Life Science – which key areas of design are influencing the cost of your building?

What is the right cost for a Life Science Building?

As is the way with these questions – “It Depends”.

There are many factors which influence the brief for any given building. Some will be self evident for a given project, others require the strategy to be set. This is key to avoiding abortive cost and over designing.


  • Designing flexibility into the base design requires up-front investment, but provides greater longevity and adaptability.
  • How much flex in Lab vs Support space?
  • Flexibility for different types of tenant or types of lab.
  • Lab Enabled or Lab Ready?
  • Build in flexibility for other uses?

What type of tenant?

Different tenants have very different expectations and specific requirements.

A large single occupier may have their own bespoke requirements and wish to complete their own fit out. They may even want to tailor and/or install some of the shell MEP systems themselves.

At the other end of the spectrum, new incubators are unlikely to have the desire, finance or the resource to get involved in fit out and will want to walk into a “work-ready” laboratory.

Landlord / Tenant

Understanding and setting the appropriate split of responsibility between Developer and Tenant works is key to setting the right budget and delivery strategy.

What must be built into the Shell & Core and what can be retro-fitted? With some innovative thinking the amount that can be retro-fitted can be improved with reduced waste and carbon footprint whilst avoiding abortive expenditure and over design by the developer.

For further information, please contact us:

Hamish Summers

Richard Taylor


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