Things to know

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How much does a lab cost?

Laboratory buildings can cost from $250 - $1200 per square foot for new construction. This range varies due to a number of conditions: location of project (east and west coasts tend to be more expensive), type of project (specialized labs, such as vivaria, clean rooms and BSL 3), and project size (smaller projects are quite often not as cost efficient). Retrofit or remodeling project costs can be less, the same or more and are hard to put a price on based on the vast difference between existing issues.

Where can I find funding?

There are a variety of avenues for funding. Grants are one source; often are only applicable to equipment or other interior fit-out items. Other funding sources include capital campaigns for schools and universities and bonds or certificates of obligation for public projects. When seeking funding from any source it is important to be prepared to address the specific goals shared with the funding organization. Often a Needs Assessment or a program report is performed in order to establish funding amounts demonstrate and setting forth a compelling argument of need.

How long will the process take?

The process of building a new facility can take as little as 2 years and as long as 10 or more depending on several factors. Quite often projects begin with the Needs Assessment and programming phase which can take 3-6 months. This is then utilized to seek funding which may take years. Once funding has been secured, the process may take 6 months to 24 months. Construction typically will take 18 months to 3 years from award of contract until move-in depending on project size and complexity.

Why do I need specialty laboratory consultants versus a design architect?

It is important to realize that you need both! The design architect is paramount to sucess of the overall building process, hiring the remainder of the project team – landscaping, civil, structural, and mechanical and electrical engineering as well as a laboratory planning group. Laboratories are very demanding facilities and it is critical to health and safety, process flow, and building maintenance and operational costs to have a laboratory planner who is versed in all of the intricacies of laboratory design, and equipment planning. Adding a laboratory planner to the team from the beginning will save you money in the long run by understanding the needs of this facility type and planning for those needs from the beginning of the process.