Operating Cost Benchmarks for Biomedical Research Facilities

Dedicated Service Organization at ASU’s Biodesign Institute Nets $1.3 Million in Annual Energy Savings

Published 2-22-2015

The research infrastructure department at the Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University’s showcase research center, employs a dedicated facilities service organization with considerable in-house expertise, and granular benchmarking tools that track utilities and facilities costs in multiple categories of lab space, from LEED-certified green building features to general wet labs to secure ABSL-3 labs with a select agent program. In a state-sponsored research environment, where operating costs can go as high as $170 per net sf, optimizing building efficiency is critical.

UTMB Builds Hard Data into Framework for Capital Investment Decision-Making

Tools to Use: Space Utilization, Facility Gap Analysis, and Facility Condition Index

Published 2-11-2015

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has crafted a decision-making framework based on objective standards to identify and pursue the highest priorities in a massive building boom that has roughly 95 projects valued from $10,000 to $450 million currently under construction. While a large part of that activity stems from the university’s long-range master plan, a significant portion was necessitated by the devastation of Hurricane Ike, which took 1.2 million sf of the medical school’s Galveston campus out of service in 2008. 

Facility Space Planning with the Help of Big Data

Distilling Macro-Patterns from the Metrics

Published 10-29-2014

With an overwhelming amount of space data—collected from and managed by RFID chips, space utilization models, visual schedule maps, BIM—the best outcomes increasingly rely on the ability to analyze, distill, and communicate that information, according to Jeff Funovits and Alex Wing, principals with Stantec. This is particularly true when it comes to the design and planning of medical, research, and educational environments, where efficiency and meaningful learning or clinical outcomes are the measures of success.

Steady Construction and Labor Demand Drive New Project Costs Above Trend Line

Market Outlook 2014 Q3

Published 10-22-2014

Sustained growth over the past 18 months has pushed new construction prices above the long-term trend line for the first time since 2009, according to third-quarter economic data. Capital construction prices are now trending at an annual escalation rate of 4 to 8 percent, depending on region, with northeastern and southern states showing the greatest increase. Regional labor demand is also driving up project bids in midwestern states.

KPIs and Metrics that Achieve Space Management Cost Savings

Using Executive Dashboards and Scorecards to Drive Enterprise Optimization

Published 10-8-2014

GlaxoSmithKline recently engaged Computerized Facility Integration (CFI) to develop an executive reporting dashboard that will give leaders the ability to track key performance indicators (KPIs) that help identify organizational opportunities and missteps. Once developed, this strategic information will help the real estate group quickly set a course to bring rapid improvement and reduced costs.

Flexible Lab Design Based on Researcher "Phenotype"

A Focus on Users Yields Space that Remains Relevant Over Time

Published 9-17-2014

Though it sounds counter-intuitive, trying to customize flexibility in research spaces may actually inhibit the intended outcome in the long term, according to Niraj Dangoria, associate dean of facilities planning and management at Stanford School of Medicine, and David Bendet, associate principal at Perkins+Will Architects. Designers should focus instead on the people and modularity, even when future research needs are uncertain and can change rapidly.

Culture Drives Collaboration; Space Design Enhances It

Ballinger Studies Current Research to Understand Workplace Metrics

Published 7-30-2014

Space doesn’t drive an organization’s culture, but when thoughtfully designed, it will enhance and support the work. Culture—the shared set of values, goals, and practices critical to decision making and business success—determines work styles, space, and effectiveness, making it one of the most important drivers of collaborative workplace design for an organization.

Designing New Metrics to Measure Interaction

Ballinger’s Collaborative Environments Promote Effective Research

Published 5-28-2014

New metrics for designing scientific research space measure the predictors of human interaction in a research environment. While traditional metrics measure productivity in quantitative terms, new metrics—based on interaction, sustainability, and performance—look at qualitative factors to determine what type of environments encourage collaborative research.

Rethinking Assumptions about Energy Consumption in Research Facilities

Designing Laboratories Based on Data, Not Industry Standards

Published 4-2-2014

An evidence-based approach to designing and analyzing research laboratories—one that focuses on practical and interrelated reductions in energy use—offers long-term cost benefits that trump popular but often-underperforming symbolic gestures. Traditional thinking suggests that sustainable construction of research labs, which are among the most energy-intensive facilities in the world, costs many times more than the non-green alternative. Not so, say the designers at Payette, a Boston architectural firm.

Population Served Drives FM Staffing Levels More Than Space

New Study Dispels Common Assumptions

Published 3-12-2014

The biggest factor in determining or predicting appropriate facilities management staffing levels is not the amount or type of space managed, but the size and type of the workforce served. This revelation, which contradicts widespread thought and practice, came to light in a new study of how facility management staffing models have changed over the past 10 years—a period that includes the Great Recession of 2008.