Boston – Architectural and interior design firm Margulies Perruzzi (MP) recently worked with Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) in Burlington, Mass., to create a 3,100sf COVID-19 testing lab.
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center committed to more than doubling its existing COVID-19 testing capacity to meet demand. The renovation of existing lab space created a new expanded COVID-19 testing lab with rapid throughput testing capabilities of up to 11,100 tests per day that allows specimens to be resulted in 24 hours or less.
Margulies Perruzzi and Columbia Construction worked with LHMC to create a COVID-19 testing lab designed to accommodate new and larger equipment. The design/construction team was challenged to complete the COVID-19 testing lab as quickly as possible to meet the immediate needs for COVID-19 testing during the pandemic.
Multiple sites on- and off-campus were explored, and it was determined that creating the COVID-19 testing lab within the main campus laboratory would have the greatest capital and operational cost efficiency. This approach could also be built in the shortest time because the mechanical infrastructure was already in place. The challenge with this option was restrictions on planning based on available space in the existing lab. Creating sufficient contiguous space needed for the Thermofisher testing equipment involved multiple moves of existing lab services and required renovation within an existing functioning laboratory.
There were several strategies to accelerate the process, including team working sessions for material approvals and finishes flexibility to work with materials more readily available, utilizing quick ship options for materials with unavoidably long lead times, and using movable lab furniture to provide more flexibility for delivery, assembling and installation.
“LHMC moved quickly during the pandemic to meet the urgent demand for testing services. It was important that the lab could process a lot of tests quickly, but the space needed to be efficient and functional also. The design and construction teams helped us achieve our goals by taking a more proactive role to address issues immediately as they arose to ensure the new lab could open quickly for the benefit of our patients, colleagues and physicians,” said Michael Slejzer, director of planning, design and construction at LHMC.
The project team members also included Lehrer Cummings, owner’s project manager; BR+A, MEP/FP; and CMTA, commissioning.
“To make a project like this happen requires an enormous amount of collaboration and alignment to ensure the entire team is working together to meet the project goals,” said Bob Humenn, AIA, director of healthcare strategy at Margulies Perruzzi. “The project team worked closely with LHMC to be sure the lab design would meet their current testing needs as well as future testing requirements.”