Fully-electric sustainable design for biotech facility
Allogene Therapeutics is committed to innovation. The clinical-stage biotech company is nurturing a robust pipeline of multiple allogeneic CAR T therapies targeting blood cancers and solid tumors—and doing so in a brand new fully-electric facility, Cell Forge 1.
Allogene partnered with CRB to design a new manufacturing and analytical testing facility to optimize its processes, enable pipeline growth, and ensure product quality. The facility needed to provide world-class manufacturing capabilities that could quickly and reliably deliver cell therapy at great scale, while meeting US and EU GMPs standards for clinical and commercial manufacturing with rigorous quality control and assurance capabilities. Allogene also wanted its facility to achieve high standards for sustainability.
In addition to driving aggressive sustainability goals, our team of consultants, engineers and architects also navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and supply-chain issues in the course of completing this project.
The facility’s planning kicked off with a project charrette to align stakeholders on overarching goals, priorities and conditions of satisfaction. When facility sustainability came up in this conversation, Allogene’s team said they wanted to be “good stewards of the environment.” To achieve that goal, we needed to make it specific and measurable, so our team dug deeper to understand and define the intention. We also drew on extensive experience with WELL-certified, LEED-certified, and sustainable projects to guide that goal setting. Together, in partnership with the Allogene team, we ultimately established ambitious site sustainability goals, positioning the new facility at the vanguard of the life sciences sustainability movement.
Integrating sustainability into the cell product facility design
Developing and setting robust project sustainability goals connected with one of Allogene’s core values: leadership.
We used a “reduce before you produce” approach for operational carbon footprint reduction and site resiliency. We also weighed the benefits of various available technology such as on-site renewables, RO (reverse osmosis) technology and environmental heat pump options. We also explored energy storage strategies to counter periods of peak demand. The resulting innovative design was a success.
The new all-electric biotech facility boasts:
- 1,000 kW photovoltaic (PV) rooftop solar farm for on-site energy production
- 1,000 kWh of battery energy storage (BES) for resiliency with a zero upfront cost model through power purchase agreement (PPA) financing
- Renewable energy usage through local Community Choice Energy
- Heat pump technology for heating and cooling
- Natural light or LED lighting throughout
- Energy metering and performance monitoring, allowing for continued energy reduction efforts
Sustainability goals can allow savings on operating expenses
Though there is a perception that renewable energy adds to project cost, that is often no longer the case. In many regions, renewable energy sources are becoming the more affordable—not to mention publicly favored—energy choice. In fact, Allogene’s sustainability infrastructure has the potential to reduce the site’s energy costs.
Allogene’s new state-of-art LEED Gold biotech manufacturing facility is operational in Newark, California in the Bay Area.
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