Sunnyvale, CA-based Level 10 Construction announced June 11 that it has been selected as the general contractor for two biotech facilities being developed by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., a large real estate investment trust (REIT) company based in Pasadena, CA. Construction  includes the headquarters and R&D facility for OncoSec Medical, Inc.; and lab and office space for Polaris Group Pharmaceuticals.

San Diego-based McFarlane Architects is the architect for both projects.

For the OncoSec Medical Headquarters, located in San Diego, Level 10 Construction is building out a 32,207-sq-ft lab and office space, utilizing design-assist MEP delivery. The $8.6 million biotech facility includes new offices, a new mechanical infrastructure, lab casework, a fitness center and a complete exterior renovation of the building.

John Bunje Level 10 senior project manager, told me his team will face an interesting challenge on the OncoSec build-out when they demolish and remove an existing rounded corner of the building from the roof down to the slab on-grade to allow for a new, expanded angled corner. He says they must do this while still maintaining safe access and egress into the project site around this location for adjacent work to be performed.

"A detailed demolition plan was implemented for the strategic removal of architectural and structural components without the use of supplemental shoring and supports which allowed for the safe access and egress into the building through an opening large enough to allow for the installation of structural steel members for the new mezzanine level being constructed inside of the existing tilt-up walls," says Bunje.

Improvements to the new space include removal of an existing structural mezzanine and curtain wall system, and the construction of a new second story mezzanine. The project is scheduled for completion at the end of September 2015. OncoSec Medical is a biotechnology company pioneering new technologies to stimulate the body’s immune system to target and attack cancer. 

Level 10 is also building out an 8,916-sq-ft lab and office space for Polaris Group Pharmaceuticals,  a privately held drug company, specializes in the research and development of protein drugs to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases. The $2.1 million project, which includes a new mechanical infrastructure, offices, and lab casework, will be complete in July 2015. Kavanagh Associates is the project manager for Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Bunje, who is also project manager on this job, says an interesting challenge arose while performing work directly beneath an operating 24/7 call center. "This required coordination of noisy or potentially disruptive work sequences and shifts around the hours with the lowest volume of calls," he says. "It also meant that an extensive investigation of the existing electrical and telecom wiring had to be performed prior to the start of demolition to ensure that no services would be removed which would affect the functionality of the call center."