New Research Laboratory

The William H. Danforth Wing is a new, 80,000-sf research building addition to the 136,000-sf Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, the world’s largest independent nonprofit research institute focused on plant science.

Primary goals of the project were to provide a flexibile, state-of-the-art research wing that could adapt to future changes in the way science is conducted, and to provide an optimum environment for the plants and the research. To support these goals, the MEP design includes:

  • A grid of outlets for electrical service, data and gases in the ceiling of each floor, allowing researchers to easily move benches and cabinets;
  • Infrastructure support for robotic equipment in various spaces;
  • Separate equipment rooms where energy-intensive equipment – and the heat and noise it generates – is isolated from the research;
  • RO and DI water systems, vacuum systems, and a standby diesel generator and redundant chilled water system to ensure continuity of experiments.

To support the Center’s goal for sustainability, the MEP design features:

  • A high-efficiency magnetic bearing chiller added for the addition that also provides improved chiller plant efficiency for the entire facility
  • Larger AHUs and efficient duct layout to reduce fan horsepower
  • Heat recovery on the exhaust airstream to pre-heat/cool outside air
  • Controls to reduce ventilation rate during unoccupied periods
  • Staged fume exhaust fan control with velocity determined by wind study to reduce energy use
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures, daylighting controls, and LED lighting

The project is designed to perform 30 percent better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007.

The new wing is LEED Gold certified.


Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
St. Louis, MO
Services Provided

Mechanical, Electrical, Fire Protection, Technology, Building Performance Analysis