At the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, lab spaces feature ample natural light as a complement to
overhead and task lighting. Image: JLL
Access to meeting rooms like this one gives Max Planck researchers a formal space to collaborate. Image: JLL
continued on page 37
TOP SCIENTIFIC TALENT DEMANDS
TOP LAB SPACE
As noted in JLL’s 2015 Life Sciences
Outlook, the need to attract and retain
top scientific talent is motivating some
companies to create more inspiring,
spacious and appealing labs. As pressure
mounts for operational efficiency, new
product innovation and talent recruitment, the lure of a sustained boost to
productivity is no small reward.
With life sciences companies looking to diversify their R&D portfolios
with high-impact medicines, such as
biologics to combat diabetes or orphan drugs to treat rare diseases, their
success depends on the mental acuity of
exceptionally trained scientists. What
inspires both the brilliant PhD with a
life-changing idea and the technician
charged with monitoring the centrifuge?
The WGBC report details how such elements as natural lighting and greenery,
expansive views and the opportunity
to choose your workspace based on the
task at hand can contribute to a sense of
connectivity and engagement.
Following are three levels of attack in
converting a ho-hum work environment
into a lab facility that inspires.
LEVEL 1: LIGHT QUANTITY AND
QUALITY AFFECT FOCUS
Precision work demands full light.
But while focused artificial light may be
needed for detailed lab work, a dose of
natural light improves mood, as well as
focus. For example, a study cited in the
WGBC report found that workers with
workspace windows slept an average
of 46 mins more per night than their
windowless colleagues, and reported
better outcomes on overall efficiency
and daytime functionality.
In some buildings, floor-to-ceiling
windows and glass walls can be incorporated into lab design to maximize
spread of natural light into the building.
Depending on the building, daylighting
might also be possible throughout other
spaces, such as meeting rooms and
In existing facilities in need of
lightening up, it may be possible to
reconfigure office layout to ensure that
more than just the senior management
can see the light, by combining several well-windowed spaces into a larger
communal lounge or using portable
screens to create private areas without
LEVEL 2: RICH VIEWS, EXPANSIVE
When a researcher looks up from the
microscope, what he or she sees can
either confine their mind or inspire it.
Is it a beige wall, an open floor space or
a view outside? Emerging for a water
cooler break, do scientists make their
way through a corridor of closed doors,
or through a glassed-in hallway into a
communal area brought to life by views
of their colleagues and a variety of
The WGBC findings show that access
to outdoor views—or even expansive
indoor views—isn’t just a nice-to-have.
These broader views, whether indoor or
outdoor, provide the visual breaks that
help keep the mind limber and imagination fired up, and can also help relieve
36 LaboratoryDesign|SEPTEMBER|OCTOBER 2015