Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science

Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA

Innovative design keeps scientists cool

The Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University is dedicated to studying interactions among the earth’s ecosystems. This 11,000 square-foot, two-story building houses 45 full-time researchers, and is comprised of a laboratory and investigation area on the first floor, with offices and meeting rooms on the second floor.

EHDD’s design for this project was driven by a desire to provide a very low energy cooling system that achieved sustainability without sacrificing economy, comfort, worker efficiency, or beauty.

While lab buildings typically use four times the energy of most campus buildings, the Department of Global Ecology reduces gas emissions to an absolute minimum. A night sky cooling system sprays a thin film of water on the roof, which radiates heat to the cold, deep space sky, producing chilled water. This water is stored and circulated through the granite slab floor to cool the spaces. In addition, a “windcatcher” and misters cool the indoor/outdoor lobby, lowering the temperature of air cascading into the space.


Size : 10,890 sq. ft.

“Our … building sets an example, showing that an ecologically sound complex can be beautiful, economical, safe, and efficient.”  

- Christopher Field, Director of Global Ecology

2007 Liveable Buildings Award

Center for the Built Environment

University of California, Berkeley

2007 Top Ten Green Building

AIA/Committee on the Environment

2005 Award of Honor - Energy Efficiency Integration

Savings By Design

2005 Lab of the Year

Special Mention, R&D Magazine

2005 Energy + Sustainability Award

AIA San Francisco




San Francisco

500 Treat Ave #201
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 285-9193