Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing FacilityFeatures Sustainable Design

Integrating manufacturing research and office environments was a key objective of United Therapeutics Corporation (UT) for their recently completed facility. To meet its objective, UT turned to O’Neal, Inc. to provide master planning and detailed design for the pharmaceutical solid dose manufacturing and research and development facility in the Research Triangle Park, NC.   

Form truly meets function in UT’s breathtaking facility. UT was interested in producing a state-of-art facility that reflected the company mission of “Medicines for Life.” During programming, O’Neal worked with UT and created the “Circle of Life” and “Betterment of Mankind” through UT medicines themes that were reflected within the design and layout of the building. Manufacturing is at the core of the building, with all other functions acting as “spokes” in the wheel.

According to David Zaccardelli, Vice President Pharmaceutical Development, the project was “something far from ordinary that integrated manufacturing within the office environment.”

In addition to manufacturing and R&D, the 203,000-square-foot facility serves as office space for administration, marketing and management functions. The project scope for O’Neal consisted of master planning of a 54-acre site in the RTP. The master plan was developed for the project to be constructed over a two and a half year period. O’Neal’s expertise and experience in potent compound solid dose pharmaceutical manufacturing design were key criteria in the selection process. “O'Neal provided exceptional input into the architectural and manufacturing design while maintaining energy efficiency, and creative land use to create a world class facility," said Zaccardelli.

The programming and detailed design services for Phase I of the master plan included a facility to house solid dosage manufacturing facilities, packaging, a 40,000-square-foot warehouse, and 95,000 square feet of corporate office space that includes a central data center, auditorium, and cafeteria. The facility also includes R&D laboratories, QA/QC laboratories and a fully integrated formulation pilot plant.

Several unique building elements were included in the design, including: curved panels that wrap around the structure, extensive natural daylight, a glass-encased entry lobby with a 38’ tall saltwater aquarium, and 258 rooftop solar panels.

The building incorporates green and sustainable design elements, and was designed following LEED standards. In addition, the facility was designed through the Durham Country Storm Water and Erosion Control Division to reduce environmental impact and to control soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust generation. Low-emitting materials, such as carpet and adhesives, that meet requirements of the Green Label program were used. In addition, the building features extensive glass for natural daylight. Bike storage spaces and changing and shower rooms were incorporated to encourage alternative transportation. Water efficient landscaping was accomplished by utilizing reverse osmosis reject water for re-use in the plant and grass irrigation system.

O’Neal proactively worked with UT to deliver several value engineering items that resulted in significant savings. O’Neal worked closely with DPR Construction of Raleigh during construction of the project. Overall, the project was delivered three weeks early on a twenty-two and half month schedule.

Getting a Piece of the Renewable Market

The current issue of CE News features a great article on how engineering firms can capture a piece of the renawable energy market.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2010 Energy outlook, the United States can expect moderate growth in energy consumption, a greater use of renewables, and reduced oil and natural gas imports. Renewable energy refers to wind power; solar energy; geothermal energy; hydropower and ocean power; biomass energy, fuels, and products; and waste-to-energy.

The article, by Theresa M. Casey, FSMPS, CPSM of OnTarget Communications, specifically address the solar, wind, geothermal and alternative fuel market. To view the article, visit. CE NEWS.