Space Use

Repurposing Commercial Space for Life Sciences and Biotech

Building Metrics Must Be Carefully Considered for Suitability

Published 6-22-2022

Funding for life sciences is booming, causing a space demand surge in already tight markets across North America. Companies that are ramping up production or spinning out of university labs often lease space in new or in-progress buildings but can have trouble finding the perfect fit. Commercial building inventory, both built and under construction, consists mainly of office space with systems that are incompatible with modern research missions. Outside of a few biotech-focused cities—Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle, for example—it’s hard to find a developer that understands lab space needs, so a life sciences company might hire an architect to work with developers on a redesign. Space considerations include zoning constraints, floor-to-floor heights, minimum floor plate, and electrical capacity.

How the Pandemic Transformed Future Workplace Design and Organizational Strategies

A Research-Based Forecast of the Post-Covid Workspace

Published 4-27-2022

While the global pandemic changed many fundamental elements of daily life—including travel, education, and the economy—its impact on the workplace will perhaps prove to be the most disruptive and long-lasting. Research conducted by MillerKnoll reveals how years of remote working, empty real estate, workforce redistribution, and limited social interaction have profoundly changed workplace expectations and organizational strategies for employees and employers alike. The research study, called The Case for a Thriving Workplace, indicates a massive shift in future planning approaches to workspace design and organizational structure that are more human, holistic, interactive, and flexible.

Stony Brook University’s New Ultra-Low-Temp Walk-in Freezer Farm

An Energy Efficient, Lower Cost Alternative to Traditional Point-of-Use Freezers

Published 4-13-2022

Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine in Stony Brook, N.Y., has increased its capacity for ultra-low-temperature freezer storage, a need that became critical nationwide in early 2021 when the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine required that level of storage, limiting which hospitals and pharmacies could offer it. Stony Brook’s new 560,000-sf Medical and Research Translation facility contains a low-temp walk-in (LTW) Freezer Farm suite with eight minus-80-degree-Celsius permanent storage chambers and a minus-20-degree-Celsius storage corridor with a combined capacity of over 1.8 million samples. This is the equivalent storage of 80 traditional point-of-use (POU) stand-alone freezer units.

Bakar BioEnginuity Hub Raises the Bar for Urban Adaptive Reuse Projects

UC Berkeley’s New Life Science Incubator Transforms the Future While Preserving the Past

Published 3-30-2022

The Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), a newly opened life science incubator in Woo Hon Fai Hall on the University of California Berkeley campus, sets a new standard for adaptive reuse of historically significant buildings. Originally completed in 1970, the 94,000-sf cast-in-place concrete building was designed by famed San Francisco architect Mario Ciampi as the home of the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive. Considered an iconic example of mid-century brutalist architecture, the building was found to have significant seismic vulnerabilities after a campus-wide assessment was conducted in 1997. Despite installing temporary reinforcement bracing that improved the building’s seismic rating from “very poor” to “poor,” the museum ultimately moved to a new location in 2014, leaving the massive complex vacant until a decision was made in 2018 to transform it into a life science research incubator that also preserved the building’s historic legacy. While the bold adaptive reuse goal was laudable and widely supported, the architectural engineering and mechanical challenges of retrofitting the historic building to support the needs of a modern flexible life sciences lab were unprecedented.

Combining Generic/Flexible Labs with Highly Specialized Research Space

Evolving Design Approaches Balance a Wide Range of Scientific Needs

Published 2-16-2022

While creating generic/flexible lab spaces that can be adapted to a variety of different research needs continues to be the preferred approach—especially in higher education buildings—there is also a growing need for highly specialized lab and support facilities designed for very specific types of research. As a result, facility designers are increasingly tasked with balancing the demand for both open generic/flexible labs and specialized lab spaces in a single building with the added challenge of improving energy efficiency, sustainability, and operating costs.

Harnessing Your Data to Drive Space Utilization and Fuel Master Plans

Data Analytics Can Save Millions in Deferred Construction

Published 2-2-2022

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is using data science to improve existing space efficiencies while fulfilling departmental growth and retention goals, reducing leased space, and fueling master planning efforts. Data analytics has become a fundamental tool since facilities staff undertook an extensive data collection and analysis project and applied what they learned to develop space assignment rules and processes.

Top 10 Reports of 2021

Published 1-5-2022

2021 was another unprecedented year, with rapidly changing capital project priorities. New directions in science funding, the current and future realities of in-person and hybrid learning and work environments, and what it now takes to recruit and retain workers, students, and faculty were items of highest interest. Here is the top ten list of Tradeline articles that your peers found particularly helpful in navigating 2021 and preparing for 2022 and beyond.

Unum Transitions to Universal Systematic Floor Plan with No Private Offices

Sweeping Transformation Offers Flexibility, Supports Remote Work, Frees Up Real Estate

Published 11-10-2021

An aggressive workplace transformation to an open floorplate with no private offices, implemented across 1 million-plus sf in three locations, allowed Unum Group to consolidate about 40 percent of its worldwide real estate portfolio, turning the vacated space into $53 million in sub-leasing revenue over the next 10 years. Despite the consolidation, the refurbished office buildings are equipped with a raft of appealing amenities, from coffee bars, micromarkets, and cafeterias to fitness centers, quiet rooms, and gaming areas.