Laboratory Design to Support a $2 Billion Clean Water Plan

Cody Edgell, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN)
Fred Santoro, RA, LEED AP, AE Works

This laboratory was designed to support ALCOSAN's climate resilience charge and re-imagine laboratory operations. The resulting environmental compliance facility (ECF) showcases a building solution that embraces sustainability and enables flexibility to adapt to changing testing protocols. Like the details of the water ALCOSAN tests, this facility was purposefully designed to enable efficiency, promote laboratory best practices, and provide a sustainable and economically smart investment that will serve the region for a long time.

To support ALCOSAN's $2 Billion Clean Water Plan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the project replaces existing facilities that will be demolished to make space for the Wet Weather Plant Expansion. The functions in the ECF were once handled on one floor of the Administration building when the plant was first built in the late 1950s. As the environmental scope of ALCOSAN's obligations expanded, these functions expanded into other buildings in an unplanned manner. The ECF represents a fresh start where all these functions are integrated into a single building with an intentional approach. The new ECF re-imagines how the lab will complete testing with new technologies, digital equipment, and automated processes. Operational awareness and adaptation were infused into the design process to develop the go-forward vision and workflow.

The new building is 3 Rivers Proud, integrating sustainable features such as a green roof, controls, LED lighting, and ultra-efficient HVAC systems.

Learning Objectives

  • Detail key planning and design considerations of moving a laboratory to a new facility;
  • Analyze how operational requirements of a laboratory translate into facility requirements;
  • Describe key components of flexible laboratory design; and
  • Identify strategies to optimize laboratory infrastructure and equipment energy needs.


Cody Edgell has served as a Project Engineer with ALCOSAN since 2017. He managed the new Environmental Compliance Facility, which includes a range of laboratories to support ALCOSAN in meeting its $2B Clean Water Plan.

A Senior Architect with a career spanning 25 years, Fred Santoro brings a range of science and technology projects for leading research institutions, higher education campuses and commercial clients. He served as Lead Architect for the ALCOSAN Environmental Compliance Facility in addition to projects for the National Institutes of Health.


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