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Cleantech San Diego Board Members Tour J. Craig Venter Institute

  |   Cleantech San Diego, Cleantech San Diego Members, Climate Action, Energy Efficiency, Events

On July 10, members of the Cleantech San Diego Board of Directors enjoyed a private tour of the J. Craig Venter Institute’s (JCVI) new Sustainable Laboratory Facility. Located on the campus of UC San Diego, JCVI has built what they believe to be the world’s first carbon-neutral laboratory.

Labs, and in particular genomic-focused ones, traditionally consume large quantities of energy to both run energy intensive scientific equipment and for heating and cooling. The new JCVI building features all of the latest design and construction elements to exceed the requirements for LEED Platinum certification.

Important features of the new JCVI building include:

  • One of the first, if not the first, true “net-zero energy” biological research laboratories in the world, generating 100% of its power on site (solar power).
  • Use of natural day lighting and views, natural ventilation/passive cooling, rainwater harvesting, native low-water landscaping, use of regional materials, green roofs, recycled content, sustainably harvested wood.
  • Rainfall runoff from the building rooftop is stored in cisterns to provide water for irrigation, cooling towers, and washing photovoltaic panels.
  • Roof gardens featuring flowering trees, shrubs, grasses and succulents are installed on the three terraces to help shade and cool the building.


Special thanks to Joe Mahler of Synthetic Genomics for arranging the tour and to JCVI Scientific Director Mark Adams, Vice President for Policy and University Relations Bob Friedman, and Project Manager Yann Palmore for sharing their expertise and taking us behind-the-scenes.

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