By Jane Kepros, LEED GA

Whether you are a developer looking to build a new building, a landlord interested in converting an existing building, or a company looking for a new home, there are specific and important considerations for the layout and construction of a laboratory building. These key considerations are construction type, building infrastructure, lab utilities, and amenities.

Construction Type

First, consider the type of construction. How the building is designed and constructed is an important factor to support laboratory needs. Sufficient fire resistance construction ratings are required for hazardous material use and storage, control area or lab suite segregation, and improved fireproofing.

Anti-vibration methods to isolate sensitive equipment is another common requirement. Many items in a lab require low or no vibration, including imaging instruments, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, lasers, and animal care facilities. The construction of the building must be robust to prevent or reduce vibration transferring throughout the building from various sources such as equipment with moving parts, elevators, mechanical equipment, nearby trains, and even people walking.

It is also important that the floor-to-floor height is sufficient to accommodate HVAC, plumbing, utilities/access and taller equipment, and that the floor loads can support heavy equipment.

Building Infrastructure

Elements in the building’s infrastructure are important for supporting the needs of a lab. Dedicated passenger and freight elevators allow for separation of materials, waste, and personnel are critical. Doors should be wide enough to move equipment, casework, skids, and waste; 3’-6” width by 8’-0” height is typical. A loading dock is essential for incoming/outgoing materials along with an adequate driveway for delivery of equipment, supplies, and compressed gases and liquids. Waste management areas are required for temporary staging/storage and collection areas for biohazard, chemical, recycling, and general waste.

In addition, labs require an increased need for air handling due to increased ventilation requirements which may include dedicated rooftop units or redundancy for specific functions or spaces. Any confidential science performed may require additional security for legal or safety reasons. Finally, adequate storage is needed for busy labs and environmentally stable areas may be required.

Lab Utilities

You also must consider: What type of utilities are being provided for the lab? Will these utilities be provided by the landlord and metered for tenants, or tenant-owned? Lab utilities are an essential consideration for building tenants. Landlords will need to consider what is pre-wired or pre-plumbed, where the “house” systems live, where the “tenant” systems live and how to access these for maintenance or replacement. A well drafted landlord-tenant matrix is essential for a tenant and landlord to understand their utility responsibilities.

A house purified water system may be preferred, or a tenant may provide a local unit that requires pre-filtering. There may be an increased demand for hot water supply to maintain a tempered water loop for eyewashes and emergency showers, which may trigger a boiler upgrade. An air compressor and vacuum pump are frequently needed and plumbed to the open bench areas. Various compressed gases may be required and these could be supplied as smaller cylinders, larger dewars, micro or mini bulk systems, or from a gas generator.

Thoughtful consideration of potential needs should go into planning the building or site to accommodate these gases, including truck access for refills or transport of full or empty containers.

Any potential sinks where hazardous materials may be disposed down the drain should be plumbed to a pH neutralization system. If this is centralized, it should be monitored on a tenant-by-tenant basis. Additional tenant utilities may include generator back up power for critical equipment, uninterrupted power supply for equipment that requires constant power, and networking needs for equipment that require specialty services like dedicated servers.


Science and technology companies are often competing to attract and retain talent in hub markets, including the Greater Boston area. One way of doing this is by being thoughtful about amenities when moving to a new space. These offerings should be included in the building or available in the immediate surrounding neighborhood. Amenities may include: eateries and restaurants, vehicle and bike parking, a fitness center and showers, outdoor space, artwork, meeting and conference space, daycare, and public transit access.

Buildings must meet certain requirements to support laboratory space. The specifics will depend on the tenant, or desired tenant, and their science, processes and equipment. When starting a new project, make sure to evaluate the construction type, building infrastructure, lab utilities and potential or nearby amenities, as these are all important factors that should be taken into consideration in the design and layout of the building.

This article was featured in Banker & Tradesman.

Partnership with the Salesian Boys and Girls Club of East Boston results in new home for non-profit offering programs for local youth in grades K-12

BOSTON – September 12, 2023 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that it has completed the first of two phases of work at 150 Byron Street in East Boston for Boston Scores. Margulies Perruzzi provided design services for renovations to an existing 39,320 SF building to create a space to be shared by Boston Scores and the Salesian Boys and Girls Club of East Boston. The second phase will include a new 2,025 SF building along with several state-of-the-art soccer fields, playground, and an outdoor classroom. A ribbon cutting for Phase 1 was held on July 30, 2023, and the full project will be completed in the spring of 2024.

Boston Scores is a non-profit who partners with Boston Public Schools to provide urban youth in grades K-12 with after-school soccer and enrichment programs. Helping urban youth build essential life skills and character through soccer and team-based enrichment programs, Boston Scores plans to augment its traditional programs with new community-based programs that will serve more youth and enhance coach training. The new headquarters will allow it to more than double the number of youth served while enhancing the quality of the services offered.

“We are thrilled to announce the transformative renovations to our headquarters, a pivotal step forward for our non-profit dedicated to empowering K-12 youth. These renovations, expertly led by Margulies Perruzzi, exemplify our commitment to creating an inspiring and innovative space where young people can flourish,” said John Maconga, executive director of Boston Scores. “The redesigned headquarters will not only serve as a hub for our impactful programs but also stand as a symbol of our unwavering dedication to nurturing the potential of the next generation.”

Margulies Perruzzi carved out 2,850 SF for Boston Scores on the third floor of the three-story building which features a shared open office and six private offices for staff plus a dedicated area for youth programs and coach training in a large conference room. Margulies Perruzzi added a bathroom and kitchenette within the office suite and an elevator to provide inclusive access to all three floors in the building. Large interior windows were installed overlooking the existing gym. The Salesian Boys and Girls Club will continue to occupy the first two floors and a portion of the third floor.

“For several years, Margulies Perruzzi has been involved with Boston Scores as a participant in their annual Scores Cup soccer tournament at Gillette Stadium. It allows companies like ours to extend our team building outside the office while also supporting a great cause,” said Dan Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, principal and senior partner at Margulies Perruzzi.

Site work included renovating the existing parking lot with 40 spaces, updating site stormwater capacity, and installing a newly constructed soccer mini-pitch. Protected play spaces ideal for pick-up games, skills development, and informal play, the East Boston mini-pitch will include lighting to allow for play to continue into the evening.

The mini-pitch renovations were funded through gifts and donations from the family of Mark and Sarah Williamson, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Major League Soccer Players Foundation, and Musco Lighting. The mini-pitch is the first program space created through the Boston Scores $15 million investment in the Salesian Heights project.

The next phase of the project includes the construction of a new 3.1-acre multi-field soccer complex, playground, community garden, outdoor classroom, shaded sitting areas, field house, renovated classrooms, meeting spaces, and parking.

The project team included:

  • Architect/Interior Designer: Margulies Perruzzi
  • Construction: Argus Construction, Masse Construction
  • Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering
  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Engineer: Wozny Barbar
  • Structural Engineer: H+O Structural Engineers
  • Landscape Architect: Warner Larson

About Margulies Perruzzi

As one of New England’s top architectural and interior design firms, Margulies Perruzzi (MP) designs Workplace, Health, Science, and Real Estate projects that inspire and nurture human endeavor. More information may be found at

About Boston Scores

Boston Scores is one of the largest after school providers in Boston, providing free programs focused on soccer, poetry and service learning to over 1,500 students each year. Through our holistic program model, Boston Scores supports youth in building essential life skills that help to build strong individuals and strong communities. For more information, please visit