Construction Cost

Equipment-Driven Planning for Capital-Intensive Academic Research Facilities

UMass Amherst Uses Equipment List to Drive Phased Buildout of Core Labs

Published 9-13-2017

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) recently completed the construction and fit-out of their new Life Science Laboratories after receiving a $95 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC)—a quasi-state agency dedicated to growing the state’s life sciences industry. The new interdisciplinary research wing features state-of-the-art equipment and core resources that will be shared across multiple research teams and industry partnerships. While the new core labs were built into a pre-existing shell with an open floorplate and operational MEP, the final design was driven by the cost-intensive equipment list. Since the agency grant designated a specific amount of funding for the equipment, the type of equipment was known but exact model and vendor was not known before many of the other design and programming decisions were made. 

The Future of Research Facility Design

Laboratories Move toward Core Services Model, Away from “Wet” Spaces

Published 8-30-2017

Five years ago, Tradeline sought experts to predict the future—specifically, the future of research lab design and construction. Today, we take a look back at those predictions, and gather some new ones, looking at trends in research programs and funding, and how those trends affect the decisions institutions are making when they build and renovate their laboratory spaces.

Think Sidehouse, Not Penthouse, for Utilities Distribution

Carleton University Gains Adaptability, More Space for Science, with Horizontal Strategy

Published 8-9-2017

Replacing the traditional penthouse with a ground-breaking sidehouse, the new Health Sciences Building at Canada’s Carleton University represents the latest step in the evolution of academic science facilities. Along with reflecting today’s emphasis on open labs and interdisciplinary collaboration, the building’s fresh approach to utilities distribution improves overall design, lab efficiency, and adaptability for future fit-outs and changes—all while adhering to a very tight budget and construction schedule.

Lab Surfaces in Flux

Flexibility, Aesthetics, and Cost Trends Drive Countertop Choices

Published 6-21-2017

All lab work—experiments, equipment usage, write-ups—occurs on countertops, but these flat horizontal surfaces are rapidly changing. “Today, lab work surfaces need to be adaptable, flexible, ergonomic, mobile, reconfigurable, versatile, sustainable, design-oriented, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, and easy to install,” says Arnulf Penker, president of FunderMax, a designer and producer of wood-based materials and compact laminates in St. Veit an der Glan, Austria.

Sustained Economic Growth Continues to Increase Construction Costs and Labor Demand

Market Outlook 2017 Q1

Published 6-14-2017

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy rate in the first quarter of 2017, adding roughly 176,000 jobs per month. Capital construction prices continued their 2016 trend, increasing at an average of 6 percent, depending on location. Construction job growth was approximately 89,000 or 1.3 percent nationally. Energy and commodity prices continue to remain at levels not seen since the 1990s, due to abundant international and domestic supplies combined with a strong U.S. dollar.

Optimum Phasing Strategies for Campus Construction

Consider Impact on Students, Faculty, Fiscal Objectives, and Long-Term Vision

Published 6-14-2017

Renovating an existing science facility or constructing a new building at today’s busy colleges requires the right approach in order to minimize the impact on students and faculty, while also adhering to the institution’s financial goals and strategic plan. It is important to design the project in a manner that allows students to complete their courses, and for faculty to maintain their research and teaching schedules. This is achieved with one of three phasing strategies: using 100 percent temporary facilities, no temporary space, or a hybrid of both.