California Institute of Technology Earle M. Jorgensen Laboratory

  • Caltech-exterior
  • Caltech-lab
  • Caltech-lobby

Designed by Quincy Jones in 1971, the original building was a three storey concrete computer laboratory in need of significant renovations before it become the new home to the Institute. Primary renovations involved removing oversized sun shades, installing high performance double paned glass, introducing a new atrium and transforming what were once offices into research laboratories. The restoration resulted in improved natural lighting and views to the outside, as well as cutting edge energy efficient research space.

The new building is anticipated to achieve LEED Platinum certification and is a demonstration of what can be achieved with a challenging program in an existing building. The end result is a neutral dual duct HVAC system for all laboratories and offices, that is projected to reduce energy consumption by a total of 37% and energy cost by 26%.

CALTECH was fully involved and interested in the scientific justifications behind BuroHappold's design decisions and shared in ideas on new technologies to be considered. They also adapted their existing revolving energy fund, which uses projected savings in energy to provide loans for energy efficiency upgrades; in this case funding the difference between a code minimum building and strategies implemented to save energy. This new state-of-the-art facility truly embodies the mission of its occupants and provides an inspiring place to conduct research that will shape a more sustainable future.

Key facts

  • Laboratory renovation
  • LEED Platinum certification
  • Neutral duct HVAC system
  • Projected 37% reduction in energy consumption
  • Projected 26% reduction in energy cost

The Project Details

Location: Pasadena, CA, USA

Client: California Institute of Technology

Architect: John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects

BuroHappold Services: MEP engineering, sustainability, LEED consulting, energy modeling, daylighting and lighting design