Gould Evans Announces NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center Dedication!

New LEED Gold Certified Facility Sets a Local Benchmark in Energy-Efficient Design
La Jolla, CA – The new NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center is being dedicated and unveiled to the public today: August 27, 2013. The design effort was led by Gould Evans, creating a world-class facility that will help recruit talented scientists and support ongoing research for the conservation and management of the region’s living marine resources. The LEED Gold certified building represents a site-specific approach to sustainable design, with architectural features that set a local benchmark for energy efficiency and connect scientists to the environment they are so dedicated to preserving.

Challenged to relocate an existing facility threatened by coastal erosion, the Gould Evans-led team designed a stunning new research environment that appears to grow from the surrounding bluffs. The building is perched at the head of the La Jolla Canyon, a bathymetric feature that provides researchers with access to the deep Pacific Ocean. The architecture reacts to this topography, utilizing massing anomalies to create outdoor gathering spaces, rooftop terraces, and courtyards that reinterpret the beloved “courtyard culture” of NOAA’s former facility.

View from the landscaped roof terrace

“From the outset, the goal was to create a building environment that responds to this place and time” said Robert Riccardi, Design Principal at Gould Evans. “In a sense it’s a vernacular solution; one that engages in a dialogue with its physical and cultural surroundings while maintaining the ability to respond to changing needs of science.”

The 124,000 square foot building was inserted into a steep contour to maintain ocean views from the road above and efficiently accommodate a complex program of offices, laboratories, conference rooms, parking, a library, and a 528,000 gallon ocean technology development tank – the largest of its kind in the world. Through its siting, materiality and use of green space, the five-story building never appears larger than three stories from the exterior. It also never seems taller than three stories to the scientists who work there, fostering a feeling of scientific community.

Aerial rendering

For a building dedicated to marine ecosystem health, sustainable design was critical. However, laboratories consume about five times more energy per square foot than a typical office building. To offset this, the building has narrow floor plates that permit daylight to permeate the spaces, fan-assisted natural ventilation, and high-efficiency equipment and lighting. The green roof has been planted with a variety of native species, including coastal chaparral and sage.  Solar shading on the west- and south-facing windows contribute to reducing the building’s cooling loads to 69% less than that required by ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standard. A large photovoltaic array on the roof offsets 7% of the building's energy needs: equivalent to the energy that would power 40 typical houses in the region. Altogether, these features reduce projected energy use by 33% compared to similar buildings. The project is LEED Gold certified, and has been recognized with an Energy and Environmental Stewardship award from the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as a San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Showcase award.

Building section sketch 

Sarah Mesnick, Marine Mammal Ecologist/Science Liaison at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center highlights another important benefit, “Our staff will thrive with the combination of fresh air and natural light in their offices, as well as the open spaces which promote interaction, creating both a wonderfully healthy and scientifically productive place to work.”

About Gould Evans
At Gould Evans, we believe partnership is not about compromise. It is the expression of individual talents made manifest through a shared vision. We seek clients who share our values of intellectual curiosity, collaboration and passion for meaningful design outcomes. Our portfolio is intentionally diverse – in project type, scale and location. This diversity is a strength that encourages innovative, critical thinking and discourages formula. We practice in a wide range of physical and cultural contexts, each demanding an understanding before an approach. Ultimately, we strive to make buildings that delight their occupants, perform at the highest level and stand the test of time. Visit us at  www.gouldevans.com

About the Southwest Fisheries Science Center
The Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) generates the science necessary for the conservation and management of living marine resources in the California Current and adjacent watershed ecosystems, portions of the Pacific Ocean and in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. Established in 1964 to study the sardine and tuna fisheries off the U.S. West Coast, today the SWFSC provides timely, high-quality ecosystem-based monitoring, data, analysis and science-based advice to support sustainable fisheries and the conservation of protected species. Biologists, oceanographers, engineers, population modelers and economists work together to maintain healthy fish stocks for commercial, recreational and subsistence fishing; recover populations of protected species; restore habitat; and coordinate with domestic and international organizations to implement fishery and conservation agreements and treaties. Center scientists also conduct research on the dominant scales of climate variability and the likely biological responses in the temperate, tropical and polar ecosystems in which they work. The SWFSC collaborates with academic, agency, non-governmental organizations and industry partners domestically and internationally and is active in training the next generation of marine scientists. The ultimate goal of these scientific efforts is to ensure that within the regions of our responsibility, marine species remain at sustainable and healthy levels and as functioning parts of their ecosystem, thus enhancing the quality of life for the public.

"This is a building that seamlessly blends natural and human environments. It lets in light and air, views of the ocean and the hills, the scent of the sea. Similarly, our research blends human, natural and physical science for the conservation and management of the region’s living marine resources.”

Cisco Werner,
Director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Ocean Technology Development Tank
The 528,000 gallon Ocean Technology Development Tank will further the development of NOAA's survey methodologies through a variety of advanced technologies and sensor development.

Landscaped Roof Terraces
Landscaped roof terraces planted with California coastal vegetation reduce the heat island effect and stormwater runoff while creating outdoor rooms for scientific collaboration.

PV Solar Power
Photovoltaic panels provide a 7% annual reduction in energy demand from the public grid. Enough to power 40 homes.

Terracotta Sun Shading
Terracotta sun louvers exhibit a touch of southern California vernacular while reducing heat build up and providing shade against direct sunlight.
Liz Thelen-Torres
Business Development Director

Gould Evans
415.503.1411 x1130  

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