Don’t say “no” just yet: When a client approaches you for laboratory space

The year 2020 has presented all of us with many challenges, from a worldwide pandemic, to social unrest, to economic hardships. Most of us are anxious to put this year in our rearview mirrors, and as we look to the future, we see that the real estate market has changed. The ever-increasing demand for commercial office space has slowed, and may reverse. However, the demand for research space, partly in response to the pandemic, shows no signs of slowing. In fact, the need for this space has science tenants looking to existing building supply. The owners of these buildings are interested in what can be done to their existing structures to make them suitable for research use. This global collaboration and fight to stay safe while developing vaccines has all of us working together, not just in research, but as a community. Traditionally, laboratory and life science buildings were constructed in dedicated research campuses as part of a masterplan effort. With the Covid-19 pandemic, things changed in 2020. AKF’s engineers are now working with several developers and owners identifying potential buildings to use as research space for various science-focused tenants. These buildings were not originally built to support life sciences, but if the characteristics are right, the buildings may be renovated for this purpose.



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