by AHA Consulting Engineers

When Energy Engineering Matters Most

Founded in 1992, Alexion Pharmaceuticals is an international biopharmaceutical company that is dedicated to transforming the lives of people afflicted with devastating and rare diseases. In their facilities across the globe, Alexion Pharmaceuticals develops and delivers breakthrough treatments that improve the quality of life for critically ill patients, to offer their families – and the global healthcare community – hope.

In 2013, the talented professionals at Alexion envisioned a new global corporate headquarters in New Haven, CT replete with office and laboratory space for 1,000 employees. AHA partnered with Elkus Manfredi Architects and Winstanley Enterprizes to design the core and shell of the building and associated 9 story parking garage and with Elkus Manfredi and Perkins+Will for Alexion’s tenant fit-ups for the entire multi-purpose building.

As experts in the design of the highly specialized systems for both healthcare and science and technology facilities, the engineers at AHA were ready for the challenge. They collaborated with project team members to design a cutting-edge purified water distribution system, systems for plant and clean steam generation and distribution, an uninterruptible power supply and optional standby distribution with load shedding capabilities. But Alexion required a far-more advanced systems solution to create the innovative space required to support its global healthcare mission.

AHA devised mechanical, electrical and plumbing utility systems to fit a variety of laboratory build-out scenarios. This flexible approach enables mobile casework to be reconfigured for various research efforts without costly retrofits to the central piped services and power. The firm also devised a critical uninterruptible power supply system for future dual mode micro turbines to provide power and hot water, and process chilled water.

AHA’s mechanical system design employed an Aircuity laboratory monitoring and control system to allow load-driven minimum air change rates to be reduced from Alexion’s original design criteria of 12 ACH to 4 ACH throughout the laboratory areas. This HVAC system continuously monitors air quality and adjusts accordingly to maintain a safe laboratory environment. In the process, the system ensures additional energy savings by adjusting automatically to changes in indoor air quality.

Since Alexion required state-of-the-art research facilities alongside office and meeting space for both technical and support staff, AHA proposed a flexible lighting scheme that would work for a variety of workplace demands. The resulting LED lighting fixtures are operated by addressable lighting controls throughout the building and allow for demountable partition reconfiguration without lighting redesign and rewiring.

AHA Consulting Engineers routinely provides engineering design solutions for corporate office, healthcare, science and technology facilities across the country. At Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the firm was able to create an overall approach that made sense for both technical and support spaces to avoid renovation work as Alexion’s research requirements evolve. The resulting global headquarters includes 300,000-sf of office and meeting space as well as 140,000-sf of laboratory space that enables staff to make medical breakthroughs that improve patients’ lives around the world.