Newsflash: Life Science Projects are the $10 Billion Hot Spot in Today’s Commercial Property Market
By now, you’ve probably read the Bloomberg report that new construction in Life Sciences represents a $10 billion opportunity. Commercial laboratory space will grow to 95 million square feet this year – a 12% increase.
If you are a Dealer Sales Rep (DSR) at a contract furniture dealer and want to learn how you can capitalize on the growing life sciences sector, read on!
To find out more, we spoke with Claire Redsun from Formaspace Contract. Claire is a brand manager for Formaspace and a veteran marketing and business development expert with more than a decade of experience in the contract furniture market.
Q: Hello Claire. Can you tell us what’s driving this rapid growth in Life Sciences projects?
CR: The success of developing new Covid vaccines in a year (or less) has spurred major investment in the Life Science industry. And, this is a key point for furniture dealers; most life science employees will work on-site, unlike office workers who may be on a hybrid home/office work schedule.
Q: What kind of investment dollars are we talking about?
CR: Innovation is driving the success of these companies, and investor interest is high. For example, we can point to a Formaspace Contract client, Gingko Bioworks, based in downtown Boston (with a new satellite office in Emeryville, California). This company’s success in creating an innovative bio-research platform helped them achieve a $2.5 billion valuation in 2017, and some analysts think they could be worth as much as $15B after they go public this year with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp.
Formaspace Contract Customer Spotlight: Gingko Bioworks
How can DSRs work directly with Formaspace Contract to take advantage of these new Life Science Opportunities?
Q: What can DSRs expect when working with Formaspace Contract?
CR: The key point is that we understand your business, and we make working directly with DSRs the heart of our contract furniture business.
I was a DSR at a furniture dealer for many years, as was Frank Bucher, the COO here at Formaspace Contract.
Unlike other life science furniture manufacturers that try to avoid selling through furniture dealers, we have built the contract side of our furniture business around dealers and DSRs.
We know the value you bring to the table in understanding the needs of clients and providing creative solutions for them – and the important role you play in serving as a liaison to manage the project on the client’s behalf from beginning to end – all of which work together to build strong, long-lasting client relationships.
Q: How does Formaspace Contract support DSRs?
CR: We offer you a single point of contact access to our experts who will help you every step of the way. It’s like having your own DSR Concierge Desk for Life Science projects.
It’s also important to know we are based here in the USA, not overseas. That means our products are manufactured or assembled here at our Austin, Texas, factory headquarters, using locally-sourced steel and other American-made components. This way of doing business helps us deliver the high-quality products that you can depend on, as well as offering long-term support after the sale, including maintaining client documentation so we can provide any matching replacement parts that might be needed years from now.
What if I don’t have a Science Background? How can I be successful working with Life Science prospects?
Q: I don’t have a science background, so I’m a little bit overwhelmed about approaching my first Life Science prospect.
CR: I know when I was a DSR, it felt very intimidating to start working in a new market that I wasn’t familiar with, so I understand your concern.
It’s true, some of the project requirements in the life sciences market are very technical, especially when it comes to laboratory design. But the specialists here at Formaspace Contract have decades of experience managing complex life science projects, so when you partner with us, you’ll get the expert assistance in project planning, engineering and product design, and regulatory compliance you need to make the project successful – from responding to the initial RFP to conducting the final installation punch list.
Q: Yes, that’s my main concern. I’m still a bit intimidated by the laboratory design elements.
CR: This first thing to keep in mind there is a lot more to life science projects than laboratory installations.
To see what I mean, take a look at this video of Priscilla Chan, who (along with her husband Facebook CEO husband Mark Zuckerberg) co-founded the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub in San Francisco – another Formaspace Contract Life Science customer.
Formaspace Customer Spotlight: Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, San Francisco
As Chan says in the video above, the Biohub is about bringing people together to share ideas —so you’ll be on familiar territory most of the time — doing what you do best, like identifying a client’s need for office spaces, desking and seating systems, conference rooms, casual meeting areas, cafes, outdoor spaces, etc. and coming up with solutions that make the client happy.
The bottom line is that lab installations are typically only a small portion of an overall Life Sciences project, an important factor to consider when you are contemplating pursuing a new client opportunity.
How can I learn more about working with Formaspace Contract on Life Science projects?
Q: How can I learn more about Life Science applications?
CR: One of the best ways to learn about Life Science applications is to look at successful Life Science client projects.
I can suggest three Formaspace Contract examples that would be very helpful to review:
Formaspace Contract Customer Spotlight: Metrohm
The first is Metrohm, a Swiss company that recently opened up its first US headquarters in Tampa, Florida.
Like the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, we talked about earlier, the Metrohm headquarters project is very diverse, featuring a wide variety of office spaces, conference rooms, training rooms, and other functional areas – not just laboratories.
Metrohm’s lab facilities feature a combination of fixed casework as well as modular (freestanding) lab workbenches mounted on heavy-duty casters, which offer maximum layout flexibility as needs change over time.
Formaspace Contract Customer Spotlight: Abiomed Medical Device Innovation Center, Danvers, Mass.
The second example is Abiomed’s $17m Innovation Center in Danvers, Massachusetts, where the company designs and tests medical device implants, including their Impella product, the world’s smallest heart pump.
Here, Formaspace Contract worked in partnership with Creative Office Pavilion (COP), a Herman Miller aligned dealer based in New York, who specified the administrative departments, reception areas, conference rooms, etc. with Herman Miller office furniture.
Formaspace Contract partnered with COP to provide technical support for designing and manufacturing five on-site laboratories, including a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) lab, a software testing lab, an electrical device testing lab, a shared equipment lab, and a blood laboratory – the latter one featuring an impressive 24’ long seamless stainless steel casework installation.
Formaspace Contract Customer Spotlight: Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory (FADL), Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio
If you specialize in government or educational contracts, it’s good to know that many of our Life Science clients are government, military, and educational institutions. For example, we have manufactured furniture solutions (including school lab desks, workbenches, conference tables, and makerspaces) for over 400 colleges and universities, including graduate school programs at Harvard, Yale, and Cornell, as well as for many of the nation’s leading K-12 school districts.
Formaspace has also provided custom furniture solutions for different branches of the US government and the armed services. One of our largest projects to date is building new laboratories for the Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory (FADL) at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, operated by the Department of Defense. This facility is one of the largest food testing laboratories in the world – on average, it tests about 4,000 food samples each year to make sure the food supply for our nation’s armed forces and others is safe to eat.
Take the Next Step. Meet your Formaspace Contract Representative.
Q: As a DSR, I want to find out more about working with Formaspace Contract. What’s the next step?
CR: That’s easy. We want to hear from you too, and getting in touch is easy.
Just visit the Rep Locator Map page on our website to get the name, phone number, and email address of your Formaspace Contract Representative. Or you can call us at (866) 488-0152 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Formaspace Contract reps will be happy to share important insights with you about the new opportunities in the Life Sciences market – so you can grow your business and take it to the next level.
Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from you!