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Project Lightyear

By embracing a net zero mission and pushing the boundaries of sustainable design, Project Lightyear sets a new benchmark for the construction industry and embodies the intrinsic link between human health and the built environment.

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' portfolio and the second within the campus, the facility demonstrates the transformative power of a holistic approach to operations and energy management.

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.

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.

As we navigate the challenges of climate change, Project Lightyear inspires us to think differently and embrace a future where sustainable architecture and responsible energy practices seamlessly converge, ultimately leading us toward a more resilient and environmentally conscious world.

  • Sector: Science
  • Scope: Architecture, Lab Planning
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • 2023
  • 51,000 SF
Project Team
Chris Small
Julia Janaro
R. David Cole
Project Architect
Eric Mitchell
Ryan Cooper
Sharon Agresta
Elizabeth Morgan
Experiential Graphics
DPR Construction
Affiliated Engineers
MEP and FP Engineering
Civil and Structural Engineering
Surface 678
Landscape Architect