Repurposing Offices to Labs

Over the last 12 months the pandemic has brought into focus the importance of the Life Sciences sector.  The UK Government has pledged to increase investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, providing a major opportunity for developers to tap into this growth area and provide the infrastructure that will be needed.

So, we have asked the question: What are the principal cost drivers behind a research facility construction project?

As a high-tech asset type, there are many more challenges and parameters than a commercial or residential build.  The combination of wet-lab environments, dry-lab environments, cross-fertilisation of sciences, bespoke ventilation, vibration control, waste systems, and power units for big data analytics, all add up to a complex picture for developers.

CPC’s Allen Beever, has published a technical paper which considers all of these issues and how to overcome them to deliver a successful life sciences building, which is based on 4 key components: 1) Spatial Composition 2) Building Structure & Frame 3) Research Infrastructure and 4) Spatial Fit – and used benchmarking to support his findings.

Repurposing Offices into Labs

But it’s not just new build construction that can cater for the Life Sciences – there is a growing trend to consider repurposing existing buildings into life sciences space.   The second part of Allen Beever’s paper provides a cost model example of how this could work in reality detailing the construction costs, shell & core costs and fit-out costs for converting commercial office space for a future research tenant.

You can download the technical paper in full here.

Cost Model for Life Sciences Building

Allen Beever, is Partner at CPC Project Services, and has over 18 years’ experience in the Education, Science, and Health Cost Management and has previously work for Arcadis and Arup. Additional material for this paper was provided by Chris Abell, Abell Nepp and Andy Parker at Buro Happold and Tim Fry at Arup.


Date: 13/04/2021
Category: Insight