West Coast Oncology Hub

Centralized, flexible design supporting next-generation oncology research and development.

Dedicated to making an impact and transforming people’s lives through cutting-edge medicines and therapies, AbbVie is widely recognized as a global leader in biopharmaceutical research and development.

With a focus on advancing its pipeline and treatment innovations in cancer-related care, AbbVie acquired approximately 450,000 square feet of core and shell space within Gateway of Pacific, BioMed Realty’s prestigious life science campus catering to South San Francisco’s booming biotechnology district.

In collaboration with Flad Architects and DPR Construction, AEI was selected as the engineer of record providing mechanical, electrical, and piping/plumbing (MEP) engineering design for this major tenant improvement (TI) — a state-of-the-art oncology hub consolidating three previously separated AbbVie research and manufacturing facilities.


South San Francisco, CA


  • BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. - Developer
  • DPR Construction, Inc. - General Contractor
  • Flad Architects - Architect of Record

Building Size

453,000 square feet

Project Delivery

  • Design-Bid-Build

Centralized Systems

Building upon the LEED Platinum-certified base building core and shell MEP systems — also designed by AEI — this phased TI comprising wet laboratory, office, and GMP manufacturing spaces and their associated utilities provides long-term flexibility to accommodate evolving research and development needs.

With an emphasis on space utilization and organization, AEI’s design centralizes a variety of distribution systems, including:

  • Compressed and vacuum systems
  • LN2, N2, and CO2 bulk storage and distribution
  • RODI generation and distribution
400 kWh
energy savings
gallons of water saved biannually

High-Performance Design

Referencing both the Gateway of Pacific campus and client goals for high-performance, sustainable design, additional MEP solutions include:

  • Two, 360-kW process electric steam generators serving research operations. Compared to an all-steam system, the overall energy savings are over 400 kWh.
  • An air source heat pump providing backup heating and cooling for critical operations.
  • Centralized water systems, including ultra low-flow fixtures, heat recovery chillers, and rainwater/condensate reuse for fixture flushing.
  • Reverse osmosis system utilizing ozone instead of chemical sanitization saves over 700,000 gallons of water biannually.
  • Advanced fume hood sash closing technology in chemistry lab spaces maximizes usage diversity, reducing ventilation ductwork sizes and providing significant energy cost savings.

The completed facility serves as a critical component to AbbVie’s progress in oncology-related treatment and care — bringing together scientists and researchers from around the world who are dedicated to making a positive impact and changing lives.

Project Leaders