Gene Therapy Research Laboratory Design Considerations for High-Rise Buildings

Christopher Hall, Integrated Project Services, LLC
Matthew Glatfelter, Spirovant Sciences, Inc.

Spirovant Sciences, a biotech company in Philadelphia, recently secured headquarters expansion space in a high-rise building to advance cystic fibrosis and lung disease research. To expedite this opportunity, a design/build strategy was implemented to occupy the new lab in 36 weeks. This approach required active engagement between the client, design team, contractors and vendors.

This presentation will illustrate design strategies used to prioritize a lab/office program in a high-rise application. How can existing office space be quickly transformed into a flexible, spatially optimized research environment? How can the project team develop a 'critical path' approach advancing the construction schedule while accommodating supply chain concerns and permit review cycles? How can streamlined decision-making facilitate an integrated construction effort?

The presentation will explore creative solutions to enhance base-building infrastructure. How can high-efficiency supplemental power provide an overlay to existing electrical systems? What energy-saving strategies can be utilized in elevated slab cold room design? How can oxidizer lab gases be accommodated in high-rise facilities to meet applicable code requirements?

The overlapping nature of simultaneous design and construction workflows suggests strategies for similar urban renovation projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate a research lab organizational approach that accommodates site-specific constraints and opportunities presented in high-rise buildings;
  • Identify stakeholder priorities and their role in influencing design strategies;
  • Provide an overview of typical lab utility requirements and potential solutions within space-constrained tenant fit-out arrangements; and
  • Describe how an integrated design team approach might execute design/build projects within an expedited schedule.


Christopher is a Director of Process Architecture at IPS. Chris leads many of the firm's significant laboratory projects and excels at incorporating unique site and building program requirements into creative, functional solutions. His particular interest lies in the integration of design and building technology.

Matthew is the Research & Development Director at Spirovant Sciences, Inc.


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