Caris Life Sciences DX Molecular Biology Research Laboratory & Data Center

Tempe, AZ


Caris Life Sciences


63,000 sq. ft.

Services Provided

Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical

The Caris Life Sciences Molecular Biology Research facility conducts medical testing for diseases such as cancer, DNA testing and prescription drug research. This project was moderately complex due to chiller plant and laminar air flow requirements, close tolerances on temperature control, efficient / sustainable heat recovery, high efficiency indirect lighting, special lighting controls, security systems and a generator/emergency UPS back-up power system. The project was designed and constructed to meet the requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code.

VBFA provided the complete mechanical, plumbing, power / electrical distribution, indoor lighting design, as well as low voltage rough-in locations and conduit runs for this molecular biology research lab. The project included multiple lab areas as well as office support space, a complete central plant (chillers, cooling towers, boilers, pumps), and an emergency generator.

The Data Center was designed concurrently with the Caris DX Laboratory and was critical to the success of this project due to the nature of the specimens being examined; the data chain had to be perfect to show custody and status of all samples in Caris’ possession. The Data Center consists of a 1,410 sq. ft. server room, office, Uninterruptible Power System (UPS) room and storage area with shared electrical and mechanical spaces that serve the remainder of the DX Laboratory. The server room has provision for 10 server racks with provision for twice that load and is served by two dedicated, redundant air handlers, which are fed from the mechanical HVAC system. The space is designed to remain at 70o F to 72 o F despite the Arizona summers that often exceed 115 o F. The room is further protected by a UPS dedicated to the server loads. A secondary protection is the 1000kW backup generator plant that is designed to come online in less than 10 seconds to provide power to the UPS and lighting systems for the Data Center as well as the mechanical systems which provide chilled water for the air handlers. Emergency stop buttons provide cessation of all power to the server farm in case of a fire.

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