The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Science Center is environmentally distinctive in just about every way – from its 16,000-square-foot Green Roof Garden to its special siting to minimize disturbance to the surrounding wetland area. To help achieve this engineering feat, architect Booth Hansen and engineer Grumman/ Butkus Associates tapped HTS Chicago to provide state-of-the-art laboratory controls.
The LEED Gold-rated facility required the latest HVAC technology that also was consistent with the client’s ecological mission. To meet this goal, HTS Chicago provided the OptiNet System by Aircuity and the Celeris Lab Control System by Phoenix Controls because of their ability to deliver both the safest and the lowest cost-to-own environment for research.
The overall HVAC design shows energy savings of 36.9% and a reduction of carbon emissions of 27% when compared to the base building ASHRAE Standard 90.
In part because of the center’s leading HVAC equipment along with many other “green” design elements – R&D Magazine honored the Plant Science Center with its 2010 Laboratory of the Year Award.
The center provides laboratories and teaching facilities for more than 200 Ph.D. scientists, land managers, and graduate students whose research enables the center to “save our planet by saving our plants.” The center also is home to the country’s first doctoral program dedicated solely to plant biology and conservation, a partnership with Northwestern University.
As the facility was designed both for groundbreaking research and public enjoyment, the building’s nine interactive laboratories are visible from inside the central visitors’ gallery. According to the Chicago Botanic Garden, nearly 800,000 visitors and schoolchildren experience the Plant Science Center each year.