ZGF worked with the University of California San Diego to program and design the Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility. The facility was designed to be a collaborative environment that enables campus researchers from genomics, regenerative medicine, bioinformatics, and pediatrics to work together to produce new medical therapies. In addition, the facility supports accelerated discovery and accommodates the growth of a multi-departmental initiative in genomic medicine and an expanded neuroscience department.


Closely knit into the UC San Diego School of Medicine campus, the 196,000 SF facility houses wet bench laboratories, computational space, laboratory support and core facilities, offices, and conference space. The building is organized into two distinct components—a five-story laboratory block and seven-story office block— to establish connectivity to existing and future buildings within the Health Sciences Neighborhood. A stimulating and energy efficient interior environment is captured via a light-filled atrium at the juncture of the two blocks.


The Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility was one of the first UC San Diego capital projects to fall under new procedures requiring life-cycle cost evaluations throughout the design process. During the programming phase a full analysis of eight different performance-enhancing systems was performed. The analysis calculated the pay-back period and carbon emissions avoided for each system, helping guide the budget allocation for a higher performance building.


The building achieved LEED Platinum certification with the incorporation of high-performance features such as a dynamic, climate-responsive exterior solar shading system on the east, west and south façades that eliminates solar gain while optimizing daylight. The water reclamation system collects 890,000 gallons / year from air handler condensate and other sources, reducing potable water use inside the building and the landscape irrigation by 100%.