United Therapeutics Project Lightyear
Situated within the dynamic Research Triangle Park Campus, Project Lightyear emerges as a powerful precedent for sustainable architecture. As the fifth net zero building within United Therapeutics' sustainable portfolio and the second within the campus, the facility spans an expansive 55,000 square feet. Its design seamlessly integrates a new warehouse structure with a renovated existing building, blending functionality with sustainability. Guided by a holistic approach to operations and energy management, the project embodies the relationship between human health and the built environment.
At the core of Project Lightyear lies its ambitious net zero energy goal, eliminating the reliance on fossil fuels and setting a new industry standard. This goal is accomplished through a comprehensive suite of sustainable systems, including advanced system controls, a rooftop photovoltaic array with 1,200 panels, geothermal systems, Tesla Megapack battery backup, and a microgrid. These systems enable the facility to generate, distribute, and consume energy efficiently while fostering resilience and self-sufficiency.
The facility also emphasizes embodied carbon reduction by repurposing existing structures and selecting low embodied carbon materials. This approach minimizes construction waste and lowers the project's carbon footprint, showcasing a commitment to environmental stewardship and the circular economy.
Through collaboration between United Therapeutics, the city and county of Durham, NC, and Duke Energy, Project Lightyear has established a blueprint for future developments in the Research Triangle Park. By setting a new sustainability benchmark, Phase 5 paves the way for the future of construction. Its net zero mission, holistic energy management, and innovative design serve as catalysts for a more sustainable and resilient built environment.