Let’s say we want to design a building that maximizes energy efficiency while maintaining a dynamic workspace for our employees. We can work with architects, designers, and engineers to create a blueprint, but until the doors open, we won’t really know how it works. And by that point, it can be hard to make changes.
That’s where FLEXLAB—part of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs—comes in. In their 600 square-foot testbeds, we can simulate all kinds of building environments. We can test various configurations of walls, windows, lighting, shade, and HVAC systems to figure out what works best under which conditions. We can then apply that data to our buildings at full scale.
The hope, according to Carla Boragno, Vice President, Site Services, is that “if we can provide a better place for them (our employees) to work, if we can provide an environment where they can make great work possible, then at the end of the day that’s a good thing for our patients. And if we can have a building that reduces the environmental impact, then that’s good for everybody.”
The work we’re doing with FLEXLAB is part of an ongoing series of collaborations with experts around the world—or across the bay—to advance our energy efficiency and sustainability while pursuing the future of medicine.