Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

All-electric Research Building

New York, NY

Columbia University is constructing a new academic research lab building for the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons designed to use significantly less energy than similar buildings of its kind. The all-electric academic research lab building will be the first of its kind in New York City and will expand Columbia’s research capacity with laboratory and office space while reducing energy consumption. The new 8-story, 75,000 SF facility will connect to Columbia’s School of Nursing, which AKF also designed, as well as the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion. AKF is providing MEP / FP engineering design and Energy + Performance services for the core & shell and interior fit-out of the building.

The new building will consist of approximately 80% wet labs and support space and 20% administration spaces. The project also includes a penthouse to house mechanical and electrical equipment. As part of the client’s strong commitment to reducing carbon, and specifically to eliminate fossil fuels, the building’s all-electric design utilizes no new fossil fuel service besides emergency power back-up. The design is on track to out-perform emission limits set by NYC’s Local Law 97 and Columbia University’s Plan 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goals. It is being designed to achieve LEED Gold and potentially Platinum certification and is expected to perform 30% more efficiently than the ASHRAE 90.1 2010 standard.

As an all-electric research lab building in a cold climate, the building presented a particular challenge given high heating loads brought on by the ventilation requirements of the building’s lab programming. Heating and cooling are handled by electric air source heat pumps that allow for energy recovery between the heating and cooling fluids to provide periods of free tempering during the year. Air-side energy recovery systems leverage waste heat to reduce the total energy needed to condition the building. AKF developed innovative engineering strategies to take full advantage of heat pump and energy recovery technologies to make sure every kilowatt introduced to the building is used to its fullest potential.

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Technical Statistics

OWNER: Columbia University Irving Medical Center
PROJECT NAME: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons All-electric Research Building
INDUSTRIES: Education, Healthcare