UCSF Parnassus
San Francisco, CA
School of Dentistry Mesenchymal and Craniofacial Research Laboratory
12,000 sq. ft.
Blake Drucker Architects
Key Features
Occupied Environment
UCSF's First LEED-Certified Lab Renovation

The $4.985 million renovation of the UCSF School of Dentistry Mesenchymal and Craniofacial Research Laboratory was completed two months ahead of schedule becoming the third UCSF laboratory to receive LEED-CI Gold certification. This was UCSF's first UCSF LEED-certified laboratory renovation.

The entryway of the new floor at HSE-15 is light and airy, compared to some of the older labs.  A hallmark of a green building is using access to natural light — not only does this reduce the need for lighting, therefore saving energy, it also enhances productivity and creates a healthier work environment.  The labs have an expansive feel conducive to research work.

The floor plan consists of two large open labs with 28 benches separated by a core of common spaces for equipment, cold room, tissue labs, microscopy rooms and a shared histology core, as well as five principal investigator offices, with conference and break room areas.

The design integrates perimeter lighting controlled by photo cells — the lights only come on when they sense that it is dark out. Occupancy sensors automatically turn the bench lights on as you get close to a bench; the lights magically turn off shortly after you walk away. The lab integrated recycled materials, used 40 percent local materials (from within 500 miles), low VOC paints, has designated recycling bin areas and used no materials with urea -formaldehyde.

Behind the scenes, in the design and construction stages, a unique computer-based design model, known as building information modeling or BIM, helped the UCSF/AE/contractor team save time and money by combining the virtual construction model with principles of Lean Construction.  This “lean” approach takes the time upfront to get all the right information, to be efficient and effective and to reduce the typical construction waste.  It allowed the plumbers, electricians and flooring team to collaborate together upfront, using a 3D computer model so clashes could be identified early and resolved.  A similar process is being used for the design and construction of UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay.

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