Ready to Open Your New Lab Space? 4 Tips to Expedite the Timeline
When discussing the timeline of a new lab space with a prospective tenant about 80% want immediate occupancy. There are several aspects that affect the timing process. It is helpful to acknowledge that while some factors are within your control others are not. You can mitigate many of the items by starting the process early and gathering necessary details as well as spending an ample amount of time in the planning stage.
Delays in delivery of equipment, vendor’s availability to work on your project, and difficulty getting decisions from upper management are out of your control. The part of the process you do have some control over include allowing enough lead time to order equipment which includes both HVAC units and instrumentation.
Modifications to the plans both during the design phase and once construction begins (change orders) are the biggest delays. This can be mitigated by gathering information needed for design specs as companies get closer to opening a new lab. Also, spending more time in the planning stage is very important to avoid making errors down the line. Finally, part of a tenant’s decision to occupy a space is influenced by the budget to build out the space. The budget is based on costs per line item taken from the design.
Here are 4 tips to expedite this process:
1. Know What You Want
Know clearly what your requirements are and what you want in the space using the list below as a guide.
2. Plan Well Ahead of Time
Avoid change orders by spending more time in the planning stage. This would include productive conversations between scientists, engineers, facilities people, architects, HVAC vendors and electricians prior to beginning the design.
3. Draft the Agreement
Expedite the process by drafting a lease or purchase and sale agreement at the same time you are doing construction drawings. Draft an indemnification letter if necessary to cover any party for out of pocket costs in the event the project does not go through
4. Maintain flexibility
Leave some flexibility in the design for changes as the process moves forward.