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Life Sciences Research at Lake Nona

Lake Nona’s Science & Technology Park in Orlando features the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research as one of the anchors for Florida’s newest life-sciences cluster. Over the first decade of the century alone, the Sanford-Burnham Institute projects employed more than 300 chemists, pharmacologists and genome specialists who supported the mission dedicated to improving human health—“revealing the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow.”

World-renowned architectural firm Perkins + Will was the brainpower behind the design of the 177,340-sf research and development facility constructed by general contractor BE&K Building Group. According to Berg’s Orlando Branch Manager, “Matching Sanford-Burnham’s own ‘unique, collaborative approach to medical research’, we worked in close coordination with the owner, general contractor, architect and electrical designer—Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI)—in a design-assist effort that helped keep the project on track and provided substantial savings for the owner.”

Savings You Can Take to the Bank—Contributing to the Bottom Line

As a non-profit research institute, Sanford-Burnham was able to take advantage of the Owner Direct Purchase (ODP) Program through Bergelectric. “In addition to making possible a sales tax savings to Sanford-Burnham, Bergelectric managed and tracked the program to guarantee that subcontractor and vendor invoices were billed correctly, statements reflected the Institute’s tax-exempt status, and only materials that were actually delivered were paid for by the Owner,” stated Bergelectric’s Project Manager.

Beyond the ODP Program, Bergelectric presented value-engineering options for such items as lighting, generator, access control and structured cabling that offered additional contributions to the $91-million project’s bottom line. “By reconfiguring metering for the Starline Busway, as well as changing the manufacturer and specifying a different operating system for the Access Control and CCTV, we were able to provide additional savings for Sanford-Burnham and still make the May 2009 completion,” added Bergelectric’s Superintendent.

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The Bucks Don’t Stop Here—Continued Savings for Sanford-Burnham Institute Lifetime

The Sanford-Burnham Institute received LEED Gold Certification for the Lake Nona facility that will result in further energy and operational savings over its lifetime. Comprised of a two-story administrative wing and two three-story biology and chemistry research wings, this building configuration soaks up Florida’s abundance of natural daylight. “In addition to daylight harvesting, electrical-energy savings and materials used by Bergelectric crews to help qualify the facility for a Gold rating include occupancy sensors, lighting-relay panels that automatically turn off lights after hours, and caulking materials with low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emission ratings to improve indoor air quality,” noted Berg’s General Foreman.

177,340-square feet

Electrical Construction Cost
$6.1 Million

October 2007 – April 2009

Delivery Method
Design Assist


Other Team Members
BE&K Building Group, Inc.
Perkins + Will Architects
Affiliated Engineers

Berg Regional Office




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