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Renovated Cal Tech lab earns LEED platinum rating

The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena last month dedicated the Linde+Robinson Laboratory, a renovation of an 80-year-old facility that has received a LEED platinum rating for its environmentally friendly design.

Caltech boasts that the renovated facility is “likely the most energy-efficient laboratory building in the United States.” The institute received word last month from the U.S. Green Building Council that the facility's renovation, completed last year, had earned the highest rating for sustainable design—LEED platinum.

What many would call the most noteworthy sustainable element of the renovation was adapting the Robinson Lab's historic solar telescope, installed on the facility's roof decades ago by one of Caltech's founders, to deliver daylight deep into the building, reducing artificial lighting needs and costs.

Caltech says the laboratory’s energy consumption is only one-sixth that of comparable laboratories.

For decades, as the Robinson Laboratory for Astrophysics, the building was the home of Caltech's astronomers and astrophysicists. In 2009, they moved to a new facility, and work began to transform the old facility into the Linde+Robinson Laboratory.

In addition to the unique daylight delivery system, green features of the building include:

  • Lab air-monitoring system
  • Chilled water tank and radiant panels for heating and cooling
  • Concentrated photo voltaic system for main power
  • Energy monitoring system
  • Underground storage tank to collect storm water for landscape irrigation
  • 60 percent reduction in energy use
  • Lighting-control system
  • Individual heating, cooling and air-conditioning controls and operable windows
  • Energy-efficient lab equipment

For more information about the laboratory, click here.

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