Tech Talk: Innovations in Life Sciences Spaces
By Enrique Ceniceros, Director, Science and Technology, Taylor Design
The evolution of the life sciences industry over the last 20 years has been remarkable to witness. As its profile has risen, it has attracted increasingly greater numbers of people who see it as a sound and promising investment. As more companies join the field, the quality of spaces improves and demand grows.
For planners and designers of life sciences spaces, this creates a challenge to keep up, as well as an opportunity to lead. Here are five thoughts on this topic inspired by my participation in the @Bisnow NorCal Life Sciences event, “Innovations in Space and Construction — Discussing Incubators to Large Floor Plate Designs: Building Modern Labs and Facilities.“
- The competitive market for both space and talent is resulting in Science & Technology projects being built in more diverse locations. The mainstays of San Francisco, San Diego, Raleigh-Durham and Boston continue to thrive, but because of the need to accommodate people and places, we’re seeing growth in areas outside of the better-known clusters. This includes Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento and others.
- Sustainability and the need to be WELL certified for healthy buildings is essential for the Life Sciences sector to move forward responsibly and continue to grow without undue obstacles. Organizations such as the International Institute of Sustainable Labs (I2SL), which just established its first chapter in Los Angeles/Orange County (and of which Taylor Design is a charter member), are crucial to the future of sustainable and healthier life sciences environments and construction.
- It is vital to establish and foster relationships with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Understanding and respecting the motivation of the entity overseeing the process is a critical skill for owners, developers, designers and constructors. This is the only way the industry can successfully navigate the requirements of building research and development facilities in the 21st.
- Flexibility is key. The entire design team must be nimble, including an experienced and knowledge MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) contractor. This is essential for firms designing for flexibility, and for achieving efficient and effective speed to market. Taylor Design often partners with talented and experienced building partners to provide expedient and effective delivery of projects.
- Thoughtfully designed life science buildings address not only safety and physical health, but also mental health. The facility must be appealing and comfortable for staff, including investing in low VOC materials, addressing acoustical concerns, designing for neurodiversity, and providing high-performance glazing and energy efficient HVAC systems.
Enrique Ceniceros, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C, brings over 30 years of experience as an architect and laboratory planner. His attention to detail and technical expertise makes his a natural leader to consultant and owner user groups. Enrique understands the needs of large institutions as his clients include Universities, biopharmaceutical facilities, research and development laboratories, aerospace facilities and manufacturing groups. Link to resume on web.