Oakland Innovation Research Tower

Allen + Shariff provided MEP/FP engineering design services for the construction a new, state of the art, multi-purpose high-rise building, offering extensive laboratory and office spaces, as well as street-level retail. Known as Innovation Research Tower, the building is in the heart of the Oakland research district and will be utilized by the University of Pittsburgh. Innovation Research Tower will be ten stories with a total of 280,000 square foot of available office and lab space. The building also includes 6,200 square foot of retail space, a 4,900 square foot public plaza, and a 100-car integral parking garage.

As a destination research facility, it was important for the MEP team to anticipate the needs of a laboratory environment. Building on professional knowledge and similar projects, the building’s MEP system is programmed to allow for over 70% wet lab occupancy. The electrical distribution system consists of a series of (4) 480V Switchboards. The 1200A and 4000A switchboards handle house and mechanical loads, while the 5000A switchboard is dedicated to future tenant use. A 800A switchboard is programmed for the seven future retail tenants. Power is transformed at the floor level for efficiency. Due to the critical nature of a lab facility, the emergency system was also bolstered. A new 800 kW diesel fired generator was designed in the basement to handle life-safety loads, the building’s fire pump, and building stand-by loads such as elevators and HVAC system. In anticipation of future laboratory tenants, Allen + Shariff worked with the owner to create a schematic plan for future roof mounted emergency generators to serve future tenants. Additionally, an array of solar panels covers the entire roof to offset energy demands. This element stands as a sustainable beacon in the innovation district.

The HVAC systems utilize water source systems with an extensive network of pumps, boilers, and cooling towers located at the roof level. In preparation for laboratory exhaust, fans were designed to support each floor. Routing of these systems was lengthily coordinated with the architecture to maximize the building’s usable space. In anticipation of specialty plumbing systems, the gas and water services were upsized throughout the building. Due to the high-rise nature of the facility, a fire pump was also required to reach the necessary pressure levels for the fully sprinklered building.

With innovation and sustainability in mind, the building was designed to LEED Gold (pending certification).

Project Details

Client: Strada Architecture

Square Footage: 280,000

Services: MEP Engineering