Exterior view of UCI Gross Hall

Sue and Bill Gross Hall, Biomedical Research Building No. 4

Irvine, California

100,636 GSF

Alvine Engineering provided mechanical engineering systems design for the fourth building in UCI’s Biomedical Research Center. The 4-story, 100,636-square-foot building houses the Stem Cell Research Center, laboratory-based and clinical researchers, a stem cell techniques course, a master’s program in biotechnology, and programs/activities for patients and public education.

The design team was challenged with delivering an energy-efficient building and ensuring researcher safety in the laboratories. Alvine Engineering designed an air monitoring system to enable reduction of ventilation rates while improving occupant safety.
The building automation system has the ability to purge a laboratory space and alarm researchers when a spill is detected.

A second innovative technique utilized was the parallel operation of laboratory exhaust fans. A detailed wind analysis showed traditional discharge velocities from the laboratory exhaust fans could be reduced. Operating two exhaust fans at partial-load proved to be significantly more efficient than operating one fan at full-load. Further energy savings were realized through the use of other control strategies, including demand-based laboratory supply air and exhaust air pressure reset, demand-based chilled water pressure reset, step dimming ballasts, and daylighting sensors.


  • LEED Platinum.
  • Variable volume laboratory fume hood exhaust and controls.
  • Precise control of temperature, humidity, ventilation and pressure relationships.
  • An energy management and indoor environmental quality control.
  • Direct digital control system tied to the campus energy management system.
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