Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Van Andel Institute building was designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly to be constructed in two phases; the first phase was completed in 2000, and Phase II opened in December 2009. The building is home to scientists, students and administrators who labor and collaborate to diagnose and treat cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases.
The Van Andel Institute assembled an integrated project team to design and construct the 240,000 square foot Phase II addition to the existing original 190,000 square foot building. In addition to the New York-based architect, the main members of the project team included regional leaders in design and construction, including Culhane & Fahrenkrug (construction managers), Hunt/OAK, a joint venture (general contractor); Flack+Kurtz (engineers), URS (engineers and interior designers), FTC&H and Catalyst Partners (LEED Administration). The team was charged by David Van Andel to achieve the highest possible LEED certification with consistent with appropriate payback and relevance to the institute.
In addition to being one of a handful of Platinum-certified biomedical research laboratories in the world, the project was able to demonstrate near-perfect site selection. All the LEED Sustainable Sites credits were achieved, including those based on community connectivity, minimal parking space requirements, access to public transportation, and support of bicycling,
Water and Energy
The design team chose a 33,000-gallon water storage tank and vegetated roof system that would reduce the use of potable water for irrigation and cooling tower makeup, thereby reducing the discharge of storm water. Additional elements include a curved translucent glass roof structure to provide abundant light (over 75% of work areas are daylit) and evoke the rapids of the nearby Grand River. Water use was optimized in toilets, lavatories, and showers, exceeding the LEED standard by over 40.7%. But the real story is in the efficiency of the HVAC system which, in spite of the fresh-air ventilation requirements of a research laboratory, achieves 21.1% savings over the applicable ASHRAE standard through optimal equipment sizing, heat recovery, window shading, glazing efficiency, photovoltaic panels (74,460 kWh annually), intelligent building controls and systems commissioning.
In addition to the impressive design features, the Hunt/OAK construction team used best practices to divert 79% of the construction waste from landfill disposal. And, by seeking out qualified vendors and suppliers, 30.1% of the total building materials, by value, were manufactured using recycled materials and 30% of the materials value had regional content. The high regional content is commensurate with the Institute’s desire to support the community and regional economies, and to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases related to transportation of materials.
The project was awarded LEED Platinum certification in April 2011.
View project on GBIG