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Case Study: A New England Biotech Research Facility

Jeff Salocks and Scott Simpson, The Stubbins Associates
Donald Haiges, Shooshanian Engineering, Inc.


This will be a case study "in-progress" of a new 366,000 SF biotech research facility located in the Boston Metropolitan area. This project, which represents a new paradigm for laboratory design, was conceived as a multi-tenant, extremely flexible plug-and-play "condominium for science".

The features that make this design different include:

  • A typical floor plan with a concentrated central core with two "distributed" mechanical rooms that allow each floor, or even each half of a floor to operate independently of the other floors.
  • A prescribed layout of the distributed mechanical systems which eliminates cross-over of duct work making for efficient use of the floor to floor height, while allowing exceptionally flexible fit-out opportunities.
  • The structural module, or "bay", was carefully selected to optimize flexibility of layout for both labs and offices. This makes the perimeter of floor open and completely flexible for multiple configurations.
  • The overall planning results include a very efficient building plan (85% as measured by BOMA standards), higher space utilization, lower capital cost and lower operational costs.

This seminar will present preliminary data (the facility is only partially occupied at this time) on the actual performance of the building systems- utilizing data from the initial computer modeling and performance data that is currently being tracked by the DDC system. Preliminary performance comparison between distributed mechanical rooms design and conventional all-in-one mechanical penthouse designs will also be explored.


Jeff Salocks has over 20 years of experience as an architect and designer specializing in the programming, planning and design of laboratory and research facilities for universities, institutional, healthcare and corporate clients. At present he is the Director of Laboratory and Research Facilities at The Stubbins Associates in Cambridge Massachusetts and has recently designed new research facilities for the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research and Elixir Pharmaceuticals. He has also programmed and/or designed new laboratory facilities for academic institutions such as Brown University and Dartmouth College. Mr. Salocks holds a BArch degree from Pratt Institute and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He speaks frequently on the subject of laboratory design for such national organizations as SCUP, Project Kaleidoscope, National Council of Research Administrators and Society of Research Administrators.

Scott Simpson, FAIA, is a principal of The Stubbins Associates in Cambridge, MA. He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, contributing editor of Design Intelligence, and serves on the national Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. He has published more than 70 articles dealing with issues of innovation in the design profession and is the co-author of How Firms Succeed--A Field Guide to Design Management. Mr. Simpson has designed millions of square feet of high-tech laboratory space for institutions and private sector clients, including BioSquare, the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, the Center for Advanced Biomedical Research, and the award-winning Amgen Center in Cambridge, MA.

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