Located in Redwood City, California, Protein Design Labs (PDL) manages patents and royalty assets, licensing agreements with various biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as royalty and other assets acquired. PDL relocated its corporate campus, research and development labs, biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant, and vivarium from its former Fremont, California, location its current Redwood City space.

Spanning 160,000 square feet, Southland Engineering provided HVAC, plumbing, and process design services. The project included new class 10,000 cleanrooms, laboratories, offices, and a vivarium, as well as a new 1,000-ton variable primary flow chilled water plant.

Approach & Innovations

Due to a fast tracked schedule, Southland Engineering eliminated the need to work with the city’s planning department to receive approval of an exterior mechanical equipment yard design. This design supports the 1,000-ton variable primary chilled water plant and allows the owner to utilize only available space.

The separate exterior process equipment yard supports various utilities, including plant steam generation, bio-waste neutralization and pH adjustment, as well as compress dry air generation and filtration, process and laboratory vacuum and deionized water generation, and treatment including 8,000-gallons of water storage capacity.  The design team was able to right size several pieces of the process equipment, which aided in about $300,000 in savings for the owner.

Overall, Southland Engineering was able to have the designs coordinated and detailed to the point that construction could commence two months after being awarded the design contract. The team was able to complete the project $900,000 under budget.


Client: PDL BioPharma

Location: Redwood City, California


Square Footage: 160,000