Award Winner 2007:

Global Ecology Research Center

Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

The Global Ecology Research Center contains laboratories and office space to support research on the interactions between earth's ecosystems, land, atmosphere and oceans. The building design focuses on addressing global climate change, biodiversity, and water quality/conservation, as these were identified by the client as today's most pressing environmental concerns.

Outstanding Features

A "night sky" radiant cooling system is one component of a low-energy design that has cut carbon emissions from building operations by 72 percent. In the system, water sprayed on the roof radiates heat to the night sky. The cooled water is stored overnight and supplied the following day at only .04 kW/ton. Biodiversity concerns are addressed by conserving habitat through appropriate materials selections. Salvaged wood is sourced from the wine vats of a decommissioned vineyard and old doors. Water use is reduced by one third through several methods. Most notable of these measures are bioswales located along three sides of the building. View the project submittal (pdf) >>

Survey Results

Compared to all buildings surveyed by CBE to date, the Global Ecology Research Center is in the 99th percentile for general building satisfaction. Occupants gave it very high marks for thermal comfort, placing it in the 98th percentile. A highly impressive 83 percent of occupants report being satisfied in this important area.
View the survey results (pdf) >>

Jury Comments

"Such good scores. From an engineering and building science perspective, this is a fascinating project. I will have to visit it."

"The building couples passive systems of environmental control to a laboratory building program - not an easy or obvious solution. In addition, the building does all of the above with strong massing, a clear spatial layout, and an attention to detail, creating a building that makes the expression of a sustainable ethic clear, but not overwhelming. Job well done."

Project Team

Architect: EHDD Architecture
MEP Engineer: Rumsey Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Engineering Enterprise
Structural Engineer: Rutherford & Chekene
Civil Engineer: BKF Engineers
Acoustics Consultant: Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Lutsko Associates
Daylighting: Loisos + Ubbelohde
Contractor: DPR Construction, Inc.

Additional Information

AIA Top Ten Award
CBE Mixed Mode case study

Image of exterior and workspace Peter Aaron/Esto
Image of radiant cooling Paul Sterbentz
Livable Buildings Award

Hinged doors allow the lobby to open to the surrounding landscape.

Livable Buildings Award

The open plan workspace area relies on passive ventilation.

Livable Buildings Award

Night sky radiant cooling in action.