LEED Certification: LEED Gold
Awards: The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of St. Louis Keystone Awards: “Project of the Year”
The Genome Sequencing Center (GSC) at Washington University is one of the premier facilities in the world for analyzing DNA sequences in the process of mapping the human genome, as well as the genome of other living things. The center was one of three groups responsible for mapping the human genome. All work conducted within the GSC is very data intensive and requires a large data processing capability.
The Genome Data Sequencing Center is a new state-of-the-art 15,000-square-foot facility used for housing the many computers required to do data processing for the GSC. The building provides a tremendous amount of cooling which is necessary due to the heat load generated by the processors. The building also provides the electrical infrastructure needed to keep the computers operating constantly without interruption.
Many times large projects are considered complex due to their large size. However, this project was complex due to its lack of size. The data center houses 2 cooling towers, 2 chillers, a 5KV generator, 4 large air handling units, a large number of UPS battery systems, 3 chilled water storage tanks, 4 flywheel electricity generators, and a large amount of electrical switchgear. All of this equipment, along with 120 racks of computers, fit within a 15,000 square foot area. That is a tight area to complete over a million dollars worth of construction every month for several consecutive months. Work included all UPS systems, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing and fire protection.
The Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) Genome Sequencing Data Center was originally contracted to be a LEED Certified project. With a combined effort by Volk and the project’s design team members, the new addition was able to exceed those standards. WUSM received the LEED Gold status, without added cost and only a few design changes. This data center is the first “green” building on the medical school’s campus.