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The Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center - "A Perfect Solution for Pharmaceutical Discovery" (Belgium)

Bart Wens, Janssen Pharmaceutica
Ed Royzman, PE
Charles English, Strategic Science & Technology Planners

Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center, at Janssen Pharmaceutica Belgium, is a 18,500-square meter (200,000 gross square foot) building reflecting the research strategy of J&J's Pharmaceutical R&D objectives in Belgium. The ultramodern facility has a functional focus on drug discovery and is organized around the following principles:

  • Keep disease area groups together to maximize communication
  • Maximize sharing of lab resources for better efficiency
  • Maximize communication between Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Optimize access to the vivarium for groups with in-vivo activities

The key planning concepts to achieve this focus and promote interaction between scientists are flexibility of laboratory spaces & systems along with occupant comfort and safety. The "open modular" lab unit concept facilitates communication between scientists, allows for sharing not only the space itself, but also equipment and bench space and makes the space more easily adaptable for future needs.

The design of the Center, with a focus on the naturally lighted indoor atrium, the break areas, bridges, conference rooms, and other meeting areas, are intended to contribute to opportunities for interaction to achieve the magnification and expansion of ideas among the scientists.

The facility is a flagship building on the campus and as such is designed to contribute to the "bottom line" by being a sustainable, high performance, yet low-energy facility. By the fall of 2005, sufficient data will have been collected over the course of the first full year of operation in order to both track the performance of the laboratory and to enable the Project Team to share ongoing goals and results.

Labs21 Connection:

State-of-the art energy efficient engineering systems support the flexible laboratory concept, provide redundancy where required for safety and to maintain required environmental conditions. The Center is:

  • Reducing the energy use and the volume of conditioned fresh air by using radiant cooling (cold ceilings) in offices, conference rooms, and office support area
  • Using central variable flow supply and exhaust systems in the labs
  • Using manifolded ductwork (at each floor level) to reduce total exhaust and supply air volume by 35 percent compared to the connected airflow.
  • Utilizing run-around coils for the heat recovery from exhaust air
  • Reducing water usage by utilizing a central recirculating cooling system for rotary evaporators cooling in medicinal chemistry labs
  • Utilizing central automated solvent distribution and solvent waste collection system to improve lab safety and reduce the volume of solvent stored in the lab
  • Using photovoltaic panels in the atrium skylights synchronized with the building power system to augment power usage and act as a shading device
  • Utilizing an air displacement system for the atrium heating and air conditioning requirements
  • Maximizing the use of daylight in the lab and in the building to minimize the reliance on artificial light.
  • Using infrared and motion detectors to control lights


Bart Wens served as a Project Manager for Van Looy Group an architectural/engineering firm in Antwerp, Belgium from 1989 to 1993 and than as a Project Director for Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, division of J&J from 1993 until the present time. Mr. Wens speaks four languages and leads projects for J&J not only in Belgium, but also in France, Holland and Switzerland. His latest project was the New Discovery Research Center (Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center) for J&J Pharmaceutical Research and Development in Beerse, Belgium for which he was the Project Director. He received his MS in Architecture from Gent University, Belgium and his MS in Business Administration from Vierick School of Management, Belgium.

Eduard (Ed) Royzman, PE, served in the position of HVAC group leader with an architectural and engineering firm in Kiev, Ukraine, until 1979. He then immigrated to the United States and served as a Principal of nationally recognized architecture and engineering firms in Toledo, Ohio, and Washington, DC. Mr. Royzman has developed an international reputation for projects characterized by "practical innovation" in system solutions that embrace all elements of building engineering and technology. His experience has been gained working on a variety of projects ranging from research and development facilities, pharmaceutical facilities, food plants, and automotive plants to universities, office buildings, hospitals and hotels. He has completed projects across the US as well as in England, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Korea and Turkey. With a portfolio including projects of significant size and scale from around the world, Mr. Royzman has gained a perspective that allows him to address the most complex technical challenges.

Recent projects include:

  • New Discovery Research Center (Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center) for J&J Pharmaceutical Research and Development in Beerse, Belgium. Engineering services for the 18,500 square meter (200,000 gross square foot) facility.
  • National Institutes of Health. Replacement of HVAC systems for 3.5 million square foot Clinical Center Complex at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.
  • Sabanci University. New $250 million 3,000 students Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Science and Education Park. 30 million square foot Science and Education Park in Shanghai, China.
  • University of Hawaii. 460-acre Research and Outreach Center for University of Hawaii at Oahu, Hawaii.
  • Honda of America. 450,000 square foot Research and Development Center for prototype cars for Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc., in Marysville, OH.

Mr. Royzman received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Engineering College, Kiev, Ukraine. Mr. Royzman is a registered engineer in DC, FL, MD, OH, PA, VA, and WV.

Charles (Cory) English has been a Principal with SST Planners for 11 years has distinguished himself through his intimate knowledge of research and development facilities. He has worked at all levels of the facility delivery process, including programming, design, and management. The following projects are representative of his extensive experience in laboratory design and planning:

Recent Projects:

  • New Discovery Research Center (Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center) J&J Pharmaceutical Research and Development in Beerse, Belgium. Programming and laboratory planning for the18,500 square meter (200,000 gross square foot) facility.
  • University of Virginia. Programming, laboratory and vivarium design for the new 14,000 sm (150,000 gross square foot) Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences Building.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Programming of a 18,500 net square meter (200,000 net square foot) facility housing the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Center for Learning and Memory, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and the Martinos Biomedical Imaging Center.
  • University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. Programming and planning of a 13,000 square meter (140,000 gross square foot) biomedical research facility for The Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB) at its Shady Grove, MD Campus.
  • National Institutes of Health. Programming, laboratory planning, and laboratory design of the new Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center, a 7,800 square meter (84,000 gross square foot) facility that will initially be utilized principally to develop a vaccine for AIDS.
  • Centers for Disease Control. Programming and planning of the Chamblee Laboratory Buildings 103 and 110 (a LEED™-Gold Project) which support the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH).

Mr. English holds a MS in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design; 1976. He also received a BS in Architecture from the University of Southern California in 1974, and a BS in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from Pennsylvania State University in 1967.


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