Owner: BioLegend
Lead Design Firm: Delawie
General Contractor: DPR Construction
Project Management and Construction Manager: Hughes Marino
Civil Engineer: San Dieguito Engineering Inc.
Structural Engineer: Coffman Engineers
M/E/P Engineer: DEC Engineers
Landscape Architect: Schmidt Design Group

The team building the BioLegend Campus Project saw the light—and, initially, not in a good way. Solving the problem of LED lights potentially affecting biotechnology projects was just one of the challenges that the team overcame to build a distinctive campus that features artistic flourishes.

Crews began working on transforming a 7.5-acre, four-parcel plot of land into an eight-acre biotechnology campus in September 2015. Features include a 65-ft-tall structural glass atrium, multiple office amenities and outdoor sculptures. The project was completed in February 2019.

In 2018, the team learned that LED light fixtures, required under California code, were damaging R&D products. Changing light-fixture types would cost as much as $450,000 to $1,000,000 and add anywhere from two to four months in schedule delays.

“We did a timeout with the whole team,” says Brad Kraus, DPR project executive. “There were 1,500 lights coming from around the globe. We brainstormed all kinds of options—different films to put over the lights, different color spectrum lenses—a full matrix.”

The solution was to dim the lights, Kraus says.

To meet stringent seismic codes and the equally strict schedule, the team used a patented SidePlate connection system for the structural-steel building. The bolted connections reduced joint time in the field to 30 minutes for welds from two to four hours. “It passes a lot of the labor hours to the shop instead of the field,” says Kraus. “The system allowed the owner to be more flexible in design decisions and really minimized the cost and schedule.”

Back to ENR's Best of the Best Projects 2019