In October, construction began on a two-story, 1,500-square-meter (16,146-square-foot) research laboratory, office, and testing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, for an automotive chassis design and manufacturing company. The $3.5 million project “fuses the idea of a traditional factory with the mountains of Monterrey,” says Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA. A sawtooth roof allows natural light into the building through skylights and hosts photovoltaic panels. As a result, “the sky becomes a part of the building,” Scarpa says. A perforated and etched aluminum exterior skin—manufactured by the client—clads the upper story and features a pattern abstracted from the client’s logo. Strategic glazing on the lower level reveals portions of the laboratory and machine room to the public while protecting proprietary technologies. The facility, which boasts an underground heat exchanger and graywater recycling, has offices, meeting rooms, a library, and a mezzanine between engineers on the upper level and the warehouse below. When complete in mid-2012, the facility will become Mexico’s first newly constructed building to achieve a LEED Platinum certification.