September Spotlight – Illumina Headquarters, San Diego, CA

Illumina Main

  1. What operations does your company house here?

Illumina Headquarters houses all departments and functions, including Research and Development, Manufacturing, and Commercial Marketing and Sales, and general and administrative staff to support these functions.

2. How many people work in the facility?

Illumina has more than 5,000 employees globally, with approximately 2,500 based out of San Diego Corporate Headquarters.

3. How many square feet is the facility?  

The San Diego Campus encompasses 792, 687 RSF, including a new 300K SF building that will open late in 2016, which will finally enable the long-awaited consolidation of our Operations and Distributions functions.   Additionally, to support Illumina’s continued growth we have recently leased an adjacent campus less than 1 mile from our corporate headquarters. This new office space is 312K RSF and will house approximately 1,200 staff at full occupancy. This new campus will open in July of 2017, bringing our total footprint to 1,108,949 SF and ~4,500 seats in San Diego.

4. What makes the facility unique?

Illumina Unique 4Centrally located in San Diego, California, the Illumina Global Headquarters Campus evokes a sense of community set in a Tuscan village, as the campus combines earth-toned stone with high-tech glazing to welcome its employees and visitors to the corporate headquarters of the world-leading genomics company.  Boasting one of the best campus environments in San Diego County, often noted as superior to the world-class Google and Amazon campuses in Northern California, the Illumina Campus is a highly-desired workplace.  The central location provides direct adjacencies to one of the nation’s leading life science hubs.  This close proximity to leading institutions and companies lends the Illumina campus a unique advantage.

The 5200 Illumina Way campus building construction was completed in 2004.  Some of the buildings have been renovated to accommodate the growing needs of Illumina’s Global Headquarters.  The Tuscan design theme, with limestone clad exterior walls in varying shades of tan and rust, exterior stone paving and rustic stone site walls, fosters innovation and brings a sense of adventure to a site that is home to some of the world’s most creative scientists, researchers, and engineers.  The site includes an arroyo that runs down the middle of the campus between the laboratory and office buildings.  Patios and balconies on either side of the arroyo are inviting spots for employees to spend their lunch hour or gather for an informal meeting.  An enclosed glass bridge connecting Buildings 1 and 2 and expansive glass curtainwalls draw light into the community and collaboration areas, providing clear visibility of the Mediterranean landscaped campus surrounding both buildings.

This campus was the recipient of the 2013 BOMA Toby Certificate of Achievement Award.

5. What recreation options do you give employees if any?

Weight RoomThe fitness amenities onsite include: a state-of-the-art on-site gym, yoga, spinning and other group exercise classes, a basketball court, and beach volleyball court. Wellness professionals are available to help employees work toward their fitness goals.






6. What food options do you give employees if any? 

Fountain 6There is a large cafeteria open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a MicroMart for food options 24/7, and frequent food truck choices. Additionally, each floor houses break rooms with hot and cold filtered water dispensers and microwave ovens, and 2 separately located coffee bar lounges that serve Starbucks coffee as well as coffee from Bird Rock Coffee.  Employees have a wide variety of choice for food including items from the grill, a salad bar, pizza, pasta and deli sandwiches, and frequently rotating chefs. Also, in the cafeteria are drinks along with grab and go options for a quick snack. Seating is adjacent to the cafeteria with tables and diner-style booths. Exterior courtyards also provide a place to eat and relax.

7. How long has the facility been open? 

Illumina completed a significant tenant improvement and occupied the campus in September 2011.   Since then, four new buildings have been constructed: a 127K SF lab/office building, a parking structure, a 23K SF Fitness and Amphitheater building, and a soon-to-open  300K SF manufacturing and distribution building.

8. What are the major differences between this and your last facility?

The major differences between the previous site and our current campus is that we have had the ability to scale and grow the campus as Illumina grows. The new site supports our growth and expansion plans, which is evident from the additional facilities we have constructed over the past four years. Additionally, the campus supports our desire to create an open and collaborative environment for employees to work and be inspired by. The mixture of amenities and choice in work spaces supports this in a way that the previous site could not.

9. What does a typical workstation have at this facility? 

Illumina is 100% open plan workstations, which is embedded as a core value and part of our culture. A typical work station is 6×6 or 36 SF with 54” high panels that allow for seated privacy. Each workstation contains personal storage, encourages flexible postures and ergonomic tools, convenience power at the desk top and the ability to collaborate at the workstation.

10. What efforts does the facility make to conserve? 

Illumina demonstrates its commitment to the environment and the communities where offices and manufacturing buildings reside. Here are a couple examples of how we demonstrate this commitment on our campus:

water 10Air Pollution Control – Illumina operates a pollution prevention device (PPD) to control toxic air emissions. There is a one-of-a-kind device designed to emit water vapor from the stack. The PPD is required by law for Illumina to operate, but they have gone significantly beyond compliance in order to achieve greater controls and emission reduction.

Water Conservation – The Illumina arroyo is a 360,000 gallon living water feature.  A water conservation project has been implemented where the reject water from the building’s reverse osmosis and deionization system is sent to the water feature rather than the sanitary sewer. The pond consists of aquatic life, plant life, natural rock formations, river rock bottom, and a waterfall.  Evaporation averages 800 gallons per day.

pond lastSeveral facilities on this campus are Core & Shell LEED Certified.  The campus utilizes a Building Energy Management System for all Buildings.  As a milestone, Illumina won the 2015 SDGE Energy Showcase award for energy conservation.

Posted by Jimmy Yen, Quintiles

Jimmy Yen HS