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.
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.
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.
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 mparchitectsboston.com.
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 www.bostonscores.org.
BOSTON – June 13, 2023 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, is proud to welcome Jane Kepros, LEED GA as Director of Lab Programming. Reporting to Dan Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, principal and senior partner, Jane will be responsible for programming and planning laboratories, specialty suites, manufacturing facilities, and support spaces for projects, establishing strong relationships with clients and industry partners, and managing, mentoring, and training staff.
After graduating from Boston University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Jane spent eight years working as a biomedical engineer, molecular and cell biologist, and project coordinator at Synta Pharmaceuticals. After initially studying architecture at the Boston Architectural College (BAC), Jane transitioned to a new career as a lab planner. For the past twelve years she has worked for a variety of design firms in the role of Lab Planner, Director of Programming and Planning, and, most recently, Associate Director of Lab Planning. Since 2011 she has been involved with 130+ projects with 70+ clients, including Biogen, Blueprint Medicines, and Takeda.
“Jane’s insider knowledge of labs and how they operate gives her the ability to develop detailed and innovative lab design plans. Drawing upon her strong scientific and technical background, Jane can talk the same language as our clients and help them navigate challenging laboratory design and construction projects,’ said Dan. “Like MP, she strives to stay current with new scientific equipment and lab design trends to provide fresh and innovative design plans to meet the needs of our clients.”
Her work was twice honored with an ISPE Facility of the Year Award (FOYA). ElevateBio’s BaseCamp won for Operational Excellence in 2021, and Moderna’s cGMP Manufacturing Facility won Facility of the Future in 2019. Her team won a design award for the Best Research Lab from IIDA New England for the Blueprint Medicines HQ Relocation in 2018. Jane was recognized in 2016 as one of Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40.
Jane has been invited to speak at multiple industry conferences and events. Her recent speaking engagements include “Lab Design Optimization Using LCA and Energy Modeling” with Mitra Sajjadi at the 2020 I2SL Annual Conference and as a panelist for “Learn the Lab Design and Building Essentials for New and Renovated Labs: A Case Study” for the Boston Chapter of Women in Bio in 2017.
In her spare time, Jane is involved with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Softball League (MSBL), ISPE Boston’s Women in Pharma, and Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.
The March 2023 ASHE PDC Summit in Phoenix Arizona did not disappoint. A lively mix of baseball spring training, the world baseball championship, and several thousand healthcare professionals descending on downtown Phoenix provided a level of energy to the area that was exciting to see. At the conference, I was lucky enough to present with Jeff O’Neill from RWJBarnabas Health and Teresa Harris from isgenuity a presentation titled “Herding Cats: Implementation & Management of Functional Programs & Safety Risk Assessments” in which we facilitated a lively morning conversation on critical requirements of the FGI guidelines and who is responsible for completing them for each project. I learned a lot from the conversation, and if you have any questions on these two areas of the guidelines, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!
There were great talks and keynotes throughout the conference. These are my top hot topics from this year’s conference:
BIG DATA is coming! Investing in sensors and data collection for augmented reality, personal device customization, and improved clinical predictive medicine.
Healthcare transitions to retail experience. Healthcare organizations need to shift their thinking from “patients” to “customers” and design for that experience.
Lots of doom and gloom on the financial side of things with a variety of examples of the financial toll COVID-19 has had on hospitals and their employees.
Telehealth reimbursement has been extended for two additional years; an inkling that this delivery of care model is here to stay in terms of reimbursement. It will be interesting to see if this sparks any new investments in projects related to expanding the implementation of virtual visits.
Of these hot topics, I see a hospital’s ability to invest in data collection across a wide spectrum of disciplines, from building management and infrastructure to patient clinical information to real time location services for staff patients and equipment, a key area of investment over the next 3 years. A great idea from “Hey Alexa, How Can Hospitals Use Intelligent Lighting?” by Todd Hermann from Smith Seckman Reid and Abigail Lipperman from Children’s Health was purchasing Wi-Fi sensors that are integrated into light fixtures. This simple concept allows a hospital to expand their sensor coverage via a hardwired system when areas are renovated, or lighting upgrades are made. The sensors are often open-source code, allowing them to integrate with bio med for medical equipment tracking and personal devices for patients and staff wayfinding and navigating the hospital as well as wellness prompts, for instance, to take the stairs vs. the elevator.
So, that was what was discussed on stage, but what was everyone talking about at the bar? The electrification of the hospital to reduce carbon emissions was a key goal being discussed. The question I kept hearing was: Why take a critical care facility and place it at the bleeding edge of this transition with the current state of the broader electrical grid? A diversity of systems and fuel sources seems like a more resilient answer to the overall risk assessment for the critical care hospital. Hospitals should be focused on proven sustainable solutions to help their energy reduction, but a move to full electrification, even with the benefits of the microgrid, seems to be putting all the eggs into an infrastructure basket that has capacity issues. Failure could place peoples’ lives at risk. This question really resonated with me, and it is often how I assess new products to the marketplace. Cool and shiny work well in a lot of commercial real estate projects, but when I am specifying products and designing for healthcare, I lean towards tried-and-true solutions that will hold up to the heavy use of environments of care.
Investment management firm sought new workspace at One Beacon Street
BOSTON – April 5, 2023 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that it has completed the renovation of 31,000 SF at One Beacon Street for Boston Trust Walden, an independent, employee-owned firm providing investment management services to institutional investors and private wealth clients. The firm has approximately $14 billion in assets under management and is known for its compelling investment philosophy, excellent track record, and decades-long leadership in ESG impact investing. The renovation project transformed the 34th floor at One Beacon Street into a light-filled space with stunning 360-degree views of Boston.
“We decided to move when we realized our office space would no longer accommodate our growth,” said Sarah Kelly, COO and general counsel at Boston Trust Walden. “We took the opportunity to reevaluate how we use space for working and found a partner in Margulies Peruzzi. Their talented team listened to our goals and designed a beautiful, modern space that achieved these and much more. The space is transparent and welcoming and encourages people to move around and interact with one another — something we were missing before. We are thrilled with the results.”
Boston Trust Walden prioritized smaller, uniform offices, direct access to daylight for workstations, and a focus on socialization and collaboration. To achieve these goals, Margulies Perruzzi designed perimeter offices with full glass fronts to bring light into the interior of the space and created alcoves at the perimeter for workstations with access to natural light. A lot of thought was put into creating an employee hub to serve as the core collaboration area. Featuring a coffee bar, pantry, and a variety of seating options including booths, high top tables, and traditional café seating, the employee hub encourages spontaneous collaboration and can also be used as informal meeting space. A client area is located adjacent to the reception area and employee hub and boasts four conference rooms of various sizes.
A unique feature of the Boston Trust Walden office is the trading area. Located in the interior of the space with direct access to an adjoining social area, it was designed to have a direct sight line to the stunning view. Margulies Perruzzi leveraged space at the heart of the interior of the office for ADA-compliant restrooms, locker space, and a multi-purpose wellness room.
Margulies Perruzzi selected earthy natural tones mixed with brighter colors to complement the natural wood floors, creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for employees and visitors. The design team took care to select materials for the space that not only visually embodied Boston Trust Walden, but also aligned with the firm’s focus on social and environmental responsibility, ensuring products used met this high standard.
The project team for this project included:
Architect / Interior Designer: Margulies Perruzzi
GC: Corderman & Company
MEP/FP: WB Engineers
Lighting: Boston Light Source
New linear accelerator installed to allow team to treat more complex cases with a higher level of precision and efficiency
BOSTON – March 21, 2023 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that it has completed renovations for the radiation oncology department at Beth Israel Lahey Health’s Winchester Hospital. Located at 620 Washington Street in Winchester, Mass., the radiation oncology department is part of the hospital’s Center for Cancer Care. This is the twenty-eighth project Margulies Perruzzi has designed for Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) and the eighth at Winchester Hospital. Other projects at Winchester Hospital include the Microbiology Lab, a CT replacement, and a Bone Density Clinic at Unicorn Park.
Winchester Hospital is a 229-bed facility and leading provider of comprehensive health care services in northwest suburban Boston offering a broad range of surgical specialties, including general, bariatric, urologist, thoracic, otolaryngology (ENT), vascular, and orthopedic surgery. Winchester Hospital is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.
The radiation oncology renovation project was driven by Winchester Hospital’s need to install a new linear accelerator. It will allow the clinical team to treat more complex cases with a higher level of precision and efficiency. The vault reconstruction also provided an opportunity to upgrade support spaces and refresh the aesthetics throughout the department.
“Linear accelerator installations have always been a favorite project type of mine,” said John Fowler, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, associate principal and partner at Margulies Perruzzi. “They require a high degree of technical proficiency, but they also create opportunities to improve the patient experience and contribute in even a small way to the incredible care that the radiation oncology teams provide to their patients.”
The project team strategically planned the construction and equipment installations for the shortest construction duration possible to minimize the diversion of patients to other BILH cancer centers during the renovations. Over the course of four months, the existing linear accelerator was removed, the vault, control room and CT sim room were renovated inclusive of new shielding and below slab conduit runs, the new equipment was installed, tested and the department was back open for patient care. Cosmetic upgrades and custom millwork were designed to fit the accessories and equipment associated with radiation treatment.
“BILH asked us to create spaces that were bright, serene and complimentary to the equipment being installed while adding whimsical touches of design and a customizable patient ambience with color changing LED lighting and music that can be selected by the patients for their treatment sessions,” said Julia Donahue, IIDA, NCIDQ, WELL AP, interior designer at Margulies Perruzzi.
The project team included:
Architecture and Interior Design: Margulies Perruzzi
Margulies is an award-winning architect, community leader, real estate industry mentor, and philanthropist who has made a difference in the communities where he lives and works. After serving as Fidelity Investments’ manager of real estate design, Margulies founded Margulies & Associates in 1988. Now known as Margulies Perruzzi (MP), Margulies has grown the firm to one of New England’s top architectural and interior design firms, focusing on workplace, health, science & technology, and real estate development projects. Margulies strongly believes that people are deeply affected both by their workplace and by where they live, and that architects can contribute enormously to making businesses more successful and their employees happier. His clients recognize the value of this expertise, resulting in commissions to design and strategize on many exciting and provocative headquarters projects. Margulies is also involved in a number of volunteer efforts, most notably working on behalf of Boston’s Wharf District Council to develop waterfront resilience to rising sea levels, and on designing and building cost-effective modular micro-units for the homeless.
The well-deserving 2023 winners will be honored at the in-person Awards of Excellence Gala on April 27, 2023 at the Westin Boston Seaport District.
A critical part of any lab planning and design project is getting the equipment list correct. Traditionally, the end users provide an initial list to our lab planning and design team that includes each piece of equipment they need for their work. The list should include the size and weight of each piece of equipment, as well as all electrical, plumbing, and gas requirements. We review the list for accuracy with the client and then against a database we have developed. The content is adjusted so that it’s formatted correctly and ready to integrate into our Revit Model. For existing equipment, if the equipment list is insufficient, our design team can survey the equipment to create an accurate list that includes any computer requirements, UPS or backup power, special exhaust requirements, or waste streams. This is also beneficial to the design process because it provides a look into the existing lab and confirms which pieces of equipment are adjacent to one another or directly connected.
For startup client’s advancing from the incubator environment and leasing their first new space, the equipment list is still a critical piece of laboratory planning and design. The design team can work with the end users or procurement team to help develop and maintain their equipment list, even working through projected growth and workflows for equipment that may be purchased later. There are also specialized lab procurement companies that can help procure the equipment to get client’s operations up and running.
Overall, the equipment list becomes a central design tool for the project. It’s used to layout the different sections of a laboratory. Once it’s loaded into Revit, it helps determine the size of each room or clearance requirements, as well as how many adjacent laboratory spaces are needed. We have developed a plugin integrated with our Revit software that loads the equipment list into Revit and creates detailed individual items called “families” for each piece of equipment. These “families” automatically show the utilities needed on the equipment drawing itself. The Revit plugin also creates a 3D visual for clients to view the lab, including the lab equipment. This helps end users visualize how their space will look and how the lab is laid out.
The Revit file is then sent to our MEP engineering partners to reference the information in a single document. This makes it less likely that there will be inconsistencies between the architectural and engineering drawings. BIM360 is also used to integrate consultants’ drawings with the architectural drawings. Prior to developing this approach, engineers had to reference both the equipment plan and the equipment matrix or schedule to see all the details of the equipment, often resulting in conflicts. Since the MEP drawings are the primary resource that the subcontractors on-site use to install the utilities, accuracy is critical. The contractor also can use a 3D view of the lab to coordinate where lab benches, equipment, and other components will be located. It can be shared with the subcontractors that otherwise may not look at the architectural drawings but often will reference a 3D view of the lab if it includes equipment to inform their work on-site.
The value of this process becomes evident at the end of the project when the space is built out and the owner moves in their equipment. These laboratories are critical to the success of our clients. Avoiding delays in operations is paramount. Because the utilities are installed in the correct locations to service the owner’s equipment, the company can begin operations on time, avoiding costly delays.
BOSTON – March 7, 2022 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, today announced the addition of seven new professionals to support the firm’s growth in its workplace, healthcare, science, and real estate practice areas. This roster of new employees will add their respective talents and strengths to MP’s team of more than 50 creative and client service-oriented professionals. MP is pleased to welcome:
Jonathan Bailey-Francois ~ Project Designer
Jonathan has explored the importance of interdisciplinary coworking, master planning, the impact policy has on architecture, the introduction of new technologies in a professional environment, and the benefits of volunteering as a designer. Jonathan’s passion for craft, thought, and sustainability led to his Master’s Thesis winning the Thesis Award for Excellence; he will use this passion to develop and grow as a designer with intentions to become a licensed architect.
Michael Fortunato ~ Marketing Coordinator
Mike is a marketing professional within the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. He specializes in client-facing communications, content creation, graphic design, and proposal planning and development. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Public Relations from Suffolk University.
Marissa Meads ~ Interior Designer
Marissa brings a balance of creativity, forward thinking, and innovative designing skills to the MP team. She is talented interior designer with over five years’ experience and strives to design unique and transformative interiors spaces for workplaces and life sciences companies. She helps clients achieve their vision through a structured design process by balancing colors, textures, and lighting to create spaces that reflect their unique qualities.
Alvaro Ribeiro, AIA ~ Senior Architect
Alvaro has over 22 years of experience designing spaces for life sciences, medical device, and technology clients. His portfolio spans projects providing cutting-edge facilities for clients across New England’s expanding science and technology industry. At MP, Alvaro is a valuable asset to any project, leveraging his experience to provide insight that helps guide the project team and deliver innovative design solutions.
Jessica Sulprizio, RA ~ Architect
Jessica is a registered architect with experience in both the interior design and architecture of a variety of mixed-use residential, academic, and workplace projects. She is passionate about design and creating spaces that are attuned to the vision and values of her clients. Skilled in both Revit and Enscape, she produces 2D and 3D drawings for all design phases.
Colin Whalen ~ Project Designer
As a project designer, Colin specializes in master planning as well as new construction and renovations for core and shell building projects in life sciences and other sectors. He strives to create welcoming and engaging facades that help support the goal to attract and retain tenants.
Joshua White, AIA ~ Project Manager
As a project manager, Josh is a collaborative and team-oriented leader, taking projects from conceptual design through completed construction. His portfolio spans a range of different project types, including mixed-use developments.
“We believe a successful design is one that not only satisfies a company’s space needs, but also creates transformative experiences that enhance and transform the way work is done,” said Dan Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, principal and senior partner at Margulies Perruzzi. “We remain steadfast in its commitment to design excellence, cutting-edge technology, and superior client service. We are thrilled to welcome new designers and professional staff that espouse these values to help grow our practice and build on the strength of our core studios.”
Alvaro Ribeiro and Jessica Sulprizio have both rejoined Margulies Perruzzi. “Both Alvaro and Jessica have contributed to some of our most innovative design projects over many years, and we join our clients in their excitement to welcome them back to MP,” continued Dan.
Since its founding in 1988, MP has evolved into an award-winning design firm that creates buildings and workspaces that inspire creativity, attract, and retain talent, and enhance mission engagement. The firm collaborates with clients in the corporate, professional services, healthcare, science/technology, and real estate communities to design productive and inspiring work environments.
Margulies Perruzzi is hiring! Please visit the firm’s careers page to learn more or to apply.