The University of Arizona

Bioscience Research Laboratories

Setting standards for sustainable design and certification.

The University of Arizona’s flexible Bioscience Research Laboratories (BSRL) serves as a case study in sustainable design and certification for the Tucson campus, while providing a state-of-the-art collaborative translational research facility. Connected to the Keating Building and its Bio5 Institute, BSRL advances understanding of the molecular basis of human health, aging, and disease. AEI designed and verified sustainable strategies for the building and is providing analysis of how projected LEED Silver and Green Globes-3 Globe certifications will impact the project.

BSRL’s building performance enhancements include chilled beams, energy recovery using heat pipe technology and bypass controls, and integrated lab occupancy controls to reduce lighting and airflow rates in vacant mode. Water-saving strategies include sterilizers with a vacuum option, near waterless urinals, and low-flow fixtures. In its first three months of operation, BSRL is tracking to meet the 230 kBtu/sf-year EUI target estimated during design.


Tucson, AZ


  • BWS Architects - Architect of Record
  • ZGF Architects - Design Architect

LEED Status

Registered for LEED

Building Size

156,845 square feet


  • 2019 Green Globes for New Construction - Three Green Globes

BSRL’s building performance enhancements include energy recovery using heat pipe technology and bypass controls.

AEI quantified energy programming to determine the optimum locations of program functions to reduce energy use. Our role in daylight harvesting focused on maximizing savings without compromising thermal comfort. In addition to validating exhaust locations and optimizing exhaust fan speeds for safety and efficiency, wind studies confirmed the placement of centralized air handling units, making the heat pipe strategy possible.

Heat pipe performance and operation estimated in design were validated using EnergyStar Portfolio manager and the UA campus automation network, as were fan savings from lab occupancy controls. AEI is using the same process actively working with UA on measurement and verification BSRL’s building performance.

energy savings over baseline.

Project Leaders