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Choose a construction firm with experience

The life sciences industry is seeing a massive boom, with record amounts of government and private investment. This has come with an increased demand for updated, sustainable lab space. If your organization needs a new space to grow and innovate, there are a few things you should know beforehand.

Understand your goals and needs for the space.
Coming into the project with a clear vision will save you time and money in the long run. Evaluate your organization’s needs for lab, office, and amenity space, including lab equipment and infrastructure. Then, work with your architect and general contractor to make this vision a reality.

Engage your architect and general contractor early on in the process.
Because of the specialized nature of these projects, it’s important to work together from the start. The right architect and GC will provide critical guidance to keep your project on-time and on-budget. Lab facilities have stringent code requirements, and these contractors will be a source of knowledge and experience as you navigate these requirements.

Do your due diligence on the prospective location.
Whether you’re planning for a new build or using an existing structure, make sure you understand what you’re getting into before signing anything. Be aware of all legal considerations, as well as environmental and sustainability concerns. Understand what applicable building codes say about modifications to existing structures; the infrastructure needed for a life sciences facility often requires some creative accommodation. Your architect and general contractor will be valuable resources as you handle these concerns.

Understand the project’s timeline, and set a realistic target completion date with contractors.
Based on this date, work backwards to determine a timeline. Be sure to factor in items with a long lead time, such as specialized equipment and infrastructure. To minimize delays, work with your architect and general contractor to come up with an early procurement plan.

Identify an individual who can serve as an engaged, knowledgeable representative for your organization throughout the process.
This person will work with your architect and general contractor to ensure clear communication and provide insight from your organization’s perspective.

Cox & Company is the leading full-service commercial construction firm in the Atlanta area. We provide general contracting and construction management services.