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Marine Ecosystems Laboratory

Project Info

UCSD, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, California
40,000 sf
Completed in 2013

Housing a variety of marine scientists whose goals are to study and protect the marine ecosystem, the MESOM Laboratory is located on a previously developed, steep ocean-front site overlooking the researchers’ larger laboratory – the Pacific Ocean. The building program vertically integrates the development of new physical, biological and chemical sensors with autonomous oceanographic platforms to support them, and provides observations in the California Current Ecosystem in order to perform forecasting based on coupled physical and biological/ecological numerical models. Located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the building enables invaluable exchange among collaborators who would otherwise be located in multiple buildings on the campus. A primary design goal is to create a building which optimizes the opportunities for multidisciplinary research and both formal and informal interactions between scientists in different disciplines.

The MESOM Laboratory is LEED Platinum certified.

Sustainable Design Highlights:
The MESOM Laboratory is LEED Platinum certified with strategies that include:

  • Natural ventilation and passive heating for all offices and work space
  • Regionally sourced materials for the exposed concrete structure
  • Exposed concrete structure to provide thermal mass
  • Carefully analyzed and reduced air flows in the laboratories
  • Water efficient landscaping focused on restoring native coastal plant species
  • Use of FSC certified wood at exterior siding and shade screens
  • Use of high solar reflectance index roofing materials
  • Awards

    California Higher Education Sustainable Design, Honorable Mention