Selected Highlights of the Labs21 2010 Annual Conference


LEAN, BIM, LEED, the Perfect Storm—The University of California, San Francisco's Craniofacial and Mesenchymal Laboratory

Bonnie Blake-Drucker, FAIA, LEED AP, BlakeDrucker Architects


Using the BEST VALUE Project Delivery Method, a team consisting of the contractor, the University of California, the architects, the engineers, and all of the sub-contractors came together on this 11,000-square-foot laboratory renovation to produce a beautiful project up for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Commercial Interiors (LEED®-CI) Gold. The project was delivered three months early, with zero change orders, good feelings, cooperation, and 47 percent less lineal feet of utility piping than any other laboratory in this pair of 16-floor high-rise research buildings. It is a tale of forced adoption of building information modeling (BIM), deep diving into LEAN Construction, and vigilance over every scrap of material taken out of or put into the job. Over 88 percent of waste was diverted from the landfill. All spaces where research will not be impeded has access to daylight and views. Materials are high in recycled content. Water use was reduced by over 40 percent. Paperless processes during construction saved trees, and virtual meetings lowered this project's carbon footprint. The presentation will share the lessons learned from this "perfect storm."

The "perfect storm" or the "trifecta": HSE 15 is a story of a long design process that has resulted in extraordinary sustainable design, from material choices for its content, its manufacturing distance from the job, and ultimately its footprint. It is a story of a process that began with an architect who is known for coordination doing the documents in a 3D BIM model and a university that set a high bar by using a best value questionnaire looking for experienced contractors in BIM/virtual modeling, LEED, and LEAN projects, as well as in laboratory renovations. Then, getting a contractor that took all of this very seriously. This is a story of a "perfect storm" that will result (the project is due to be completed in one week at the time of this proposal) in over five onsite; two months early completion; virtually no money spent on change orders, and an expectation of minimum LEED-CI Silver but potentially LEED-CI Gold. This is, in my experience, exceptional for any project, much less a renovation, a laboratory, and one on the Parnassus Campus.


Bonnie Blake-Drucker, FAIA, LEED AP, is principal with BlakeDrucker Architects in Oakland, California. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Her design practice has focused on the design of sustainable (and accessible) laboratories. Her work is primarily for university research in fields as different as nanotechnology and human embryonic stem cells. Her design for a tissue and cell biology laboratory was the first laboratory renovation to receive LEED-CI Certification. Blake-Drucker, who holds a Masters of Science degree, was a former researcher herself, and it is this unique combination of question asking, invention, and innovation that has been the hallmark of her work for the past 27 years.