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Guest Blog from CRB: Biologics Facility Considerations

Safety Partners welcomes the chance to share information from other companies serving the life science industry in MA and NY.

Today we’re proud to share our first guest blog, from CRB! CRB is a leading provider of sustainable engineering, architecture, construction, and consulting solutions to the global life sciences and advanced technology industries.

Moving to the Suburbs

Seems everyone is talking about how the coronavirus pandemic is contributing to an already growing life science industry in the Boston area. With this growth, life science firms and particularly those in biologics, are looking towards the suburbs both as a place to spread out and expand their operations and as a cost-saving alternative to the overheated Cambridge and Boston markets.

Good access to regional transit for talent and materials along with new suburban amenities of restaurants, retail, and hotels make this an attractive option.

Biotech companies planning operations in the suburbs can focus on some key considerations.

Start with a robust programming process that is vetted by the right people in a company to include the proper ratios of support space to manufacturing. Orchestrating the activities of gathering, organizing, and prioritizing input from all an organization’s key personnel, helps ensure that in addition to the manufacturing operation, all the essential support requirements of office, storage, and amenities are accounted for – and often this accounts for more than 50% of the total space requirement!

Build to suit?

Some property owners are taking advantage of government incentives on the state and local level to help make new projects possible from the ground up. One such project is the Reactory being developed by Galaxy Life Sciences in partnership with the Worcester Community Development Corporation and the Massachusetts “Open for Business” initiative.

CRB is leading the design team to bring biologic research and manufacturing to this former state hospital site. Now, with Worcester having just granted approvals, this facility can be custom designed to a bio firm’s specific needs!

…or Adaptive Reuse

Many property owners are looking to reposition their office buildings to accommodate research and cGMP production. CRB is currently working with organizations to refurbish a historic building and bring it up to code for life sciences operations.

When looking at adaptive reuse of existing facilities consider:

  • Floor to floor heights – 20’ for GMP
  • Process utilities – or pathways for them
  • Structural capacity and ability to add walkable ceilings
  • Chilled and hot water capacity
  • Electrical capacity
  • Loading: delivery and waste handling capacity
  • Dedicated freight elevator for multi-story structures
  • Light, views, and architectural character!

Flex, Flexible, Flexibility!

If we have learned nothing else from COVID, it’s that our plans often need to change and change quickly.

Growth requires being nimble and a solid plan for the future. As science initiatives move from research and development, through clinical trials and into commercial and scaled production, the facility that contains them must be adaptable to ever-changing needs.

CRB has launched SlateXpace, a platformed modular solution that provides multimodal manufacturing.

This innovation is an example of agile, scalable, and efficient suites that allow manufacturers to campaign between modality-specific platforms.

Investing upfront in technology that will make change happen fast is the key to being ready for whatever the future brings!

This guest blog was written by Roger A. Lipman AIA LEED AP, Senior Project Manager at CRB.

For more information on how to submit a guest blog, contact Emily Smith at [email protected].

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