Serving as the gateway to Arizona State University's (ASU) Tempe campus and facing the busiest intersection in Arizona (Rural Road and University Drive), the Rob & Melani Walton Center for Planetary Health – previously known as Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7 (ISTB7) – connects the University’s NOVUS Innovation Corridor to the campuses research and biotech plaza. The 281,000-square-foot, high-performance research facility fosters an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge generation and leading-edge research, including innovative endeavors focusing on the sustainability of food, water, and energy. The facility, which contains wet and dry lab space, an atrium biome (ELAB), a conference and education center with a presentation hall, classrooms, and offices, will house Global Futures, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, the Rob & Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service, School of Sustainability, and the Institute of Human Origins. The building also has research labs for biological sciences, engineering, life sciences, and sustainability. Dry lab space includes computing, cyber-security, engineering design and fabrication, as well as robotics.
The Rob & Melani Center for Planetary Health represents, in many ways, ASU’s commitment to sustainability and serves to connect the community (both the public and its university community) to the rich history of Arizona, human origins and our global future. Nationally, ASU is a leader and model for sustainability operations and practices and is making significant strides in overarching areas that drive sustainability initiatives. These factors played a significant role influencing design and construction decisions. And, although the building was originally designed to meet specifications for LEED Gold, the collaborative project team approach has resulted in developing numerous solutions that have the building on track to achieve LEED Platinum.