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Laboratories of the Future - Strategies for the Future

William E. Ferguson, CUH2A Inc.


To consider the future of laboratory design and layout as a consequence of emerging changes in science and its conduct; to reflect on the impact of these trends on building systems and on sustainable design.


This presentation will analyze space use in labs and consider the impact of larger amounts of space being devoted to creation and management of data. Then we will identify and analyze several trends in science and technology and evaluate their actual and potential impact on laboratory layout and building design. With each trend, discussion will be given to conventional vs. alternative means to deal with the evolving issue. Finally, we will take a look at some far-reaching - perhaps inevitable - changes that we expect to take place in the future.

Labs21 Connection:

The following aspects of the Labs21 approach are reflected in this presentation:

  • Adopt energy performance goals
  • Assess opportunities from a whole-building approach
  • Use lifecycle cost decision-making
  • Commission equipment and controls
  • Specify green construction materials
  • Promote energy and water efficiency operation and training efforts


Dr. William E. (Bill) Ferguson is Director of Laboratory Planning and Design at CUH2A. He is responsible for managing the Lab Planning discipline, evolving best practices at CUH2A and assisting with Business Development efforts. Formerly, he was Director of Facilities Planning for the Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI) of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. His responsibilities involved the funding and creation of all facilities consistent with corporate and PRI visions. Bill's experience includes strategic planning, design and construction/renovation of facilities, and the assessment of the impact of technology on laboratory and pilot plant layout and function. His educational background includes degrees in Chemical Engineering (BS and MS) and Chemistry (PhD). He has experience in process chemistry and engineering, including pilot plant and manufacturing startup of new bulk manufacturing processes. He has also taught college chemistry.

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