Skip to main content

Operating Cost

Canada’s Largest Research Healthcare System Adapts to Hybrid Work

Published 2/14/2024

University Health Network of Toronto, Canada’s largest research healthcare system, increased space efficiency and improved employee morale by reengineering its practices and workspaces to accommodate a hybrid work model. Of the 6 million sf occupied by the network, 1 million sf was office space, 200,000 sf of which was used by people who could be hybrid workers. The transition required a concentrated change management strategy, an investment in technology, and a reconfiguration of space and the way it was managed.

Read More

Oak Ridge National Lab Restructures Management of Vast Space Portfolio

Published 1/31/2024

Following a 2018 change in leadership at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the nation’s largest science and energy laboratory redefined how it views and manages its 4-million-plus-gsf space portfolio. In the shift from a landlord-tenant cost-recovery model managed by outside partners to a restructured internal space management organization, ORNL launched a wide-ranging initiative to improve utilization of existing space and increase transparency. Among the measures implemented were: creating a space authority in each of the lab’s eight research directorates; convening an annual space summit; walking down the entire space at least twice a year; and building an integrated workplace management system based on extensive data gathering. 

Read More

Electrification Can Help Campuses Reach Their Decarbonization Goals

Published 5/17/2023

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has made fighting climate change a top priority for its 250-acre campus in Kamloops, British Columbia. University leaders have committed that TRU will become a net-zero campus and be fossil fuel free by 2030. To that end, it is replacing fossil-fuel-powered heating and cooling with a new low-carbon district energy system (LCDES) that includes a combination of heat pumps powered by renewable electricity. TRU officials and others believe electrification through district energy is the most impactful way for institutions to wean themselves off fossil fuels.

Read More

Employing Asset Management and Capital Planning Software to Address Space Utilization, Budget Constraints, and Maintenance

Published 5/3/2023

The University of Kansas Medical Center faced a dilemma: how to support its growing research programs and faculty needs amid budget restrictions, aging buildings, and a backlog of deferred maintenance, all in the shadow of a decision by the university’s governing board that it would no longer fund new construction. Tasked instead with renovating existing facilities, KU Medical Center (KUMC) partnered with a facilities asset management company to assess and compile data on the condition of all infrastructure components, including everything from the air handling units, chillers, and boilers to the carpet and sprinkler system.

Read More

ASHRAE Creates Global Occupant Behavior Database

Published 4/10/2023

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has created the Global Occupant Behavior Database, a publicly accessible resource that can provide actionable insights about how buildings are used. Compiling data collected by 39 institutions in 15 countries, the database was developed in collaboration with researchers from Syracuse University, the University of Georgia, Texas A&M University, and Technical University of Denmark.

Read More

Net Zero Carbon is Achievable in Traditional Lab Space

Published 3/29/2023

Whether renovating an existing lab space or building a new one, conserving energy is likely to be a top priority—even more important than the return on investment. No longer a pie-in-the-sky goal, achieving net zero carbon in standard wet labs is now within reach with the right combination of measures, starting with ventilation management and moving toward electrification. Even cleanrooms, which are among the highest energy intensive laboratory types, could be next. MIT.nano, which opened in 2018 after seven years of planning and design, achieved best-in-class for energy performance, which the designers call “the first big step toward net zero” for these ultra-high-intensity facilities.

Read More

Missouri S&T Plans Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Published 1/27/2023

Missouri University of Science and Technology will begin construction in late summer of 2023 on a $53.4 million manufacturing innovation hub in Rolla. Designed by Perkins&Will and Mackey Mitchell Architects, the Missouri Protoplex will be the headquarters of a statewide ecosystem where experts, innovators, business owners, and educators develop new production methods and technologies.

Read More

Piramal Pharma Selects Merit's FlexiPOD Platform for Antibody Drug Conjugate Facility

Published 2/25/2022

Piramal Pharma Solutions broke ground in February of 2022 on a £45 million antibody drug conjugate (ADC) facility in Grangemouth, Scotland. Accommodating both manufacturing and aseptic fill/finish operations, the structure will provide additional capacity for the creation of targeted cancer treatments and other innovative therapies. Representing an expansion of Piramal's existing ADC campus, the project is being delivered by Merit using its FlexiPOD V4.0 platform.

Read More

AstraZeneca Plans Advanced Manufacturing Center in Ireland

Published 10/4/2021

AstraZeneca is planning to construct a $360 million manufacturing center in the Blanchardstown region of Dublin. Located on the Alexion Campus in College Park, the next-generation facility will leverage advanced process technologies and digital innovation solutions to produce small-molecule APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients). Significantly reducing commercialization lead times, the sustainably designed structure will integrate lean manufacturing practices to lower operating costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Read More

University of Southern Maine Builds Career and Student Success Center

Published 6/18/2021

The University of Southern Maine broke ground in May of 2021 on the 42,000-sf Career and Student Success Center in Portland. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects to foster collaboration and interaction, the three-story project will house a 4,500-sf multipurpose room, a cafe and brew pub, a 300-seat dining hall, the Career and Employment Hub, the Diversity and Multicultural Center, and numerous student lounges.

Read More

Johnson Controls Launches New Solutions for Sustainable Building Operations

Published 5/26/2021

Johnson Controls International (JCI) launched OpenBlue Buildings as a Service in April of 2021. Offering a comprehensive portfolio of advanced solutions, the program allows building owners to transfer the full lifecycle risk of operations to Johnson Controls, which can include upfront capital and decision-making processes; responsibility for design, construction, and maintenance; and energy efficiency and emissions management.

Read More

Promega Corporation Opens Kornberg Center

Published 4/16/2021

Promega Corporation opened the 283,000-sf Kornberg Center in April of 2021 in Fitchburg, Wis. Designed by Ramlow/Stein and SmithGroup, the three-story facility provides advanced laboratories for core product and technology development in cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, genetic identity, clinical diagnostics, and scientific applications.

Read More

University of California, Irvine Opens Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building

Published 3/26/2021

The University of California, Irvine opened the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building in February of 2021. Designed by LMN Architects with Research Facilities Design (RFD) as laboratory design consultant, the 204,750-sf facility houses the Samueli School of Engineering, the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science, and the School of Physical Sciences.

Read More

I2SL Expands Laboratory Benchmarking Tool

Published 8/26/2020

The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) is expanding the Laboratory Benchmarking Tool. The new Operational Practices Module will enable lab owners and managers see how their building’s policies and practices compare with those of their peers in terms of lab ventilation rates, night temperature setbacks, occupant engagement programs, exhaust dispersion analyses, and other metrics.

Read More

University of North Dakota Plans Nistler College of Business and Public Administration

Published 8/11/2020

The University of North Dakota is planning to break ground in fall of 2020 on the $70 million Nistler College of Business and Public Administration in Grand Forks. Designed by JLG Architects, the four-story, 111,000-sf facility will offer highly flexible learning environments capable of accommodating a wide range of instructional modalities. Technology-enabled classrooms will support a combination of online and in-person instruction, with educational spaces right-sized for appropriate density metrics.

Read More