By Daniel Hackett
BOSTON–Interest in converting assets for life sciences use is growing amongst building owners. Cushman & Wakefield’s Project & Development Services team developed basic building performance criteria based on the minimum standards that life sciences companies typically require.
Zoning, planning & occupancy
- There is a clear path to providing Group B Occupancy
HVAC & plumbing
- A design path to dedicated lab AHUs/100% OA units
- A design path to dedicated exhaust (1 cfm/sf – min)
- Design path to supporting utility shafts for HVAC and utilities, likely upgrade/ addition to base building capacity
Vertical circulation (multi-floor buildings)
- There is a segregated elevator for lab supplies/activity or there is a way to install one
Floor-to-floor clearance (multi-floor buildings)
- 13’0”+ clearance desired – anything less is limiting
- Service up to 8.0 watts/sf for intended lab area sf
- Emergency generator capacity or service yard to install – for lab hoods & critical lab equipment plug load
- Capacity/consideration for data/low voltage for lab controls, data collection, enhanced BMS
- There should be live load capacity at 100 psf+
- The roof will likely need additional load capacity for mechanical equipment typical for life sciences
- As-built/current vibration design criteria should be known.
If your opportunity asset does not meet most of the above criteria a life sciences conversion or reposition is unlikely. In all cases, Project & Development Services is here to help. We offer a wide variety of support for both brokerage and clients, as feasibility and early assessments are developed. Here is a list of activities and deliverables we can provide to facilitate next steps and keep projects moving forward.
- Assist brokerage in gathering information about the target asset in relation to its current life science capability/suitability
- Perform due diligence in the form of an assessment or feasibility report
- Create cost and schedule information to determine next steps
- Provide a proposal to the developer or client for early project support .
(Mr. Hackett is Managing Director of Life Science & Medical Technologies
at the Boston office of Cushman & Wakefield.)