Located in Foster City, California, Gilead is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes medicine in areas with unmet medical needs. The facility makes strides in transforming and simplifying care for those with life-threatening illnesses across the globe. Spanning 185,000 square feet, Southland provided HVAC, plumbing, and process piping design services.


Throughout the design phase, Southland offered innovative solutions to provide significant cost savings for the owner. Utilizing a blended water system for the laboratory’s air handling unit (AHU) preheat, the design team was able to eliminate a separate coil on the laboratory’s 100 percent outside AHU. During winter months, the rooftop piping that supplies the AHU is isolated from the facility and hot water is blended into the piping loop to increase temperatures. This allows the water to circulate the AHU coils and preheat the outside air. The design allows the central plant’s condensing boilers to operate with a low return water temperature which significantly improves the system’s efficiency.
To provide significant savings and ensure the desired ceiling heights were maintained, Southland coordinated with the building architect. This coordination allowed the design team to utilize skylight structures to return air from the top two floors rather than bringing return duct down and distributing it above the ceiling of each floor.


To design for safety, simplicity, and create savings, Southland standardized air handling and exhaust systems. The design ensures that all main equipment is interchangeable to simplify spare parts inventory and maintenance operations. Southland also coordinated and prefabricated utility panels to incorporate all process services, including compressed gases, dust collection exhaust, and electrical service points to create ease of access for facility operators.

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