How to Successfully Adapt Existing Offices into Laboratory Spaces

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Food, Food Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Food Testing, Food Safety & Regulation,
  • Thursday, October 14, 2021

As many companies today sort out their excess office space or look to take advantage of inexpensive leasable office space, those needing additional laboratories are looking to re-purpose that office space into lab environments – a concept known as adaptive reuse.

At first glance, this excess space can seem ideal: The facility may already be equipped with many of the elements the lab will need, such as break areas, conference rooms and workstations, and it may be in proximity to other amenities like cafes, fitness centers or parking.

However, adapting former workspaces into highly functional, optimized laboratories is not as simple as changing around the layout. What may not be obvious are the unexpected capital expenses that may be lurking within those existing office spaces:

  1. Is the building structure or shell able to support things such as larger/additional rooftop equipment, vibration propagation, and changing out ceiling heights or enlarging duct shafts, all of which may be necessary with an office-to-lab adaptive reuse?
  2. Are the HVAC systems able to handle the environmental requirements for a lab, including temperature, humidity, pressurization, and air-change rate, which are usually much more rigorous than what is needed for an office space?
  3. How will unique laboratory requirements such as lab-specific utilities, drainage, finishes, casework, and power, etc., further impact the scope and cost of changing from existing office space into a lab?

In this engaging webinar, our presenters will help you look beyond the basic attractiveness of adaptive reuse of office space. You will learn to recognize whether those existing spaces can be effectively and cost-efficiently converted to labs that will perform optimally for years to come. Register today!


Alex Lee, Hixson

Alex Lee, EI/EIT, Project Engineer, Hixson

As a Project Engineer within Hixson’s Plumbing Systems and Fire Protection Engineering department, Alex Lee is responsible for design and engineering of a wide variety of plumbing applications, including water, drainage, specialty lab gas systems, compressed air and more. Alex holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Message Presenter
Chris Schaffer, Hixson

Chris Schaffer, P.E., WELL AP, Senior Project Engineer, Hixson

Chris Schaffer, a Senior Project Engineer with Hixson, has been designing and specifying mechanical utility and HVAC systems for Hixson projects for more than 20 years. Some of Chris’ recent science and technology-based project experience includes serving as the lead mechanical engineer for projects such as a microbiology lab addition, a food safety testing lab expansion, a bio-repository and genomics lab addition, and a new Constant Temperature/Constant Humidity (CT/CH) room.  Chris holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Message Presenter
Paul Thamann, Hixson

Paul Thamann, R.A., Senior Project Architect, Hixson

In addition to serving as the Lead for Hixson’s Science and Technology Strategic Business Unit, Senior Project Architect Paul Thamann is responsible for leading architecture project teams within Hixson, interacting directly with clients and coordinating with outside vendors/consultants. Paul has over 15 years of experience in designing for science and technology and other projects ranging in size from 1,000 sq. ft. to 120,000 sq. ft. across North America. Paul earned both a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This event will be most relevant to:

  • Manufacturers of food, beverage, personal care, chemicals, and pharma/biotech products
  • Laboratory executive management
  • Laboratory facility managers
  • Directors of Corporate Real Estate
  • Directors of Commercial Real Estate

What You Will Learn

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize the common differences between purpose-built labs and typical existing office space
  • Identify the key challenges and “watch-outs” to keep in mind when considering an adaptive reuse of space

Xtalks Partner


A nationally recognized architecture, engineering and interior design firm, Hixson partners with some of the most well-known brands in the world on complex projects in science and technology, food and beverage processing, workplace, and retail. Hixson consistently delivers insight, advocacy and intelligent project execution through its 16 in-house design and technical disciplines. Visit Hixson on the web at

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