Biopharm Building: Delivering Greater Value in an Accelerated Market
DPR helps customers make the right decisions in an accelerated market.
In today’s robust business environment, where the work is plentiful in most major market sectors, owners face a myriad of challenges: rising material costs, skilled labor shortages and increasingly complex facilities. DPR, which has more than $990 million worth of biopharmaceutical projects under construction or in preconstruction, works closely with customers from the start to offer more value and to help minimize the impact of marketplace realities across the nation.
Just as scientific research has grown more sophisticated and targeted, so have the facilities to accommodate the biopharmaceutical industry’s needs. The general laboratory has sprouted into a variety of specialized facilities. From chemistry labs and sequencing areas to large-scale fermentation/purification suites with sterile filland-finish facilities, the requirements of the modern biopharmaceutical community continue to push facilities to higher performance levels. Simultaneously, design, construction and validation of facilities have become more taxing with compressed schedules, tighter budgets and greater document requirements.
On top of the pressure for higher-quality facilities, owners also are challenged with rising material prices — commodities such as copper soaring as high as $8,000 per ton — and a shortage of a skilled workforce. To help customers overcome demands of the current market, DPR teams across the country are taking creative approaches and providing innovative contingency plans to deliver these technically advanced facilities as efficiently as possible, while adding the greatest value.
Client: Amylin Pharmaceuticals
Architect: Dowler-Gruman Architects
Construction Manager: Serbia Consulting Group
When Amylin Pharmaceuticals grew from 500 to 1,200 employees within approximately a year, it needed to expand its office and laboratory space. The company leased a 15-year-old building in San Diego, CA, that had been formerly occupied by another biotechnology firm and called upon DPR to fast-track the 72,000-sq.-ft. renovation and retrofit.
“The customer had three main goals for the project: schedule, cost and recycle,” said DPR’s Carlos Crabtree. “Recycling turned out to be the key. By salvaging a majority of the existing building’s materials, particularly the casework and tiles, we met all three.”
Although the previous tenant had different chemistry and biology laboratories, DPR kept all of the cabinet boxes and benches, salvaged more than 75 percent of the casework, reused 15 of 80 existing fume hoods, and recycled 20,000 sq. ft. of acoustical ceiling tiles. An existing cold room also was refurbished, and other specialty items, such as stainless steel sinks and eye wash and safety showers, were pulled from the existing structure during demolition and reincorporated into the new facility.
“We took all the salvaged materials to the building’s basement and did a walk through with the client to identify what items should be reconfigured and reinstalled and what should be recycled,” said Crabtree. “Every effort was made to use as much as possible and minimize material going to local landfills.”
This approach proved to be not only good for the environment but also resulted in savings. “Although there was a premium on demolition due to the salvage and installation, if we purchased similar brand new casework systems today, it alone would have cost more than $700,000,” said Crabtree.
In addition, the lead time for procuring casework from bid to fabrication is approximately 21 weeks. By salvaging existing casework, the lead time was taken out of the equation. DPR also shaved additional weeks off of the schedule by self performing the laboratory casework retrofit and installation, allowing the team to complete what would have been an eight-month project in six months for a late July move-in.
Client: Roche Molecular Diagnostics
Architect: DES Architects
For a new three-story, 135,000-sq.-ft. research building for Roche Molecular Diagnostics under construction in Pleasanton, CA, DPR started working with the customer early to help incorporate sustainable elements into the facility. Features include recycling 75 percent of jobsite waste, low volatile organic compounds (VOC) finishes, bio swells to treat storm-water runoff, reducing potable water usage, and exterior lighting with cutoff fixtures.
“We will be installing special exterior fixtures to minimize the amount of light that goes pass Roche’s property line, thus, reducing light pollution”, said Matt Crandall of DPR.
The project is one of several that DPR has completed on Roche’s campus. The first project, completed in 1997, consisted of new administrative offices, research and development laboratories and a combined manufacturing and warehouse building, totaling 180,000 sq. ft.
Client: Gemini Science, Inc.; La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology
Architect: Architects Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker
Construction Manager: Project Management Advisors, Inc.
DPR also recently completed another 180,000-sq.-ft. research building for Gemini Science and long-standing customer, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LIAI).
Located in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Science Research Park in La Jolla, CA, the ground-up, steelframed facility, which includes a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) suite, research laboratories and office space, is the first of five planned developments built by a private entity on public UCSD property.
“The project was unique in that while unassociated with the university, it sits on UCSD land,” said Brian Gracz of DPR. “This meant that UCSD was responsible for issuing permits and inspections, but since it was a private project, we were held by the university to build to the city of San Diego’s construction standards.”
Unique timing issues also resulted in a gap between the original estimate and the actual start of construction due to negotiations between the building’s tenants and UCSD. The first estimate for the project was completed in 2003; however, when the project began to move forward in January 2005, the numbers had changed significantly due to price escalation. Rather than re-estimating the entire job-causing further delay-DPR developed a price escalation calculation based on historical inflation data, as well as information gathered from subcontractor opinion polls and other industry publications. According to Gracz, this calculation was used to create a percentage increase on a trade-by-trade basis that could be applied across the board, allowing the team to provide an accurate estimate accounting for the extended buy-out period without revisiting all of items in the original estimate.