Thomas O. Daniel Research Incubator and Collaboration Center
Summit, N.J.
Award of Merit

Owner: Celgene
Lead Design Firm: Jacobs Engineering
General Contractor: Turner Construction Co.
Civil, Structural, MEP Engineer: Jacobs Engineering

Early entrepreneurial biotechnology companies now have a unique, collaborative space to experiment and make new health discoveries.

The 16,000-sq-ft incubator and collaboration center is hosted within a building occupied by parent company Celgene. The team re-engineered one floor of the building to designate various rentable zones: reception area, offices and laboratory and support spaces.

Deep coordination through the use of lean construction practices such as Last Planner, mock-ups, 5S—which stands for sort, set, shine, standardize and sustain—and virtual construction enabled the workflow process to happen without scheduling conflicts. Each craftsperson was strictly choreographed on site to an intricate level at which up to 55 tradesmen could be accounted for in a 16,000-sq-ft facility.

A start-up’s desire to keep its information proprietary, and the rigors of maintaining a fully operational laboratory, potentially could be at odds with typical co-working spaces. But overhead service carriers make moving laboratory equipment easier. And movable laboratory casework, tables and shelving types are arranged throughout the space, both to ease onboarding of new tenants and to enable experimentation.

The space has the flexibility to keep up with scientific changes without having to shut down operations and redesign workflow layouts.

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