5 WHAT’S NEW ON
16 PRODUCT NEWS
21 NEW PROJECTS
2 2015 lab construction outlook
2 Benchmarking international
interdisciplinary research facilities
12 Energy-efficient HVAC for labs in hot,
17 Clean, quiet and consistent: Design
approaches for contemporary physics labs
23 Lab project cost management:
Owner’s viewpoint (Part 1)
INSIDEJULY|AUGUST FROM THE EDITORS OF R&D MAGAZINE
turing, improving public health, enhancing
technology, developing clean energy alternatives and protecting the global environment.
The benefits of investing in R&D not only
impact the results of scientific discovery,
but also contribute to U.S. job growth and
increase the country’s influence in research
and science markets at the global level.
In 2015, although construction costs
increased, there’s discontinuity between
how much clients are willing to pay for
architectural and design services and the
true cost of those services. During the last
year, there has been a consistent rise in
clients expecting low and extremely competitive pricing. In some cases, clients have
expected the same rates as during the peak
of the recession. The market remains very
competitive, with much upfront design and
budget pricing required before a project is
In summary, the markets are stabilizing
in 2015; the number of newly awarded
projects continues to grow. The latter part
of 2015 is projected to be positive and on an
upward trend. Prices are becoming more
stable and continue to rise in line with previous years’ growth. Clients are exhibiting
confidence, as demonstrated by the start of
construction on projects.
OUTLOOK BY LOCATION
Local market conditions are stabilizing—more so than in previous years. At the
national level, costs have also continued to
stabilize. These figures are projected to only
slightly increase, rising through 2015.
• The broader market continues to
exhibit healthy signs of improvement.
The recent round of quarterly earnings by
publicly listed companies showed profits
increasing at a consistent rate.
• Civil engineering and infrastructure
projects, including mass transportation,
roads and bridges, have seen increased
growth from previous years with the support of government funding.
• The technology sector has demon-
strated the strongest growth by investors.
This will likely result in positive earnings
for the overall U.S. market.
• As the government struggles to implement balanced solutions, concern among
all parties will continue to grow for the
state of public finance, both at federal
and state levels. Government spending
remains under heavy scrutiny given the
current state of public finances as the U.S.
continues to recover from the recession.
Federal and state funding is low. As a
result, far less publicly funded RFPs have
been issued than in past years, and work
has increased in the private sector.
• Barring any additional economic problems, prices will continue to rise in 2015.
As the market continues to improve and
project work increases, prices are expected
to continue to increase in tandem.
The Federal Government has proposed
a budget of $145.7 billion for federal R&D
in fiscal year 2016. This is an increase of
$7.6 billion from the 2015 budget. Some
objectives for this budget include boosting
the U.S. economy with domestic manufac-
continued on page 7
Labs are costly
investments. With gov-
ernment funding from
the NIH and NSF flat
lining, labs must look
elsewhere for funding.
These sources can
and corporate/private sources. And
while the lack of funding, or seeking
new funding possibilities, is one issue
with costs, another is in planning the
most economic building for now and
With a shift from wet to dry lab
environments, the lab environment
is changing in landscape. And just
like lab design and lab environments
change, so too does science. Science
has become more interdisciplinary and
multidisciplinary in nature, and science
of the future is unpredictable. With this
in mind, labs must be supported by ultimate flexibility should research needs
change down the line. While flexibility
may cost more upfront, it will help in
the future. But there’s a limit to flexibility, and that is a thin line in design.
To plan a lab that will function optimally now and into the future, benchmarking is an important tool, especially
with regard to flexibility.
In this issue of Laboratory Design
Newsletter is our annual lab construction outlook, which will provide readers
with an in-depth look at lab construction costs in multiple types of lab
facilities. Also in this issue is an article
on lab benchmarking of international
research facilities, which covers best
practices for lab programming around
As with any lab project, cost management is of utmost importance. Staying
on a budget and working as a team is
key to achieving world-class lab facilities. However, every decade, there are
many new approaches to cost management. This issue also presents a feature
on lab project cost management and
the options available to teams today.
On another note, this year’s Lab
Design Conference will be held in
Houston, Texas. If you have any suggestions for cutting-edge, informational lab
tour possibilities, please email me at
I’m open to your suggestions!
By Lindsay Hock, Editor
At All Costs