Boston, MA Repositioning office buildings into laboratory/life sciences spaces is a growing market and there are a lot of questions about how to do this. WB Engineers+Consultants’ managing principal and life sciences practice leader, Raymond Doyle, along with principal, Fran Coffey, presented a live webinar “Repositioning Your Building to a Lab,” to answer some of these questions. During this webinar, they broke down the complexities that arise in MEP/FP design when a building owner is turning their office space into a laboratory. Overall, there are three key issues to consider:
• Know your targets: Lab tenants care about adaptability, flexibility, adjustability and expandability.
• Know your limitations: Understand what lab space you’d like to provide to tenants (there are 50+ different laboratory type spaces).
• Know your goals: Pre-plan the building to optimize for flexibility.
Also, discussed was how to divide the responsibilities between a tenant and landlord. It is valuable to understand the requirements of the tenant or the market, in order to drive the discussion. It needs to be stated clearly what the landlord is providing and what the tenant is responsible for and need to be agreed upon at the beginning of the project.
Lastly, housing specific lab spaces in a building demand different system requirements. It is important to figure out if a building can support the requirements and not be limited by the constraints. If a building has limitations (and all do), it is imperative that a cost benefit and capital plan be considered.
If you missed the webinar, it is available on the YouTube channel. Also, stay tuned for additional live webinars from our team including: Healthy Buildings - Indoor Air Quality, Hazardous Materials, and Electric Vehicle and Alternative Energy.