Biogen Idec Nobel Research and Corporate Campus
San Diego, CA

Biogen Idec, Inc, a leader in the development of targeted immunotherapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases, consolidated their three separate locations into one central research campus housed on a 43-acre site. This first phase of the campus buildout features six interconnected buildings, including two office, two lab and a commons buildings.

Biogen's goal was to create a collaborative workplace that would facilitate innovation, support new research and employee comfort. The state-of-the-art design features several specialty research areas and employee amenities, such as high-end food service, volleyball and basketball courts and a fitness center. A unique feature about this project is a 1600 sf community laboratory for teaching middle and high school students about life sciences research. The program is a partnership between San Diego County Schools and Biogen Idec researchers.

The team was challenged by a fast-track schedule and last minute scope changes. The project was completed in 36-months, during which time Idec merged with Biogen, resulting in alternations to the program. The size of the vivarium increased from 5,000 to 10,000 sf. Design requirements for a vivarium of this size normally require the design of interstitial space, but because the footprint was already established it required Syska's engineers to develop different solutions. The team was able to fit the support equipment within the ceiling space and the result is a world class vivarium.

The central plant consisted of two 800-ton chillers, two 800-ton cooling towers, boiler system distribution, and a steam boiler to serve the vivarium. Additionally, we designed an ultra-pure water system, compressed air, clean dry air, lab vacuum and bulk gas (nitrogen and carbon dioxide) distribution systems.

The project was submitted to San Diego Gas & Electric's Savings by Design incentives program and yielded the maximum payment to both Biogen and the design team.


370,000 sf total
10,000 sf vivarium