Interior Designers Marissa Meads and Grace Santos were featured in New England Real Estate Journal’s 2023 Women in Commercial Real Estate Spotlight:

Marissa Meads: 

1. What recent project, transaction, or accomplishment are you most proud of?

We recently had a challenging project where we had to overcome several obstacles in order to complete the project. Although it was a stressful experience, it taught me that communication between clients, engineers, and contractors is essential, and patience is key. It also taught me to always confirm and triple-check all project details.

2. What are the most important factors women in your industry should consider when choosing a firm to build their career with?

Consider the opportunities to develop your leadership skills and to be mentored. Take advantage of networking opportunities and foster relationships with people who will be able to provide you with helpful advice.

3. Who inspires you most? What qualities do they possess that inspire you?

I have been inspired by a good friend and former coworker who has taught me how to navigate through obstacles in design. Her advice also taught me the value of asking questions and continuing to learn. You will always have someone with more experience than you to learn from.


Grace Santos: 

1. What recent project, transaction, or accomplishment are you most proud of?

I recently completed a 30,000 s/f office fit-out for an investment management company. The project team I worked with was incredible. Sustainability was very important to the client. Our team designed the space to be welcoming and comfortable for employees and visitors, but at the same time, made sure that each material selected was thoroughly researched for environmental impact. I love seeing and hearing employees’ reactions to the space.

2. What are the most important factors women in your industry should consider when choosing a firm to build their career with?

It is important to choose a firm that allows you to feel comfortable and pushes you to give your best. When leadership at the firm is approachable and listens to your needs and concerns, it allows for a more positive work environment. Other important factors include project diversity and training.

3. Who inspires you most? What qualities do they possess that inspire you?

My mother and female colleagues at my firm inspire me most. These women have drive, leadership, creativity, passion, intelligence, and humility and push me every day to give my best, get out of my comfort zone, try new things, and think outside of the box.

See Marissa and Grace featured in this year’s NEREJ Women in Commercial Real Estate Spotlight. 

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.

Founder and Principal, Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP, has been awarded the Awards of Excellence in the Americas Service Provider Leadership category by CoreNet New England.

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.

Read more in the New England Real Estate Journal.

Congratulations to our own Julia Donahue, IIDA, NCIDQ who has earned her WELL Accredited Professional (AP) accreditation. Developed by Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI) in collaboration with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), WELL AP signifies advanced knowledge in human health and wellness in the built environment, and specialization in the WELL Building Standard.

WELL APs have successfully passed the WELL AP exam, an assessment based on the expertise of leading practitioners in the field of design, health, and wellness in the built environment. Developed using GBCI’s rigorous test development best practices, the WELL AP exam is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge and proficiency in building wellness and the principles, practices and applications of the WELL Building Standard.

Kerrie Julian, RA, LEED AP, CDT – Director of Science Strategy

What was your most important professional accomplishment or most notable project, deal, or transaction in 2022?

Joining Margulies Perruzzi, a firm I’ve admired for many years, as Director of Science Strategy. In this role, I am responsible for lending my expertise to projects, managing and recruiting staff, and developing new client relationships. With an extensive science portfolio, Margulies Perruzzi specializes in life sciences, medical devices, research and development (R&D), and manufacturing projects. Margulies Perruzzi has worked with a wide range of industry leaders, including IQHQ, Strand Therapeutics, Azenta, Avencell, Boston Scientific, and many others. The culture is collaborative, engaging, and fun. I feel very supported by leadership and look forward to 2023.

What emerging trends will drive investment and development in 2023?

The Greater Boston life science and science/technology real estate markets plateaued this year from previous years; however, it’s still an exciting time.  Several new lab buildings will be coming online in the next few years, and we are seeing an increased demand for manufacturing and cGMP facilities. Mergers and acquisitions will be prevalent in 2023 as some smaller companies may see the need to join forces with larger established companies.

Ashley McGrath, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED GA – Senior Interior Designer

How has your career path changed in 2022?

My focus was on corporate interiors and workplace design before getting involved with our Science & Technology studio. I get to keep the workplace strategy while adding in technical aspects associated with labs. I recently worked on a 50,000 SF space with a 60/40 lab/office split. I had the opportunity to play with lighting and coloring to facilitate wayfinding through the open labs.

It was fun to push the design by creating a connection between lab and office supported by glass walls, allowing a clear visual into the lab from the office, and vice versa.

See Kerrie and Ashley featured in NEREJ’s 2022 Year in Review.

BOSTON – November 17, 2022 – Margulies Perruzzi (MP), one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, announced today that its Founder and Principal, Marc Margulies, FAIA, LEED AP, has been named one of the Power 50: Movement Makers by the Boston Business Journal (BBJ). An annual list of Boston-area businesspeople who are making the biggest impact on the region, this year’s honorees were celebrated at an event on November 16 at Tuscan Kitchen in the Seaport. A special section of the BBJ’s print edition will feature the honorees on November 18.

Marc founded Margulies & Associates in 1988. Now known as Margulies Perruzzi (MP), Marc has grown the firm to one of New England’s top architectural and interior design firms, focusing on workplace, healthcare, science & technology, and real estate projects. MP was ranked #16 on the 2022 list of architectural firms published by the BBJ.

When it comes to shaping the city’s future, Marc’s influence goes beyond building design. He serves as president of the Wharf District Council, a nonprofit made up of businesses and residents on the downtown Boston waterfront. Those property owners represent the front line to address the flooding that’s occurring as climate change worsens. That subjects them to not only great risk, but also greater responsibilities. The actions they take to protect themselves from flooding will help the rest of downtown. Marc is spearheading an initiative among the council’s members on how to join forces to protect the coastline. To this end, they have created a Climate Resilience Task Force and commissioned a study to recommend options ranging from a network of barriers to elevating waterfront properties to hold back rising Boston Harbor waters.

Marc believes passionately in the importance of using his resources, both as an architect and concerned citizen, to create a better community. For many years, Marc’s personal philanthropic focus has been the issue of homelessness in Greater Boston. Marc has been involved for more than 30 years with Heading Home, Inc., one of the Boston area’s largest agencies devoted to helping the homeless. He has served as both volunteer and Board Chair, applying his architectural skills and experience to advance the goal of ending homelessness. Recently, Marc has been working with the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance to develop modular micro-housing units in the program called “A Place to Live.”  Working with a variety of agencies (most notably the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) in Worcester), MHSA has advocated for the construction of buildings of 18 to 24 units that are purpose-built for adults who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

Marc is a regular speaker at CoreNet, IFMA, CBA, and other industry organizations whose missions include educating those involved in corporate and institutional real estate about important advancements in workplace design. His involvement with these organizations, through speaking and leadership, has focused on elevating the importance of the architect’s voice in conversations that increasingly involve many competing specialists.

By Kerrie Julian, RA, LEEP AD, CDT, Director of Science Strategy

Leasing lab space in the metro Boston commercial real estate market – one of the top three in the country for life sciences – can present a journey into the unknown for companies emerging from the incubator stage or any growing company not familiar with the construction process. On any trip into unfamiliar territory, a road map is a requisite tool for helping a traveler steer clear of wrong turns, unexpected hazards, and costly detours. For companies seeking the most ideal space and lease terms for their lab facilities, market knowledge and early programming are the roadmaps to a successful project.

Market Intelligence

Cresa Boston’s Q2 2022 market report on life sciences juxtaposed low vacancy rates in Cambridge with higher rates between Route 128, the inner suburbs, and Boston. Class A building rents in Boston and Cambridge averaged $100 to $125 per square foot, but lab space is more than twice as expensive to fit out in an existing building than office space. Cresa also advised: “With occupancy delays becoming increasingly common, upfront due diligence on buildings, infrastructure, and the team are critical in staying on schedule and budget.” That’s precisely where lab programming and planning come into play.

Basic Program Information

A commercial real estate broker obtains basic information from prospective tenants to narrow down available options during the site search. This includes location, approximate square footage based on full-time employees, future growth, and desired building infrastructure and amenities. Understanding square footage and amenities are important because although the tenant will only occupy the usable square footage, it is the rentable square footage – a percentage of the property’s common areas – that is used to calculate the lease amount. Many times, lab architects are asked to do preliminary lab layouts or a test fit to validate the client’s space needs and to confirm the client’s overall program and space requirements.

Extending beyond preliminary test fits, lab programming can help determine the client’s needs regarding location within the building, sometimes requiring the lower floor levels of a building, ensuring construction type classification and building infrastructure will meet the client’s needs and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local codes, regulations, and ordinances.

Unique Programming for Lab Space

Planning for lab versus office space is different for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the use and storage of hazardous materials and chemicals. Due to the nature of the work and type of equipment, labs also require increased security and flexible design; place higher demands on HVAC, electrical, plumbing, emergency power, and structural systems; and need generous plenum space for ductwork and piping, requiring higher floor-to-floor heights.

During programming, the lab planner and/or architect will collect and analyze data from the client and specific end users that will not only provide a foundation for the lab layout with respect to square footage, adjacencies, equipment and furniture types and sizes. It will also establish lab and support space standards, identify building system performance criteria, and validate the owner’s existing facilities program strategies.

Timing is Everything

Whether a start-up moving on from incubator space or an established company looking to expand, the time to partner with an experienced lab design professional is as soon as the need for new, more, or different space arises. Identifying the client’s real estate needs is the key to finding the right building and leasing the appropriate type and amount of space necessary to meet their short and long-term business goals.

This article was featured in High Profile Monthly. 

Locally Researched by: Sean McFadden

Total 2021 billings may include international projects in some instances. Mass. architectural billings refers to billings for architectural projects only performed by the firm’s Mass. office(s) for projects in Mass. only. Total 2021 architectural billings refers to billings for all architectural projects performed by the firm, in Mass. and elsewhere.

Read Boston Business Journal’s full article for this year’s largest architectural firms in Massachusetts. 

Megan Hogan, NCIDQ, LEED GA

What advice would you offer to women getting into the CRE industry?

Be a sponge. The biggest mistake I see young designers make is expecting too much responsibility too soon after starting out and listening too little. There is so much to learn from experienced architects and interior designers. This is one reason the field of design is based on apprenticeships. Find veterans of the industry who want to share their knowledge and experience. Practice humility, listen, and of course, work hard. These are the best ways to grow your career.

What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months?

The biggest trend right now is flexibility as it relates to the re-shaping of the office post-pandemic. The hybrid model is still the way of the future, but this concept is still evolving as demand from the workforce increases. The most important thing right now is allowing as much flexibility as possible whether it be through versatile furniture, accessible technology, or even rethinking what the physical office environment what the physical office environment looks like for your company. We are, still, as a workforce learning, adapting, and assessing this new hybrid work environment and for us designers and workplace strategists, it’s an exciting time.


Tiffany Best, LEED AP

What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months?

The pandemic has altered healthcare design, advancing pre-existing technology to aid the current need. I believe telemedicine will make further advances within the next few months to allow in-house treatment between both physician and the patient. Online video and tele-conferencing have also influenced the healthcare industry, allowing the education of medical staff at all levels while saving time and money.

What has been your biggest challenge and how have you faced it?

Healthcare is constantly evolving, and it is important, as a designer, to evolve with it. Our role as architects and interior designers is to be the bridge between new technology and client needs. It’s imperative to stay up to date with trends and adjust how to plan and design a space to not only fit current needs, but future needs as well.


See Megan and Tiffany featured in this year’s NEREJ Women in Commercial Real Estate Spotlight.