New Orleans BioInnovation Center Receives COTE Top Ten Award

New Orleans BioInnovation Center Receives COTE Top Ten Award

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC)—a four-story, 65,000 SF, LEED Gold Certified, biotechnology laboratory and incubator facility—has been recognized as one of the year’s Top Ten Green Projects by the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE).

Designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple—a New Orleans-based, architecture, planning and interior design firm—the building balances beauty with function and efficiency. The result is a precedent setting laboratory facility that consumes less energy than 90% of its peers. The building is the first of its kind in the State of Louisiana to achieve LEED-Gold Certification.

“Laboratory buildings are among the most intense users of energy of all building types consuming, on average, more than four times (4x) that of commercial buildings,” says Z Smith, PhD, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal and Director of Sustainability and Building Performance at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, adding, “but in the case of NOBIC, the energy saved per square foot is comparable to making almost any other building type a net-zero building.”

These energy savings are attributable to a number of design and operational features, including a system of louvers designed to maximize daylight while minimizing solar gain, the building’s carefully crafted envelope, and an innovative, micro-targeted ventilation system that provides greater occupant control and comfort without compromising safety. 

Glazing choices allow a strong connection to the city and the landscaped courtyard while limiting solar gain. While the building as a whole has a window/wall ratio of 35%, glass is deployed to maximum effect on the primary street façade, lobby atrium and social areas on each floor.  Playfully deployed louvers allow the southwest-facing façade to be 63% glass with a summer solar gain of a façade comprising 20% glass.

NOBIC has also become an exemplary project for advancing new storm water strategies in the area. The flow of water through the site is handled as a design opportunity rather than a plumbing problem.  The landscaped courtyard, the water feature, and even the structural base for city-required onsite parking all do double-duty as part of the stormwater management system. A ‘working water feature’ captures rainwater and diffuses it to plants and soils on site, evoking the flow of water in the regional ecosystem. The water feature is also fed by the AC condensate (up to 20,000 gallons per week!), which provides all landscape irrigation on site and contributing to a 42% reduction of potable water usage. Despite intense rains and poorly draining soils, 96% of the precipitation falling over a 20 year period can be captured and handled on site.

“Our facility is an incredible addition to New Orleans and this recognition is truly deserved,” says Aaron Miscenich, President of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. “Recognizing the specific needs of our tenants, EDR gave us a state-of-the-art wet lab facility while minimizing the operating costs of our building.  Also, the EDR design of the BioInnovation Center has delivered a facility that encourages interaction and collaboration while providing an environment that is open and energetic.”  

The building, which has earned several accolades since its completion in 2011, will receive special recognition during the AIA Annual Convention held in Atlanta, GA in May.

sustainability, green building, awards, architecture