Arizona State University’s Best of the Best: Post Occupancy Report Card & Continuous Improvement

Heidi Dugan, Konvekta USA, Inc.
Monica Perrin, ASU Capital Programs

Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute Building C is a new, multi-functional research facility. It was occupied in March 2018 and in 2019 it received Engineering News Record's National Best of the Best Project award in the Higher Education/Research category. At the annual I2SL conference in 2018 the building was presented as designed. This presentation will be a follow-up to the 2018 presentation presenting post-occupancy lessons learned, successes and continuous improvement contributions.

The facility was designed to meet the University's growing need for additional laboratory space to secure and perform high-quality research. The building consists of labs, lab support, lab equipment alcoves, write-up spaces, office spaces, conference/meeting spaces, high bay lab spaces, and laser lab space. The laser lab contains the world's first compact electron laser, a tool that holds promise for both drug discovery and finding new forms of clean energy.

The 189,000 sf building consists of six floors (one below grade) and a mechanical penthouse.

This building is the campus workhorse of the research lab facilities and successfully fosters interdisciplinary research between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the Biodesign Institute. The building was specifically designed to maximize the space available for researchers to collaborate and brainstorm. The building is highly efficient in terms of space utilization and is 50% more efficient than the campus research facility EUI average of 428 kBtu/sf/yr.

To meet the University's sustainability goals the building includes several energy efficiency laboratory design concepts including a high performance energy recovery system. The high performance energy recovery system utilizes state of the art technology to maximize cooling recovery while minimizing energy consumption. The system's dashboard provides continuous real-time monitoring of the system. The monitoring aspect of the system quickly identifies maintenance needs so that optimal operation of the system is maintained at all times. The dashboard performance screens track & report energy savings. Performance results of the energy recovery system will be presented.

The Report Card:

  • Space utilization
  • Researcher comfort
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Energy savings & sustainability
  • Continuous improvement

Lessons Learned Include:

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Communication / IT
  • Air Changes / Hour
  • Energy / ROI

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the benefits of collaborating with other university departments and teams;
  • Understand the importance of monitoring energy recovery systems;
  • Analyze energy recovery performance and ROI; and
  • Using lessons learned to contribute to continuous improvement efforts.


Heidi is an environmental engineer who has worked in green technologies for more than 25 years. She joined Konvekta USA in 2011 and has been instrumental in developing the US market. When not working, she can be found hiking in the Rockies with her big, fluffy 90 pound Bernese Mountain Dog.

Monica is a Sr Project Manager with ASUs Capital Programs Management Group who was responsible for the Biodesign C building from programming through closeout. Current responsibilities include ISTB7 in the same role. Her experience includes mechanical engineering, utility construction, and environmental air quality and project management. Monica champions sustainability in new science buildings for the university to increase energy efficiency and reduce usage of valuable resources.


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