

Most of the building features spaces in which researchers study the brain and its functions.

“The overarching goal of the design was to support the premise of science as an open, collaborative process rather than an isolated exercise conducted behind closed doors,” project leaders wrote. “The underlying goal was to set a new standard for sustainable design at the university by weaving sustainability into every aspect of the building.”

Among its energy saving specifics, the building extracts waste heat from a utility tunnel below the site and uses the heat to control temperature in laboratories and office spaces. It uses 62 percent less energy than conventionally designed buildings of similar size and function. Some 17 percent of that savings coming from the reuse of waste heat.

The building also reclaims reverse osmosis-treated water from a neighboring zebra fish research facility for its urinals and toilets.

The structure further features bamboo throughout its atrium and in the laboratories, 28 rooftop solar panels that heat its domestic water and chilled beams and radiators.

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