Sustainable development in an Irish biomedical facility
27 November 2014
In April 2014, Ethicon Biosurgery, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, announced plans to invest €80 million in a manufacturing facility at the National Technology Park, Limerick. The new facility will manufacture EVARREST Sealant Matrix, a product that rapidly and reliably aids in stopping bleeding during surgery. The existing building was originally built in 2001 by Optech Europe. In 2008, Johnson and Johnson purchased the facility.
LEED: Sustainable Development Certification
The Ethicon Biosurgery facility is in the process of attaining LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified status under LEED CI – Commercial Interiors v2009. LEED is a voluntary US Green Building Council (USGBC) certification process, which is designed to encourage and guide the construction of more sustainable and energy efficient buildings.
In 2009, Johnson & Johnson developed a policy on sustainable design and construction, based on the industry-standard LEED green building rating system. This is applied throughout the organisation.
The Ethicon Biosurgery facility is a resource efficient building, which uses significantly less energy and water than conventional, similar-sized office and laboratory facilities. In terms of energy efficiency, new triple glazed windows, installed in the administration and locker room areas, increase the heating efficiency of these areas.
Daylight controls have been installed in regularly occupied spaces within 15 feet of windows or similar openings. The installed lighting saves at least 19 per cent in comparison with conventional facilities of a similar size. The heat ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems incorporate heat exchangers to reuse some of the heat in the outflow air.
In addition, a number of fans in the HVAC systems have been upgraded to IE3 Premium Efficiency Standard to improve energy efficiency.
- Water efficiency
New high energy-rated electrical showers improve water efficiency and reduce the amount of energy required for water heating purposes. Dual-flush cisterns are a feature, along with sensor-controlled flow urinals. This has resulted in a 48 per cent reduction in water usage compared to that of similar-sized conventional buildings.
Water efficiency is also included in the surrounding landscape design with the site incorporating native tree species. Potable plants are not used on the grounds, with the result that less water is used.
- Environmentally responsible materials
The project team incorporated environmentally-friendly materials throughout the facility to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and to improve indoor environmental quality for staff. Items such as paints, adhesives, sealants and flooring systems were chosen with this specifically in mind.
Around 10 per cent of all construction materials used – including the glazing, cladding, steel and flooring systems – contain recycled content. In line with the Johnson & Johnson ethos of reuse and recycle, over 30 per cent of all furniture installed in the facility has been previously used.
- Renewable electricity sources
The facility has purchased electricity from a green electricity provider to ensure that 50 per cent of all energy usage in the facility is sourced from renewable energy sources. There is zero use of CFC and HCFC refrigerants in the facility, reducing the impact that facility services will have on the environment over the full life-cycle.
- Promoting sustainable travel
Ethicon Biosurgery promotes sustainable modes of transport to its staff. The facility provides electrical charging points in the car park for any hybrid or electrical vehicles. Car-pooling spaces are available near the facility entrance to incentivise car sharing and reduce the amount of cars commuting to the facility. Bike storage with shower and changing facilities are also in place to encourage employees to cycle or walk to work.
The team is helping to raise awareness about sustainable and green building design by featuring information in the reception area about the green aspects of the facility.
- Enhanced Commission Authority
The facility has incorporated an Enhanced Commission Authority (CxA) for the project. Along with design reviews, developing operations and maintenance manuals, verifying training requirements for the facility’s personnel and developing commission reports, the CxA will also return to the facility eight to ten months after handover to review any issues and to perform corrective actions if necessary.
The facility has also optimised its energy performance by using energy star-rated appliances in the office and canteen areas, where applicable.
- Waste management
During construction, over 80 per cent of the construction and demolition waste, or 217 tons (excluding soil) was diverted from landfill. A recycling point was established with segregated skips available to ensure maximum recycling. As part of Johnson & Johnson’s sustainability policy, interior non-structural components were reused as much as possible, such as cleanroom panels and doors, internal doors, partitions and ceiling tiles.
No ‘lost-time accidents’ were recorded during the construction and commissioning phase of the project with the management contractor, John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd, implementing its ‘Zero Incidents, Zero Injuries’ health and safety plan.
The safety management philosophy meant that safety considerations were integrated at every stage from design through to handover in a spirit of commitment and collaboration, minimising the risk of accidents.
A healthy working environment was promoted throughout the project with the use of low-emitting materials such as paints and flooring systems.
According to the Ethicon Biosurgery environmental health and safety team, factors for success included leadership, design-stage risk management, integrated project management, clearly defined responsibilities, engagement, communication systems, monitoring and assurance, collaboration, shared goals and objectives.
As part of a broader health programme, Johnson & Johnson promotes a policy of no smoking facilities, which automatically complies with the pre-requisite Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control for LEED.
The company believes that the Ethicon Biosurgery facility has been designed and constructed with the environment and staff in mind. The goal is to help reduce the carbon footprint of the facility and promote a healthy working environment for all employees.
Many were involved in this sustainable initiative, but special thanks go to the following key project team members:
- Stephen Holmes, Owners’ LEED project manager, Ethicon Biosurgery Ireland
- Michael Keohane, Design/LEED AP ID+C, Project Management Group
- Mark Brophy, LEED construction manager, John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd
- Shane Horan, project commissioning manager, Syscomm Project Management Limited
- Sundar Chellamani, LEED commissioning agent (CxA), Syscomm Project Management Limited