In 2004, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance celebrated the completion of the state-of-the-art Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Conservation Research, adjacent to the Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Construction of the Center was funded by a generous matching gift from the Beckman Foundation. The Beckman Center is a two-story, 50,000-square foot facility that includes offices, a library, a conference room, and 20,000-square feet of laboratory space, including the Frozen Zoo®. The Center serves as home base for operations and administration of eight research groups: Biodiversity Banking, Community Engagement, Conservation Genetics, Disease Investigations, Plant Conservation, Population Sustainability, Recovery Ecology, and Reproductive Sciences.
The Beckman Center was constructed using green practices and sustainable materials, and approximately 15% of its electrical needs are powered by solar energy. It was designed with numerous windows, strategically placed to allow natural sunlight to be a key component of lighting the building. All windows are dual glazed to block ultraviolet radiation, as well as tinted to reduce solar heat gain. Waterless fixtures and water-efficient sinks in restrooms help to conserve water usage, and whenever possible recycled materials have been incorporated into the building’s flooring and roofing. In 2006, the Beckman Center was awarded Silver-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2008, the Center was further honored with Masonry Association Awards for Sustainability and Sustainable Design.