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Wexford Science & Technology’s @4240 in St. Louis’ Cortex Innovation Community Certified LEED Platinum

Jun 11, 2014

Wexford Science & Technology’s @4240 in St. Louis’ Cortex Innovation Community Certified LEED Platinum

‘50s Tech to High Tech: 1949 Factory-Turned-Research Facility Receives Highest Rating of Environmental Responsibility and Efficiency




ST. LOUIS (June 11, 2014) – Wexford Science & Technology and the design-construction team of HOK and Tarlton Corp. are proud to announce the U.S. Green Building Council® (USBGC) has certified the $73 million, state-of-the-art @4240 lab and research facility in St. Louis’ Cortex Innovation Community as LEED® Platinum.  LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™, is the U.S. Green Building Council’s green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices through four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  To receive LEED Platinum certification, building projects must earn a minimum of 80 points on the USGBC rating scale.  @4240 earned 85 points.  This is the seventh LEED Platinum building in the region and only the third Platinum–certified renovation project.

Wexford is the creator of Knowledge Communities in nine cities across the nation, and focuses on innovative adaptive reuse projects in research districts that strengthen the surrounding communities.  “We’re thrilled.  Wexford has a proven commitment to integrating sustainability into our adaptive reuse designs in research districts across the country,” said Josh Parker, Director of Development for Wexford Science & Technology, a BioMed Realty company.  “More than two-thirds of Wexford’s portfolio is comprised of LEED Silver projects or higher, and this is our third LEED Platinum project.” 

Built in 1949, the Western Electric Telephone Co. used the building to produce hand-sets for rotary telephones.  Wexford asked HOK and Tarlton to add modern, high performance systems and sustainable design to the industrial building to allow it to function as a state-of-the-art lab and research facility, while preserving and highlighting its historic character.  High floor-to-floor spacing and a deep open plan and structural system made it possible to redevelop it as lab and office space.  The design team cut floor openings into the central portion of the building to allow skylights to bring daylight into a slot courtyard, light wells, the interior areas of the building and a new two-story concourse.  The concourse functions as the “mixing space” of the complex, creating inviting informal meetings and collaboration space for tenants and visitors. 

“The @4240 building exemplifies Wexford’s commitment to sustainable design and enhancing St. Louis as an innovation hub,” said Lance Cage, Marketing Principal at HOK.  “HOK is proud to be part of the Wexford design and development team and very excited to have helped realize their vision for this pivotal project.”  

HOK and Tarlton also worked within historic guidelines to restore the building’s deteriorating brick skin, add insulation under a new roof, and upgrade the industrial windows with historically accurate insulated replacement glazing.  The building is expected to be 45% more energy efficient than a typical lab/office facility.

“The transformation of this building was challenging and exciting from a renovation and construction standpoint,” said Andy Kovarik, Tarlton Project Executive, “and achievement of LEED Platinum for renovation of a historic building erected in 1949 speaks to Wexford’s commitment to building sustainably, a commitment we share.” Tarlton has worked with Wexford on multiple projects, including construction of the LEED Gold Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center and multiple tenant fit-outs there and in the @4240 building. 

Wexford celebrated the character and history of the original building throughout.  The design team exposed existing structural columns and steel work, and preserved the original historic entry.  They found innovative uses for original building elements, such as turning a brass boiler tank into a conference table and using boiler and chimney access doors as decorations.  As part of Cortex's plan for the district, @4240 opens onto Cortex Commons, an activity-based green space that is now under construction and will be completed later this year.

“It is an amazing achievement to adapt a 60-year old building into a state-of-the-art research facility,” Parker continued.  “But to do that and preserve the building’s historic significance and create a sustainable environment – it’s incredible.  Our hats off to our Wexford-HOK-Tarlton design and construction team!”

"Wexford Science & Technology’s @4240’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC.  “The urgency of USGBC’s mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and @4240 serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

Wexford drew on other successful renovations and green building projects to develop @4240.  In 2012, Wexford completed Wake Forest Biotech Place at Piedmont Triad Research Park, a renovation and adaptive reuse of a 1937 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarette manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, NC.  The company is also the developer for the adaptive reuse of historic buildings at the IIT Technology Park in Chicago, and eight of its eleven properties are LEED certified.  In St. Louis, Wexford is the developer of the LEED Gold Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center.

About Wexford Science & Technology

Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, a subsidiary of BioMed Realty, is a real estate investment and development company specializing in facilities for for-profit and not-for-profit institutions, especially universities, university-related research parks and healthcare systems.  Wexford brings a unique approach of collaborating with clients to build knowledge communities, which are vibrant, mixed-use, amenity-rich environments that foster innovation.  Wexford is building eight other Knowledge Communities across the U.S: the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis; Hershey Center for Applied Research in Hershey, PA; Innovation Research Park at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA; University City Science Center in Philadelphia; University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore; University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park in Miami; University Technology Park at IIT in Chicago; and Wake Forest Biotech Place at the Wake Forest Innovative Quarter in Winston-Salem, NC.

About BioMed Realty Trust

BioMed Realty, with its trusted expertise and valuable relationships, delivers optimal real estate solutions for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, scientific research institutions, government agencies and other entities involved in the life science industry. BioMed Realty owns or has interests in properties comprising approximately 17.0 million rentable square feet.  Additional information is available at www.biomedrealty.com. Follow us on Twitter @biomedrealty.

About HOK

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 24 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people's lives and help clients succeed. For four consecutive years, DesignIntelligence has ranked HOK as a leader in sustainable and high-performance design.

About Tarlton

Providing general contracting and construction management services since 1946, Tarlton is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that completes projects up to $200 million for wide-ranging clients in the life science, health care, institutional, commercial, power and industrial markets. Tarlton thrives on meeting construction challenges on complex projects and in sensitive environments. 

About Cortex

Five premier educational, research and healthcare institutions joined forces in 2002 to create the Cortex Innovation Community. Cortex is transforming an aging, 200-acre, midtown industrial district into a vibrant, 24/7, mixed-use neighborhood that will serve as the epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship in the St. Louis region.  To date, Cortex has completed or committed development of $500 million and 1.6 million square feet, approximately 25% of its targeted buildout.