Building laboratory spaces can be a technically challenging process—constructing biosafety level BSL-2 and BSL-3 labs within a fully functioning medical facility through a public-private partnership adds extra levels of complexity. B&F provided project management services for a new laboratory to be operated by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health located within Constitution Health Plaza (CHP), a multipurpose medical campus in the heart of South Philadelphia. The five-story, 400,000-square-foot complex was formerly St. Agnes Hospital and is home today to services ranging from independent family practices to large outpatient care.
Creating the new 20,000-square-foot laboratory involved a multifaceted team, including experts from the Department of Health, laboratory designers, architects, engineers, the Philadelphia Department of Public Property, local authorities, and the landlord, CHP. B&F facilitated communication among all parties to keep approvals moving and created a plan for phasing construction that minimized disruption within an active medical facility, including a long-term care residence on the floor above. The project’s urban setting with limited construction access points and lay down space also presented challenges.
The new lab is on the building’s second floor, with project specific mechanical equipment located on adjacent roof areas and in the building’s basement. All new utilities are independent from other tenants and the existing operations of the building. The renovated space includes 10,000 square feet of laboratories considered biosafety level BSL-2 and BSL-3 containment areas, 8,000 square feet of administrative spaces, and a 600-square-foot pharmacy.
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