by Jeff Kent
POST at 200 Smith Street in Waltham, Mass. is a former U.S. post office repositioned into a 430,000sf office and lab building on a 36-acre campus. DPS Group and TRIA designed a new development and cGMP manufacturing facility for ElevateBio, a technology-driven company focused on powering cell and gene therapies for the biopharma industry. Known as ElevateBio BaseCamp Waltham, the facility was designed to enable innovative cell and gene therapy strategic partners as well as its own internal therapeutic development.
Housing dedicated cell and gene therapy Research & Development (R&D), process development, and manufacturing operations, ElevateBio BaseCamp leverages state-of-the-art facilities designed to rapidly develop single and multi-product, cell and gene therapies and regenerative medicines.
The 140,000sf of cGMP manufacturing, lab and support space contains:
- R&D for immunotherapy, regenerative medicine, and cell therapies
- Process development (PD) and scaled manufacturing capabilities for rapid translation of processes
- Laboratories that include manufacturing labs, protein engineering, cell engineering, virology, and immunology capabilities
- cGMP manufacturing with industry leading knowhow for viral vectors and cell therapies
- Quality assurance through systems, analytics and Quality Control laboratories with state-of-the art levels of automation
ElevateBio BaseCamp was purpose-built; its facility design, construction, and qualification were thoughtfully planned to accelerate the company’s mission of developing and manufacturing products quickly and effectively. The research and development and process development laboratories were completed in approximately nine months with the cGMP manufacturing and warehouse being complete in 16 months.
To reflect ElevateBio’s company culture, “science on display” was the project theme. Functional office space integrated nicely with bright laboratory and GMP space that can be seen throughout the facility through windows making the most of the natural light.
Advances in Facility Design Technology
Mirroring therapeutic product lifecycle, where research is followed by process development and then cGMP manufacturing, the strategy for BaseCamp Waltham was to design a facility that allowed staged occupancy by employees. The initial working phase was R&D, followed by PD laboratories, and finally, full cGMP manufacturing and warehousing capabilities. Additionally, to accelerate the overall design and build timeline long lead packages were delivered early in the project. Once schematic design of the entire facility fit-out was complete, detailed design and construction packages were strategically staged requiring accurate coordination with vendors and trades.
To enable this strategy, Building Information Modeling (BIM) initiated with a digitized scan of existing conditions of the renovated postal sorting facility and future home of BaseCamp. A detailed model of the entire facility was created so that designers, engineers, and a cross functional team from ElevateBio could see the facility come to life by walking through the facility using virtual reality goggles. In addition to this technology generating a great deal of excitement and pride in the team, augmented reality walkthroughs in the construction space were used to review design. This led to a final design that met the needs of all of the stakeholders in the project from manufacturing and quality to maintenance and metrology.
Jeff Kent is a senior project manager with DPS Group.