Pfizer’s New Laboratory Paradigm

May 15, 2014 • Innovation Places News

By Jay Hallinan and Paul Jannsenswillen

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Research facility design has traditionally followed guidelines and best practices that serve the competitive needs of the times in which they’re built. Through successive generations, previously established “current best design” may become inappropriate and must evolve.

At Pfizer, the current evolution of laboratory programming and design seeks to create a “shared asset culture” within a 100% flexible facility. The goal is to yield operational flexibility and energy savings by minimizing redundant equipment and processes, optimizing space, and reducing overall facility footprint. Pfizer’s new approach is pushing the envelope of efficient, flexible, quality research space.

The previous model had been characterized by rigid boundaries between “open” and “closed” laboratory, laboratory support, and office space. Although generic planning and flexible furnishings have been standard for years, laboratory facilities have been customized to a large extent to accommodate everything that is usually fixed in place (HVAC zones, partitions, exhaust devices, and service risers). Office space has been hierarchical, and amenities have often not aligned with need.

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