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Jackson Labs in Farmington Built to LEED Gold Standards

January 05, 2015 11:41 AM | Anonymous
The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine facility, currently under construction in Farmington, Conn., will meet the stringent environmental building standards known as LEED Gold. LEED – the acronym for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, a program of the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council – is a certification program for buildings, homes and communities that guides their “green” design, construction, operations and maintenance.

JAX Genomic Medicine’s Gold certification level is one step above the Silver-level standard used for most public buildings in Connecticut, according to John Fitzpatrick, P.E., senior director of facilities services at JAX, but it’s the norm for the Laboratory. While JAX doesn’t always apply for the official designation, LEED guidelines figure prominently in new construction as well as renovations at JAX campuses in Maine and California.

Even the site for the new facility was carefully chosen with the environment in mind. “We looked at a different location, an undeveloped area overlooking a small lake,” Fitzpatrick says. “It would have been a stunning setting for this facility, but we decided instead to make use of an existing building site that was already set up with road access and utilities.” Positioning the structure in a way that leaves undisturbed a small wetland and a stand of sugar maples not only garnered more LEED credit but also allows the natural vegetation and animal life on the site to flourish, he added.

The design and infrastructure of the building itself is where the real Gold resides, though. These measures run the gamut from low-tech to hi-tech, including:

a stormwater collection system that filters parking lot run-off through a bed of crushed coconut shells and a border of water-loving vegetation before draining it into the public sewers

a 20,000-gallon cistern that collects rainwater off the roof for irrigating the natural landscaping surrounding the building

low-emissions materials for flooring, paints and other surfaces

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